When I was in junior high, I volunteered for a period in a second grade class at the adjacent elementary school. One day, the teacher had set up a beautiful stationery making station for the kids using powdered chalk, water and computer paper to make colorful swirled designs.
In my research of Bangladeshi arts and crafts, I came across a very similar looking type of paper design. I’m not sure if this teacher had gotten her inspiration from Bangladesh, but I’m excited to be able to teach this fun craft to my kids after years of making it with others.
While I’ve been making this paper for a long time, I’ve never found an “easy” way to powder chalk. I debated putting it in my food processor, but don’t really want to contaminate it. Plus, the kids don’t mind a little hammering. So, we first separated the colored chalk into freezer bags (sandwich bags are a little too thin). Using a hammer, we gently broke the chalk up into small pieces, eventually creating a powder. (This is really the hardest part of this craft).
Once all the chalk had been powdered, the fun began. After transferring the powdered chalk to small tupperware bowls, we filled a large rectangular tupperware container with water and each child chose a few colors to sprinkle onto the top. (Note: if the chalk pieces are too large, they will sink, so make sure they are well powdered). As we were about to sprinkle the colors with our fingers, Tallinn put the lid on one of the tupperwares- it was actually a bug container-and started sprinkling from that. I remembered that I had just bought some parmesan shakers at Michaels for another project at Michaels. They were only $1 each and were PERFECT for this craft. So, instead of sprinkling with our fingers we used the shakers to create our masterpieces. Then, taking a sheet of computer paper, we gently set the paper onto the surface of the water. Voila! Instant Bangladeshi Paper!
Now, we have stationery for a month! Actually the kids said they’d like to write some letters and I’m thinking we should find someone in Bangladesh to write to.
In the meantime, we’ve got a rickshaw to finish.
I’m linking this to se7en’s fabulous friday fun: http://www.se7en.org.za/2010/05/15/se7ens-fabulous-friday-fun-19-link-up?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+org%2Fse7en+%28The+se7en+hoods%29