Make a Mud Cloth

by: Christine Dvornik
Kids love to play in the mud. Now they can paint with it, too! Find out how to turn ordinary dirt into art.

Make a Mud Cloth

Age: Preschool through elementary
Time: An hour or more
Type of activity: Nature Craft

Making mudcloth is an age-old African art form. Now your kids can add a new twist to this ancient craft.

Materials Needed:
· 1/2 cup brown tempera paint
· 1/2 cup blue tempera paint
· 1 cup dirt
· Old mixing bowl
· Old spoon
· Strainer
· Newspaper
· A piece of white cloth
· Paintbrush

What to do:

Step One: Begin by "cleaning" your dirt. Put the dirt into the strainer. Run water over the strainer and sift the mud into the mixing bowl. Then carefully tilt the bowl to pour out some of the water.

Step Two: Add the blue and brown paint to your "clean" mud. Stir the mixture until the colors have fully blended.

Step Three: To avoid spills, lay newspapers on the flat surface you will be painting on.

Step Four: Lay the white cloth down flat on the newspapers.

Step Five: Think of a design that you'd like to paint. You may want to draw the design ahead of time on the cloth using a pencil.

Step Six: Using the paintbrush and your mud mixture, paint the design on the cloth.

Step Seven: Let the paint dry. Then go over your design with a second coat of mud paint.

Step Eight: Let the cloth fully dry; this will take an hour or more.

Step Nine: Hang your art up for friends and family to see!