Tuesday, January 18, 2011

epsom salt paitning

(Lou eye update at the end)

Epsom salt painting is one of those projects that I managed to do with my students no matter what grade I was teaching.  6th graders like is as much as 6 year olds.  I love those kind of projects!  I used this project with my little preschoolers at the nature center last week.  I would have taken it to preschool too, but we had all these snow days.  We had a little bit of snow and missed a lot of school. 

Here's a finished one.  It's a frosty snowman.   Basically, you draw with white crayon on black paper.  It sort of defines the area and helps the paint stay in place.  Any winter scene will work.  I like doing a window since the dried salt looks like frost. Lou's is a snowman. 

After you draw, you paint in the area you want to be frosty.  You are painting with Epsom salt (found in the drug store in the old people remedy aisle) dissolved in water.  Take a small amount of water, like 1/2 cup ish and add too much epsom salt.  Add about 1/4 - 1/2 cup.  Stir and help it dissolve. Let the mix sit for a minute or two and then it's ready to paint.   Be generous with the 'paint' and don't 'scrub' with the brush or go over an area a bunch, the crystals look better with less brushing.

We call this a patient craft.  At first it looks like nothing is happening.  When the water mix dries, the salt crystalizes and a really neat frosty effect appears on the paper.  Construction paper works, but this time we used card stock and it worked really well.


I've found that occasionally I don't get enough Epsom salt mixed in and there are not a lot of crystals, it's just a salty film. If that happens, remix with a heavier saturation of salt and repaint right on top.  That should help.   

I think you can grow Epsom salt crystals in a jar but it's been a long time since I've read about that. That would make a neat addition to this project, especially to help show big kids how this works. 

Lou update:  We have good news.  Yesterday (Monday) afternoon, Lou opened the good eye  a tiny bit and flickered it a bit.  He started yelling, "I can see, I can see my carpet!"   He had it open about 1/4 of the way and  If we held things right up to his face he could see them through the little slit.   What a good sign!

Linking up to some of these fine link parties:


grandma said...

What wonderful news. I am expecting more prayers answered and more good news. I got up at 4 this morning thinking of this. I will add it to my bible study concerns tonight and several will be praying for all of you this week.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love the effect of the epsom salt on the black paper.

Rachelle said...

It's fun to do this during my snow unit in 1st grade! The kiddos think it is magic! :)


RedTedArt said...

What a great idea and doesn't the effect look wonderful?

I would LOVE for you to join us at Kids Get Crafty (every Wednesday on Red Ted Art) - current link up http://www.redtedart.com/2011/01/19/kids-get-crafty-penguins-boys-umbrellas-card-board-boxes/
Hope to see you there!


RedTedArt said...

(thank you :-)

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