recycling project no. 17 - cardboard tube experiment


Unexpected results are a common occurrence with craft projects. Last week it was our turn to prove that.

I set out some fabric paint and cardboard tubes, that we were going to use as brushes, and explained to the kids that we were going to be printing on napkins. At first, they thought I was kidding (You're going to let us paint on fabric?!). D opted for keeping his tube as a circle and C decided she wanted the leaf shape (what you get when you crease the tube lengthwise). We practiced a bit on scrap paper and that's when I stepped away from the kitchen because of a phone call. Are you grinning?

As you know, I'm in the subtle-is-better camp, so my original idea was to print only on one edge of the napkins. The kids had other plans. It didn't help that I had completely spread out both napkins in front of them. When I came back, I was surprised to see that 60% of the napkins were completed. They each had a pattern going and were completely engrossed in what they were doing. Their work is not what I had envisioned, but being the Mom that I am, lots of praise and high-fives went all around. I stayed on the sidelines and watched them proudly finish. I think the quirky results are charming (as any mother would) and so them. They were so fast I didn't even have time for photos.

D said he was inspired by the Olympic rings.



C stuck with the pattern we had tested before I stepped away.



The idea of using the cardboard tube as a tool/brush is still a valid one, but, definitely not for fabric. The kids had little control over how much paint was on the end of the tube, so some spots were too thickly covered with ink. I think this would make for an awesome project on a large canvas. It's something we will definitely try soon.

I worked with a potato stamp. One edge of the napkins and the entire edge of the tablecloth is now decorated with a simple design I carved.

Thanks to a quick shout-out on twitter and the kind responses of Sam and Jesse I saved an enormous amount of time by setting the ink in an unexpected way. I placed everything in the oven, completely wrapped up in a baking dish and aluminum paper, for 10 minutes vs ironing. Hooray, for time saving ideas!

8 comments:

  1. You get an A+ for resourceful cleverness!

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  2. These turned out great - I wouldn't worry about the too much paint, it tends to sink in with drying and washing. Hope you'll show photos of your tablecloth too!

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  3. These are great! I love that you are doing these craft projects with your children. It reminds me of my childhood with my grandma :)

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  4. Thanks for sharing this idea. We use cloth napkins and I am compiling summer projects for my boys!

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  5. I love these napkins. Lots of fun - especially the overlapping circles. And I am sure it makes setting the table extra special, when they can bring out their own creations.

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  6. Lovely! And thanks for the great heat setting tip - do you mind telling me at what temp you set the oven? Thanks! :)

    (you can reply via Twitter if you want - @neonfoxtongue)

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