Friday, August 7, 2009

Painting With Soap Suds

A few days ago, I was skimming through an old Childcraft "Make and Do" volume, that has been sitting on our bookshelf for years. It's last revision was in 1967, and yet most of the craft ideas it contains, are still being done by children today. It lists a number of familar concepts, like cardboard castles, string dolls, and paper baskets.

One idea, was new to me though - soap suds paint, made by combining liquid starch with laundry detergent, and coloring. I set out to the grocery store in search of liquid starch, hoping it was an inexpensive item, and not a novelty. Unfortunately, no one in town seemed to carry it, or had even heard of such a thing.

I decided to give cornstarch a try, instead. After a little bit of trial, and error, I hit on a mixture I was pleased with. I used 2 tablespoons of dry cornstarch, and one cap full of liquid laundry detergent.

I beat the mixture with a handheld mixer, on high, for about five minutes, until it looked about like marshmallow cream.

Then, I divided it into bowls, mixed a few drops of food coloring into each bowl, and let the kids go to work.
When first applied, the paint was very foamy, and wet. Since it was so soggy, I had the kids paint on cereal box cardboard.

As, it dried it lost most of it's puffiness, but retained a delicate, bubbly texture.

It was almost as much fun watching the pictures transform, as they dried, as it was painting them. And, because it was mixed with soap, the cleanup was a snap (aside from the huge amount of bubbles, that were created when I rinsed out the dishes, and that the children felt compelled to blow all over the kitchen - okay, okay - the children, and I).

It's great to be a homeschooler.

8 comments: said...

This is such a fun idea, I love the bubbly look. I'll be linking.

Crafty Mom said...

I've got a bottle of liquid starch. I bought it because some of Mary Ann Kohl's projects call for it. I found it in the laundry aisle at the grocery store (it's starch used to add stiffnes to clothes when ironing). It was only a few dollars for a half gallon bottle.

Cool project!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Crafty Mom - If you try the paint with actual liquid starch, please let me know how it turns out. Our grocery stores only had spray starch.

Anonymous said...

I was on-line searching for this exact project and google lead me to your blog. Can you please send me or post the measurements of liquid starch, laundry detergent, and paint/food coloring that Make and Do suggests. Thank you so much.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

The World Book suggestions are 1/2 cup of dry detergent, or a capful of liquid detergent to 2 tablespoons of liquid starch. Beat to a marshmallow frosting texture. Divide into three or four bowls, and add a few drops of color to each bowl. This is enough for 3 or 4 pictures.

Hope that helps!

Amy A @ Child Central Station said...

We can find liquid starch around here too Stay Flo is the brand name. I don't think I've found it at the grocery store, but at most of the big box stores they have it... (Walmart, Shopko, Target, etc) Very cool idea, We will have to try it out!

Jodi said...

You can also try an art supply catalog for Sta-Flo.

CThomas said...

I've was ready to try this with my grandson from my Make & Do book and wondered what to use for liquid starch. Thanks for the post!