Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Learning all the Time

I have been itching to replace a few of our playsilks. Some of them we have had for years, and they are showing their wear. They are used almost daily for capes, doll blankets, tents, rivers, and whatever else you can imagine. I purchased some silks online before our trip. With a little inspiration from online friends and instructions provided here, we decided to add glue batiking to our kool aide dyeing mix.

We started last week by drawing our images on the silks. I taped their canvases to cardboard, but I foolishly forgot to sandwich wax paper between the layers.

After they finished drawing with pencil, they used glue to trace their drawings. I did not have the two glues recommended, Elmer's Washable School Gel Glue or Elmer's Galactic Glue, so we used regular white glue. This didn't work so well. The glue came out thicker than desired and had a tendency to run. We forged ahead despite a friend's suggestion to wash the silks and start over.
Once the glue dried I noticed the silk was stuck to the cardboard. I remembered the wax paper layer, but decided I should be able to get them apart easily. I diluted acrylic paint with water for painting the silks.
 Aine set to work on her creation (Eamon prefers his unpainted). 
She painted the entire silk, and we set it outside to dry.
Once dry I attempted to pull it from the cardboard. I soaked the silk to remove the cardboard that had adhered to it as well as the glue. I hung it to dry. 

Throughout this project, I learned many lessons. First, silk tears very easily. Second, heed instructions when provided and don't forget the wax paper. And third, blue glue may have been worth the trip to the store to find. I ripped her silk when removing it from the cardboard. Not only did I rip it, I tore a hole in the middle. Aine was nonplussed about the ordeal. We decided we would buy better glue and utilize a better support system. 


  1. what an experience! I tend to go the "easy" (aka lazy) route sometimes and then regret it...

  2. Did you order the silks from Dharma? Blank silks would make a cool gift...

  3. @ECW74
    Yes, they came from Dharma. A gift for a soon to be 6yr old perhaps?

  4. @Janis MK
    Sometimes I think if we don't just try it will never happen as we spend all our time tracking down supplies.

  5. Oh, man! Bummer!

    Sure is a darling design, though! I want to try this, too.