Wednesday, June 29, 2022

How to "Un-Pickle" Youngsters' Brains -- with Stencils

Around now, moms of young ones are looking for summer fun projects for youngsters.  

If you're one of them, do you see electronic games as brain-pickling?  So you want to offer hands-on, creative alternatives?

Today's post is for you!  I did this project with young Bible school students and they loved it.  It's a way of creating homemade stamps.

Compressed cellulose sponges have an original width (while still compressed) of about 1/8 inch.  The ones I have measure roughly 3"X 4" but you may find them in a variety of sizes.

Above:  A stack of compressed sponges is on the lower right.  Other compressed sponges are spread across the work surface. Atop each compressed sponge is one of my 6" X 6" stencils -- Feathers s178, Cats s183 , Heron s175 and Osprey Wings s176.  I call this first step "auditioning" because I use it to see which stencil or stencils I want for this project.

Above:  Having narrowed my choise down to Cats s183, I placed the stencil over the compressed sponge and traced the outline with a dark Sharpie marker.

Above:  The tracing after the stencil has been lifted off.

Above:  The cat silhouette has been cut out with Joyce Chen scissors (any sharp-bladed scissors would have worked, but this part of the project is best done by moms, to avoid accidental cuts on young fingers.)  Note the leftover abstract shapes.  They will be saved for a future project.

Above:  I placed the cat silhouette into water, where it immediately swelled from 1/8-inch width to 1/2" width.  This is the part that really young kids love to watch.

Above:  Here's the cat-shaped sponge "stamp," pictured at an angle that shows its new depth.  Before using this stamp, allow it to dry.

Above:  The sponge stamp has been inked with a red, heavy-body acrylic paint, then used to stamp this image onto background paper that I'd previously printed using green acrylic paint and part of my 9" X 12" stencil Twinship L268.)

In its entirety, 
Twinship L268 looks like this--

Thank you, busy moms, for taking time to visit my blog today!  To scroll thru the pages of my stencils and masks at, please start here.  Enjoy this summer with your kids!

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