Friday, May 8, 2015

Mother's Day Craft: Make a Watercolor Mug

Joe and I have been teaching third-graders in Bible class on Sunday morning, and they are absolutely precious! I wanted to plan an easy Mother's Day craft for our group and loved this idea I found on Pinterest.

Watercolor Mug Classroom Craft

White mugs
Disposable table covering
Paper towels
Post-It Note
Nail polish remover
Disposable bowl
Warm Water
Disposable bowl
Warm Water
Bright nail polish
Clear top-coat nail polish

1. Collect mugs. You will need a mug for each child, and it is always helpful to have a few extra on hand. I ordered a case of two dozen from this link at Dollar Tree for our Sunday-morning Bible class of third-graders. With visitors also participating in the craft, we used most of our mugs. A few did not turn out on the first try, so although the kids could wash off their original mugs, it was helpful to have a few extras on hand. For a smaller class, getting a case might still be an economical choice because you can plan to make a different mug craft for Father's Day.

2. Set aside time. To be sure we caught any kids who were sick or out of town before Mother's Day weekend, we worked on these the two Sundays before. We had excellent attendance two weeks ago, so we divided the class into girls and boys. Carson was in class with me that morning, as Joe stayed home with a sick Emma, so he taught our lesson with one group while I made the craft with the other.

3. Set up a crafting station. We have round tables in our classroom, so I set up one for our project area. If you can do this in a ventilated area, that would be advisable, as the fumes from the nail polish get pretty strong. (This seemed to bother our boys more than the girls!) To protect clothing and classroom surfaces, cover the table with a disposable tablecloth. Set a paper paper towel, mug and Post-It Note at each place. Remove any labels from mugs. Have a bottle of nail-polish remover on hand. Two aprons will be helpful to protect clothing -- one for the teacher and another to drape over the children's clothing when each takes a turn in the crafting chair. Fill a disposable bowl (one that will not be used for food after this project) with warm water. Position a box of toothpicks and extra paper towels within easy reach. You will need bottles of nail polish -- varieties that are not quick drying. The colors need to be dark or bright; we used Essie colors Mod Square and Play Date.

4. Craft mugs. Drizzle a little nail polish onto the surface of the water, and dip and remove the first mug, careful not to get polish on the rim. Work very quickly, as the polish dries very quickly. If the results are pleasing, invert the mug onto a paper towel to dry and label the piece with the child's name with a Post-In Note. If the first attempt at dipping did not leave a smooth watercolor design, quickly wipe away the polish with a paper towel. If this does not work, use nail polish remover or soap and water. If a little paint stays on the mug, this will not affect the final outcome. Use a toothpick to remove polish from the surface of the water before dipping the next mug. The kids loved taking turns to do this, as the polish quickly dries to a film over the water -- a fascinating reaction! Repeat this process with remaining mugs. Once the designs are dry (we waited from one week to the next but a few hours should be sufficient), lightly brush a clear top coat of polish over the watercolor design. Allow this to dry completely before giving as a gift.

5. Handle with care. Watercolor mugs are not microwave safe and should be hand washed gently.

In our third-grade class, we can't wait to surprise our sweet mothers with a handmade gift that will remind them that we love them a latte!

Wishing you a blessed weekend celebrating the influence of the women who nurture us -- mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, teachers, friends, co-workers and neighbors. Happy Mother's Day!

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