Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hand-Painted Dessert Plates

October is here, so of course that means December might as well be here. The holiday season seems to go faster than any other time of the year. Rather than fight that fact, I've learned to embrace it and enjoy each and every minute of it. I start holiday gift planning earlier than I used to in order to enjoy the season and not spend December focused on who's got the best deals in town. For us, this Christmas will be focused less on store-bought gifts and more on meaningful treasures.

Speaking of meaningful treasures...check out this gift idea, which I think will be perfect for grandparent gifts (sorry to ruin the surprise Nana and Grammy!).

If you recall my post about the Fred plates and wanting to make personalized plates for my kids and nephew, this started me looking for glass plates (which turns out are hard to find!) and finding a pen or paint that would adhere to them after washing (also hard to find!) Here's what I came up with:

What's needed:
- glass plates (I looked online and found Martha Stewart's dessert-sized ones which I picked up at our local Kmart. I've since searched online and can't find them again. Let me know if you have seen something similar.)
- "Enamels" paint from craft store. I never knew this type of paint existed. After paint is dry, you bake the glassware for 30 minutes.
- Paint brushes
- Creative kids

My 5 year old picked out this gorgeous color palette: Magenta, Baby Pink, and Violet Pansy. Whether your child picks it out or you do, I'd recommend limiting the paints to two or three which simplifies the process for them as well as the clean up for you.

Each child painted (important: the backside of the plate. The enamel is not food safe.) and created her own masterpiece without any interference from me and an unexpected (and quite beautiful) result occurred:

My 1 year old's creation looked like this:

My 5 year old's creation looked like this:

Watch what happens when I put them together:

If you need any proof that children's art is best left to THEM, here it is!

Of course, the next time we try this we'll have varying results I'm sure, but I'm looking forward to seeing the dessert plates they create for their grandmother's this holiday. I plan to package them as sets of 4 (2 from each child).

An aside: I'd recommend hand washing the finished, baked plate. Our high heat dishwasher did melt some of the paint off. Do a test run.

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