lately, we have been dedicating fridays after school to at-home art projects. with one other family, we congregate and make art together. decorating our own pillows was one of our more successful projects (judging success by the engagement and interest that the kids took in the task, not on the outcome necessarily. sometimes these things work in tandem but, you know, it is not always the case.)
the fabric is actually made for this very purpose, it comes from Ikea…whimsical images are drawn in thick black lines on white fabric like a repeating page in a coloring book. what an awesome idea, right!
to make our pillows, I measured and cut the fabric to the size of an available pillow form adding one inch for seam allowance and enough fabric at the back to make a simple envelope closure. (the rule of thumb that I have heard for this is “cut 2 pieces with the same width but 75% of the length.”)
Then, I taped the fabric to the oilcloth tablecloth we use for art projects. I didn’t want the fabric to jostle around because that would only be frustrating for the little artists. then, I set a rainbow of sharpie markers out on the table (at the same time as I expressed the great, great, very important rule that they were NOT to leave the table! the gravity of my tone worked, the markers stayed put.)
the kids set to work in earnest, they really got into this one. especially C. the sharpies make for a nice, saturated color and the pictures are pretty interesting. in fact, both boys kept coming back to the this project through a whole weekend, they really wanted to get it right.
J was into this project but he also reached a point when he just really wanted to fill his in…he is big on that, every stone must be turned. but, his approach (and this is standard for him) is to proceed to ‘just get it done’. I actually find it adorable. I totally understand this instinct! I think the professionals would call it “fill it all in and call it a day”. when he reached that point, he just grabbed those sharpies and scribbled over anything that was lacking color. go, little man. work it, your style.
I like to think it came out very ‘abstract’. yes indeed.
C, on the other hand, got so into this project that he insisted I cut a piece of plain white fabric so he could do his own designs. he then proceeded to do just that. he drew his own images and then filled them in. he loved it.
I really admire that about kids, they aren’t self-conscious about creativity. they just keep going. I mean, look at this lovely picture of a man dreaming about peanuts!
of course this pillow needs a man dreaming about peanuts! who doesn’t dream about peanuts…next to an old-fashioned car and a factory? nothing beats that! nothing. my kids really are awesome.
oh, that was a dreamy tangent. back to business. when all the artwork was complete (and filled in) I made the simple pillows that are now a part of the vast array of pillows in the quiet nook in their room. visually, it has gotten pretty busy in the quiet nook but I can hardly protest as it’s my fault.
one quick little note: not to alarm anyone but the sharpie markers are pretty stinky. I tried to make sure that they weren’t using them for extended periods of time during this project…just in case.