Friday, June 29, 2012

Bleaching Skulls -or- We Make Party Favors!

My son has the audacity to turn 10 years old tomorrow.  TEN!  That is an entire decade since I gave birth to him, people, and I do not like the implications.  On the one hand, I've kept him alive all this time.  He's thrived, even.  On the other hand I am not all young and bouncy like I once was.  Instead, I am the mother of a tween.  He is almost as tall as I am, keeps his door closed a lot, is prone to moods, and has started to wear deodorant.  It is shocking.
That's my kid, the punk.
What this also means is that party planning has taken on some new twists.  Gone are the days of dinosaur excavations in the sandbox and Bob the Builder collective shouts of "YES, WE CAN!"  No, these days we play laser tag with a group of our best buds.  When asked what sort of party favor he'd like, I was told skull bandanas.

 Macabre?  Sure.  But my compulsively crafty brain immediately started spinning, and I concocted a plan to make our own bandanas with skulls bleached into them.

And guess what?  It WORKED!  Added bonuses: it was a fun activity to do with the kids, no one bleached themselves or their own clothing, and the patio got a little cleaner.   Check it out:

My patio is in rough shape.  Don't judge.
Brody did a lot of this himself.  Here he is rinsing like a washer woman.

We used blue and brown bandanas, with different results.
The brown changed really quickly, while the blue took longer and had a more ghostly effect.

Here's a quick how to if your nutty enough to do this yourself:
1.) Cut a stencil.  I had some sort of Martha Stewart brand stencil film that I did not love.  It kept curling up on me.  But I had it so I used it.  You could use a different kind of heavy duty plastic sheeting, a non-curling kind, or some thin, heavy duty cardboard or mat board.
2.) I framed the stencil out inside of a large piece of cardboard for stability, then I "floated" the eyes and nose using string that was anchored along the sides and strung across the skull in sort of a web-type method.
3.)  I mixed a solution of 1/2 bleach, 1/2 water in a spray bottle.
4.) We laid the stencil over the bandana, sprayed the bleach solution onto them, removed the stencil, then watched as the color changed.
5.) When we liked where the color transformation was, we quickly transferred the bandana into a tub of water we had on standby to stop the bleaching process.
6.) I rinsed them all out again and plan on giving them a go in the washing machine before tucking them into the gift bags for the party tomorrow.

And there you have it.  Bonding with the boy and getting my craft on.  Happy Friday!