Fabric paint, homemade or spray, keeps popping up and getting my notice. Blog posts, Pinterest feed, etc. So I thought, let's dress up that old, faded tablecloth. And what a great project to do with my five-year-old.
Now, I've gone into projects like this with my daughter, and they can end badly. I have an inner vision, and she has her impulsive preschool methods, and the two don't mesh well. I take control of the project, she loses interest, and my anxiety over the mess we are making causes me to become sharp and impatient.
Well, I was committed to this being a good experience. I did insist on mixing the paint, and I chose the pattern (a star stencil I made from of a cereal box). But then, after I modeled the technique, I willingly took turns. We each got to choose the placement for our star and got to do the dipping and painting without help. It wasn't easy for this controlling mama, let me tell you. But I kept my comments and questions to myself:
"Why are you placing your stars so close together?"And here's the funny thing, my stars were far messier, and I definitely dripped my share of paint. But we didn't mind. We said those were extra tiny stars. I assured her I could get the paint off the porch. And we had a great time. When she got bored, I got to add a few more stars to even out the pattern while she was inside washing her hands.
"Oh no! You dripped paint on the tablecloth/porch!"
"If you use that much paint, it will ooze under the stencil."
And when I discovered the paint that had leaked through onto the porch (in addition to the splatters we made and the paint tracked into the house), I kept (somewhat) cool, and only snapped replies or instructions once or twice while cleaning up.
In the end, I think what we made is a masterpiece. Admittedly, I was going more for a starry night look than a patriotic one, but half of those stars are her genuine work with no help from me. We'll be proud to eat on this tablecloth.