Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pirate/Fairy maps, yarrrr!

Blue is a huge fan of drawing up maps for our adventures.  There are no treasure chests on her map, oh no. Our goal is to get across all of the obstacles she puts in our way -  from stinky rivers to ogre dens or crocodile piles.  The maps come with us and she consults them regularly to make sure we are on track to... whatever our adventure may be.

So for Christmas, the girls got maps in their stockings. I was torn between having this be a craft project to work on with Blue, allowing her to create a more permanent map, or offering one as a surprise gift. I wound up making these on my own but will definitely be making some more with her :) After deciding I would make them more permanent maps, I looked around online and found a ton of great suggestions on how to go about it!  People have made all sorts of cool pirate maps - from brown paper grocery bags that to paper to cotton or canvas. 

Here is what we did:

Canvas material. I just used an old Trader Joe's reusable grocery bag that I cut up
5 tea bags
Permanent marker
Paints - either fabric or acrylic. I used both.

Step 1. Cut up the canvas material to be whatever size/shape you want. Since I used an old grocery bag, I handwashed it with a bit of dishsoap.

Step 2.  Bring some water to a boil, add the tea bags and canvas. Let it boil for about 5 minutes. I didn't measure the water, but you essentially want enough water that will cover the canvas in the pot without diluting the tea too much. I used 5 oolong teabags because I wanted a bit of a darker tea stain (and we apparently don't have black tea)

Step 3.  Remove pot from stove and carefully pour out the tea water, fill pot with cold water so the canvas cools off. Once the canvas is cool, run it under cold water until the water runs clear

Step 4. If the canvas isn't already squished, squish it up a bit :) Then lay it out flat to dry (don't smooth it)

Step 5. Once the canvas is dry, use the permanent marker to draw your map.

Step 6. Using fabric or acrylic paints, paint in where you want details. I watered my acrylic paints down a bit so that lines were still visible. I wanted to use watercolors for a more watery look but am not sure how they'd come out on the canvas

Step 7. Let dry :)

The edges of my canvas aren't finished or seamed or anything else except for the edges that already existed on the bag. They're unraveling a bit. I think that adds to the charm, but if they unravel too much I may just put a bit of fray stop spray or glue on it. 

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