If you have ever wanted to do a painting project with your child but just couldn’t bring yourself to do it for fear of the mess, this is the project for you! No paint required, just water, a paintbrush, and some “magic cloth.”
I am familiar with a product called “Buddha Boards,” which uses plain old water as the medium. These boards consist of paper or cloth glued onto a hard surface. The cloth turns black when water is applied, and as the water evaporates, the board turns white again. They can be used over and over. While I think they are cool, I also think that at about $35 a pop, they are way to expensive to buy. Enter MAGIC CLOTH!! I can’t remember how I found it (most likely some prolonged Google search), but basically the cloth is the evaporative substance without the hard substrate.
I found the cloth for sale online at a Chinese calligraphy supply site. It was about $10.00 plus shipping for a relatively large piece. (about 14″x16″…in yardage this makes it super expensive, but since the Buddha Boards are about 8″x10″ I thought it was a good deal. I would like to find the cloth for sale by the bolt…it’s got to exist somewhere. How fun would a giant wall of this stuff be!?)
Anyway, I needed to make this cloth rigid for Little O to play around with, so I just used some spray adhesive on foam core and stuck the cloth down. With a very sharp X-acto knife I trimmed off the edges and had a great finished product! I can even peel the cloth off and re-stick it to another surface if the foam core ever gets destroyed, and I’m guessing that since this is Little O’s toy, it certainly will get destroyed at some point.
Little O took to it right away. He had a blast dipping his paintbrush in water, “painting” the surface with the brush, his fingers, and even his tongue. As you can see, I was perfectly happy letting him “paint” with no drop-cloth on the carpet in the playroom.
This series of photos shows you how the cloth looks as the water is evaporating. I think this series was taken over 5 minutes. In the last picture, the two new blobs are Little O’s tongue marks. He couldn’t resist adding some new flair to the painting as things started to disappear.
We had fun, but honestly if Little O keeps painting like this, I’m going to have to give him some oils and start putting the results up on the wall!