Mirror (small locker mirror or vanity-sized mirrors work well)
Special paints for glass
Glass cleaner and paper towel
What You Do:
Provide your child with an old mirror that’s not being used, or purchase a new one inexpensively at a dollar shop.
Have your child clean the mirror with glass cleaner and a paper towel. Let the glass dry.
Give her special paints for glass in a collection of different colors if possible. Look for paints labeled as “multi-surface” or glass paints at craft shops. Before painting her mirror, she should wear old clothes or a smock.
Have her sketch her idea for a design on the mirror first with pencil and paper, since glass paint cannot be easily erased if she changes her mind. She can paint all over the mirror to make a piece of art to be admired, or she may want to leave some parts of the mirror free from paint so that it can be used.
Some glass paint comes with an applicator tip, in which case she can squeeze paint out of the tube directly onto the mirror to make her design. Otherwise she’ll want to use a paper plate as a palette and dip paintbrushes in the paint. She can carefully paint
Glass paint directions often indicate that glass can be baked in an oven to make the paint permanent, but that won’t work so well for a mirror with a wooden frame. Most glass paints also become permanent on the glass after several weeks of air drying. Read the directions on the paint bottle, and be sure to leave the mirror somewhere that the paint can safely dry for several weeks.
Your child can hang her finished art in her school locker, her room, or she can give it as a gift.
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.