My boys all attend school in the wonderful Camas School District in WA State. One of the fantastic programs I am blessed to volunteer in, is Art Discovery, led by two of the most amazingly talented women. They inspired me with a project we did a year ago, involving simple white glazed tiles and ink. The project was so simple, yet incredibly effective from kindergarten right through to fifth grade. Each child was able to create a colorful coaster up bring home.
Each one looked different. And each one was spectacularly beautiful. Watching the ink move across the tile is mesmerizingly therapeutic.
This stunning kaleidoscope of colors is achieved with just a few supplies. You'll need:
White glazed 4x4 tiles ($1 or less at hardware stores)
Isopropyl alcohol (available in grocery stores and pharmacies)
Spray varnish, like Krylon Crystal Clear
Clean the tile well with cotton wool soaked in isopropyl alcohol to remove oils and residues on the tiles. If you don't have any, ethyl alcohol or straight vodka (unflavored and without the cocktail ingredients!) will also do the job.
Allow the alcohol to evaporate, otherwise the ink will run. Although, you'll get some pretty interesting patterns this way too!
Apply the alcohol ink one drop at a time. To get concentric circles, add a drop of contrasting color straight into the center of a wet ink blot. You can try different techniques at this time, like blowing on the wet ink through a straw or spraying isopropyl alcohol onto it.
If you mess up, or the ink runs, just wipe it off with the alcohol. Even if it's dry, it'll come right off.
You can't go wrong. Every single tile created by the children in a class was uniquely lovely.
Once the tiles are completely set, about an hour, spray them with a sealant like Krylon Crystal Clear spray varnish. I tried Mod Podge too, but the finish of the Krylon was smoother and less tacky. Spray this varnish in a well-ventilated area, because it's pretty intense. Although Mod Podge will work too, is less odorous and seals well, if brushed on too vigorously, the paint designs will smudge.
This varnished finish will prevent the designs from getting damaged by spilled drinks.
As a finishing touch, add some felt circles to the bottom of your tiles, to prevent them from scratching your tables.
Have fun. It's an inexpensive, but incredibly therapeutic art form, which will suit everyone in the family.
Create. Enjoy. Repeat.
Three & Me