Sunday, October 10, 2010

Silk Painting For Kids

During the Summer, our seven year old granddaughter and five year old grandson stayed with us for two weeks. One of the activities I planned for them, was letting them paint on silk.
(Just like I did with our older granddaughters, when they were that age.)

I did all the prep-work.
Then I covered them in plastic bags and gloves - in the name of safety.
For skin and clothing alike.

I stretched a silk-chiffon scarf and they dove right in!
(I love the concentration. :)

This one is for their step-mom.

It's almost finished! How exciting!!

This one is for their mom.
(More concentration.)

She wanted to do one by herself.


Then he wanted to do one by himself. Of course.

I taught them how to hold the brush correctly.
At first, they were both pushing so hard,
the bristles looked like my hair in the morning!

Lookin' good.


She wanted to do another one!

How could I say, "No"?

Yup, him too. Of course.
He wanted to do this one for his sister and wouldn't let her peek!

Do you know how hard that is for a seven year old?!
She curled-up in a chair and covered her eyes, for most of the time.

Finally - he's done!! And she gets to see it!


"Do you like it?"


"Thank you SO much! You're the best brother EVER!"

"I love you! I love you!"
"Stop now. Please."

Afterwards, he felt the need to lie down.
(Who does this remind me of??)

These are the scarves she painted by herself.

And these are the scarves he painted by himself.
I like how, even at that age, they have their own cute style.

Here are the scarves they painted together.

They were rolled in newsprint for steaming.

Taped good and tight.

And put in the stove-top steamer, where they steamed for three hours.
(The stove wasn't on yet, so nothing was hot.)

After the roll had cooled down, it was unwrapped.

Oh, I know who he reminds me of now!!
His father, when he was a little screamin' brat!!
This one is pretending. His father was not.

Washing the scarves until the water was clear.
They were hung to dry and then I ironed them.
(The scarves, not the kids.)

And here they are!!

(I can't even tell you how crazy it makes me, that, try as I might,
I can't figure out why the typeface is now blue - or how to fix it!! What the hey?!!
I won't obsess! I won't obsess!! I won't obsess!!!)

They had SO much fun and I think they did a great job, especially for their ages.
They were really proud of themselves - and I'm a big fan of that!!




Wearing the scarf her brother painted.
This girl loves to accessorize!

Him too.

"My goodness, the children have only been out of school for six weeks.
Time flies when you're under sedation, doesn't it?"
- Erma Bombeck

For more about silk painting:

Blue typeface?! Come on! Really?
I will not obsess... I will not obsess... I will not obsess.

There are SO many things to love!
I love "Followers" and comments too!
(Thank you!)

Signing off for now,


  1. Awesome job the kids did. Love the baggy cover ups but mostly loved the barely tolerated hug and kiss from sis. Adorable.
    You and the kids can be proud. What a cool grandma you are.

  2. The scarves are truly beautiful. Kids can be so competent when you give them a chance and give good directions. Thanks for posting the references since I'd like to try this with my grandchildren.

  3. They are both so adorable! And the scarves are just lovely :)

  4. mary,
    I can't wait till my grandchildren are old enough to paint. They have made their own tie dye t shirts. they were 2 and 4. the boy, 2, really did concentrate. I love your kids and their painting. what a great grandma you are.
    Mary Lazar in VA

  5. What fun!! They will remember that day forever!

  6. Oh wow! What a lovely blog! Glad to find you. Your grandchildren are really beautiful and so is their silk painting. I dabbled myself for quite a number of years..... before knitting took over! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a kind comment. It's always great to make new 'friends'. Ros

  7. It's amazing how the love just flows out of kids right onto the silk!! I love to do feltmaking with little ones too.

  8. This is just the most delightful and exciting post. Thanks for letting us in on the whole adventure! You have two very beautiful and talented grandchildren and if either one turns out to pursue art as an adult you will know where it began. What a wonderful gift you gave them!

  9. Patti,
    That's one of my favorite pictures too.
    Love that one eyeball of his peeking out like "Help me".
    Thanks for the compliments!

    Let me know when you do that! I'd love to see pictures!
    Thanks for the compliment!

    Thanks for the compliments!
    And for stopping by!

    Thank you all for visiting and for taking the time to leave comments!
    They're much appreciated!

  10. Oh my goodness..... How cute!
    I love all your pictures!
    Thank you so much for sharing!
    And, please pass on the word...the artwork is just wonderful!

  11. I so enjoyed reading this post. Your grandchildren are adorable and you did a great job! You have also given me hope, as I am planning to do my first silk painting soon and you made it look like so much fun! Thanks.

  12. What a great photos. It is easy to see how much fun the children were having.

  13. Hi Gabrielle~ Well, you called and you knew I'd come...even if it is the only blog I visit tonight! lol We are on the road in the UP of Michigan and in a lovely place-nothing like The Bates Hotel!

    Those scarves are beautiful but not nearly as beautiful as the children that made them. Aren't they just adorable? I love those ages, too, when they will bloom with creativity if we allow them to "mess". I like a "mess" when it is promoting growth and stretching one's wings. Those scarves are absolutely stunning..they are keepsakes to be worn proudly and kept forever. You are a good gramma-but you already know that! xxoo Diana

  14. Hey Missy Gabriele!
    What an explosion of fun, color and adorable kids! They are really into what they are doing and loving it. Their scarves are amazing and I think it says a lot when they are making these beautiful scarves mostly for gifts. That's total coolness.

    And what a precious gift you give to them ... TIME to let them free their creative spirits. These moments will live in their minds forever!

    Love this post!
    hugs, luny xoxo

  15. Thank you ALL for your great comments and compliments!
    And for taking the time to write them!!
    I appreciate each and every one of them!
    I'll be visiting you all on your blogs too!

  16. Adorable! I enjoyed seeing the entire process & loved how they were so focused even with a tongue hanging out!! They looked like they had a great day and you made me smile, thanks for sharing!!

  17. They are adorable! What a great afternoon of love you gave your grandchildren; great pictures; thank you!

  18. ADORABLE!!! your grandkids are beautiful and so very blessed to have such an angel of a grandmother!

  19. I love this! What a fun day with beautiful creations to share and showoff! they will certainly remember that day fondly. One of my faves is the one of your granddaughter when she sees the scarf her brother made for her. Nothing but pure joy!

  20. This has got to be one of the best posts I've seen in a long time! I LOVE IT! The kids are absolutely darling and they did such an amazing job! You should be proud - they rock! Thanks for posting - especially with all the photos - and even with the blue font. They grow so quick - I wish I had taken more pics of my kids in their creative groove...and you can't get those back. I just love your post! xx

  21. what a wonderful activity to do with your grandkids and their creativity is just beautiful, children take to art so easily...the scarves turned out awesome...i wish i could do that...hugs...christen

  22. What a wonderful post ... so full of love and fun. Your grandchildren are gorgeous and oh so talented! I am sure they will always remember playing with the silk paints

    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a lovely comment on mine :o)


  23. I would like to thank each and every one of you for your wonderful, kind words - and many compliments!!
    They are VERY much appreciated!!

  24. My, my, you and they are having so much fun here!

  25. They are so adorable!!! :))) i love the scarves!! That is a lot of work for a scarf! They are so funny with the poses and the sleaping thing again ;)



  26. what a wonderful activity and one that they now will physically hold the memory of forever....great job grandma!

  27. Wow!! The scarves, the pics AND the kids ~ all beautiful!!!

  28. How lucky they are to have grandparents who create activities that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

    I was blessed with grandparents who were just like you, so focused on their grandchildren and on spending quality time with them. I couldn't stop smiling throughout this incredibly inspiring montage. Lovely.

  29. Wow...that was fun! Thanks for sharing!

  30. Hi Gabriele, I am new to your blog and just devoured this post. I am so in love with these scarves, the creativity of your grandchildren and how fun you are to let them go wild! Amazing:)

  31. Oh, you are a wonderful grandmother... the kids will remember this fun for the rest of their lives. I have been to the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach and I loved the handpainted silk scarves there.

  32. What a wonderful project to do with your grandchildren. I'm opening my own preschool this fall and would like to make a wall hanging with the kids using this method (with supervision, of course). What kind of paint do you use? Is steaming a necessary part of the process (is there a way to do it without a steamer)? Where do you buy plain scarves (my talents are limited and I cannot finish a piece of silk). Thank you for passing on creativity to the next generation!

  33. Jen, I buy all my things from Dharma Trading Company.
    Here is their link.
    They'll have all the info you need.
    Many different paints that don't need steaming.
    Good luck with your new preschool!! That's awesome!!!!