Last spring I was reading Lotta Jansdotter's blog and noticed this post on porcelain markers. I was intrigued, and I knew that during the month of August Lauren and I would have a house full of kids to entertain, so I so stopped by Pearl Paint and picked up a set of the markers. While there I also saw a similar set to be used on glass and got those too. You can buy the pens individually as well, which is great if you know exactly what you want to do...the pens are quite expensive, $59 for the set. Still, I was not deterred. My kids love to draw, as does Lila, and I felt pretty sure that they would enjoy the idea and possibly even produce some pretty things. The next stop was Ikea for the least expensive white dishes and glasses out there...it is pretty amazing how many things are sold in sets of six for under $10!
Since the pens were expensive, and because I wanted the finished products to work in the house, I decided to art direct, and to have the kids do these projects slowly. I asked them each to make a garden (or flower or tree) when working on the glasses. I thought that would look pretty on the open shelves in the kitchen and would work well mixed in with all of our mismatched vintage juice glasses too.
The bowls I bought are a good size for cereal, a staple in our house. I decided to let the kids have artistic freedom with them and they all did a pretty amazing job!
Since we were drawing around the outside of glasses and bowls I needed to help the kids get set up. We found that fitting a tupperware with a dishtowel made a nice bed for the dishes to sit in -- the towels helped stabilize everything. Also, when drawing on the glass, it was helpful to insert a white piece of paper inside so that you can really see what you are doing. Once you have drawn on the dishes you need to let them dry for 24 hours, and then you bake them to seal the paint. The sales person at Pearl Paint did say that he does not really recommend this for the center of plates where knives and forks are continually abrading the surface.
I think this would also be a great activity for a party, especially with elementary school age kids. The finished product can be the party favor too but you will have to deliver it after the party ends unless you are having a 24 hour affair!