Ever enter a classroom and see 20 crafts or pieces of art that look almost identical to each other? Aww… cute… Yes, crafts are cute, and I enjoy them, but then one of my Teaching Professors at uni introduced me to the world of process art. Process art blows my mind away! It’s open ended, you explore, you plan, you create.

Christie from Childhood101 has written a brilliant book, Time To Create. When I first read through it, I was floored! It is all about process art and is choc-a-bloc full of inspiring ways to explore and create with children. Hands on heart, it’s one of the best resources I have as a parent and teacher.

I’m thrilled to bits to be part of the Time to Create blog tour. To give us a sneak preview of what we can expect in the book, Christie has kindly written a guest post for us, sharing 4 fabric art ideas for kids. I am sure you’ll love these ideas and her book. Enjoy!

Time to Create | 4 Fabric Art Ideas for Kids

Sometimes we may feel stuck in a rut when it comes to offering art materials to our children, offering the same media in the same ways over and over again. In writing Time to Create I hoped to provide parents and educators with a collection of ideas that would act as a springboard to creativity for young children – there are literally hundreds of ways to combine the art processes and material suggestions found throughout the book. One suggestion I make for those feeling stuck is to mix things up a little – try a new surface or texture to work with, change the colour selection, go BIG or go small with your art making canvas. One way I love to mix things up is to offer children fabric as a surface to work upon as an alternative to paper or cardboard. Many of the same techniques that can be used with paper can be applied to fabric, and the results can be interesting, engaging, even startling!

Here are four fabric art suggestions to get you started…

1. Fabric dyeing
Create your very own unique fabric design by dyeing it with food colouring or liquid watercolours. In the image above my 5 year old had a great time dripping the colour onto the fabric with an eye dropper (pipette).

Tips: Choose a pre-washed cotton fabric and lightly spray the fabric with water before you begin.

Time to Create | Fabric collage

2. Textile collage
Pre-cut fabric shapes, lengths of wool and ribbon, buttons, sequins and other sewing notions are the perfect materials for creating a collage.

Tips: Use a stretched canvas or heavy card as the base for your creation and white craft glue for maximum stickability! Add scissors for older children.

3. Drawing and painting onto fabric
Time to Create | Fabric drawing

Tape your fabric down onto a piece of stiff cardboard to hold it in place and draw directly onto the fabric with permanent markers. Add splashes of colour by painting your drawing with food colouring, liquid watercolours or diluted child friendly acrylic paints (diluted 1:1 with water).

Tips: Should your drawn, painted or dyed artwork be intended to form part of an item that will be regularly laundered (for example, a piece of clothing), then commercially produced fabric dye, markers and/or paint will provide the best result in the long term. Non-washable acrylic paints and regular permanent marker pens (like Sharpies) will remain fairly permanent if ironed with a hot iron before washing, but they will fade more readily.

Time to Create | Fabric painting

4. Hand sewing
Time to Create | Fabric sewing

Adding embellishments to a fabric drawing or painting can really make an artwork pop! Depending upon the theme of your creation buttons, sequins, beads, small sea shells, even metal nuts and washers can be used to interesting effect.

Tips: Use an embroidery hoop to hold the fabric steady and a blunt nosed metal needle. Start beginning sewers off with an open weave fabric like hessian/burlap. Tying the embroidery thread to the needle with a simple slip knot can save lots of frustration.

Time to Create | Fabric sewing fairy

Time to Create includes a section dedicated to the use of textiles for art making, including a detailed process and lots of advice for introducing hand stitching to young children.

In what ways have you used fabric when creating with children?

Time to Create: Hands On Explorations in Process Art for Young Children is now available internationally through all major online booksellers, including The Book Depository, Amazon, Fishpond and Barnes & Noble.

Want to know more about Time to Create? Keep an eye on the following blogs for upcoming stops along the international blog tour…

Picklebums . An Everyday Story . Learn With Play At Home . Octavia & Vicky . Sesame Ellis . Nurturestore . Simple Kids . Our Everyday Things . Rainbows Within Reach . Teach Preschool . At Home With Ali . Go Explore Nature . Not Just Cute . Lessons Learnt Journal . PreK+K Sharing . The Imagination Tree

Christie Burnett is an early childhood teacher, presenter, writer and the editor of Childhood 101. More importantly, she is a Mum who believes wholeheartedly in the value of children learning through play, the importance of quality early education, and the togetherness of family. Read more of Christie’s adventures at http://childhood101.com.

About the author

Pauline Pauline & Lessons Learnt Journal is all about life with kids. Pauline is a Christian, Wife, Mother of 4, Primary School Teacher. She is a play-based learning advocate; believes in encouraging children to be independent and autonomous learners; and values an attitude of care and attention, curiosity and wonder. On Lessons Learnt Journal you'll find activities for children: play, maths games, writing, reading as well as parenting confessions. When not blogging, she may be found virtually hoarding on Pinterest, trying to decide which Instagram filter to apply, or compulsively refreshing her Facebook feed. Most days you'll find her chasing her kids and that much needed nap.