Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Thanks to Phyl at There's a Dragon in my Art room. http://plbrown.blogspot.com. She gave me the great idea of using Batik to explore shapes and color with my fifth grade students. The best secret is the recipe!  No messy, scary waxes...it's TOOTHPASTE and LOTION! Seriously who would have thought? 

I have seven sections of fifth grade students (about 200 kiddos). I purchased 10 yards of muslin at Joanns (with coupon) and 5 bottles of the cheap dollar store aloe vera lotion along with at least 40 tubes of white toothpaste.  The dollar store employees think I take my dental hygiene to a crazy level.I used old ketchup containers to mix the recipe half and half. Shake well.  

The students studied shapes, overlapping, composition and using rulers and cardboard came up with a nice geometric composition on paper.  Miro, Stuart Davis, Mondrian would be good exemplars to use. The paper was taped to a piece of cardboard then a small piece of muslin wrapped around the cardboard, kinda like a present. The students can see through the fabric to their design. It's a good idea to use a sharpy on their paper design to make seeing the design through the fabric easier. 

The students then squeeze out the lotion/toothpaste mix on their lines and let it dry for 24 hours. NOTE. dry flat or the mix may run and drip. When it's dry the students can paint right on the fabric, over the lines. KEY you MUST use good quality tempera paint!!! I used Crayolas Premier paint. If you try regular tempera it will just wash off.  When the paint is dry the student washes off the toothpaste recipe.  This part is still developing, I found if you wet the work and let the water do its magic on the toothpaste and then rub, it comes off easier. Students may get a little zealous and then wash off too much paint.  

I love the idea of doing this in the late spring to keep the upper el focused and it helps make the room smell great for weeks! 
Thanks Phyl!