Wooden butter knives and cloth napkins are nice to have when you’re putting together a picnic, but let’s be real. Without plates and cups, your spread will be limited. This project is a great way for kids 4 years old and up to decorate and customize clear acrylic, plastic or glass plates, cups and pitchers for a snazzy set of picnic dinnerware.Materials:
Optional: (For National Picnic Month inspiration!)
Wooden butter knives
Stitch-trimmed cloth napkins
With warm water and soap, wash and dry all of the plates, cups and pitchers you plan on decorating. Gather your scissors, Washi tape, paper plate, paints and sponge brushes. Washi tape is decorative tape that can be found in almost every arts and crafts supply store. It’s not super tacky, so you can stick and re-stick it in place without leaving a gummy trail.
Cut strips of Washi tape and create geometric shapes; we chose triangles of different sizes around the outside, lower half of your cups and pitcher. Decorating the lower exterior of your pitcher and cups is an easy way to keep paint away from the areas that will make contact with your mouth.
Once you have taped on a design, sponge the acrylic paint in your preferred color palette inside the lines of your stencils.
Lightly dabbing paint in two or three coats will look much better than one coat of thick, wet paint as seen in the gold triangle above. Light coats dry quickly and there is less risk of painting outside the stencil lines, or of paint seeping under the tape, when you paint carefully and with a soft touch.
When you paint your plates, you should tape and paint on the back side of them so that the designs show through the clear plates, but won’t scrape off while you eat.
Allow the paint layers to dry completely. Then, carefully peel off the tape stencils.Scrape off any paint that seeped under the stencil with your fingernail. Then, use window cleaner to remove any smudges on your pitcher, cups and plates.Make a border around your painted geometric pattern with two long strips of Washi tape. Then sponge a light coat of outdoor Mod Podge over the painted patterns. Outdoor Mod Podge will seal the paint, is waterproof and dries clear, but when sponged on, it creates a really fun faux-etched look.Allow the Mod Podge to dry, then paint a second coat. Use window cleaner wipes to mop up any drips or brush strokes that extend beyond the tape border. Let the Mod Podge cure for 72 hours.When all of the plates, cups and the pitcher have dried, peel off the border tape and admire your work.Wash your new picnic set in warm, soapy water before using — avoid the dishwasher to prolong the life of your designs.Having a custom set of dinnerware that is designated for picnics and meals on-the-go is a great way to stay organized and be ready for spontaneous summer fun.Hope you are enjoying these National Picnic Month projects. Stay tuned for next week’s final project.
All photos by: Megan Andersen