Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dyed Rice Mosaic Projects

Finished Dyed Rice Mosaic
One of my class members- Kris Brown at Horizon Bay in Plano- recently suggested that we try to do dyed rice mosaics because her classes really had fun doing them.  Kris was an art teacher in her previous life, and is a great source of inspiration and ideas- as are many of my students.  I had never heard of doing mosaics with dyed rice- so I thought I would give it a try.  I did a quick search on the internet about how to go about dying rice and found a few different "recipes".  Since many times Activity Directors have limited budgets for art projects- I think this one would be a great one to try out.

The mosaics seem to be a two class project for everyone so far- so I would plan for this project to take 2-3 hours from beginning to end.

Dyed Rice Tutorial-

Supplies you will need to dye the rice:

Measuring Cup
Rubbing Alchohol
Inexpensive White Rice
Food Coloring- I used fluorescent and regular dye
Plastic Locking Sandwich bags
Plate to dry rice on
Storage containers with tight lids

Dry the rice flat in plastic plates
The recipe is quite simple- one cup rice + 1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol + 4-8 drops food coloring per batch of rice.  You can create quite a few bright colors using a little color theory and trial and error- I even made a blackish brown for sunflower centers today.

Creating your mosaic-

  • Download simple stained glass patterns from the internet with little detail like geometric shapes,  flowers, butterflies and birds.
  • Cut out pattern and glue it to a black card stock backgroud to give the mosaic stability ( it becomes quite heavy)
Geometic Design Starting to come together
  • Use thick glue to adhere rice like Tacky Glue.
  • Work only a small section at a time, spreading glue to the edges of the section with a Q-tip.It works best to do all the sections of the mosaic with the same color before moving to the next color.   (Creates less "confetti"rice ) 
  • Dump excess in a plastic plate so it can be reused
  • Fill in any places where the rice is missing until completed
Several of my classes have been working with the dyed rice mosaics this month and have been having a fun time creating their masterpieces.  This is not only a good creative project, but it also helps with hand dexterity and hand/eye coordination.

Here are some of my ladies from Horizon Bay with their artwork:

Florence at Horizon Bay
Beverly's creation is really coming together!
Ethna seems pretty pleased!
Kris- who started it all!
Very Precise!
Another great job by Inez

Another group at Atria in Richardson:

Enjoying the creative process!
Making a pretty sunflower
Dorothy perfecting her work as her daughter looks on.
To finish out the project- I suggest cutting out the finished mosaic and re-matting onto a clean piece of black card stock because glue spills do show up on the card stock.  I actually cut my finished design out and put it in a floating frame.  This project takes patience and some of my students have gotten frustrated- but it is a fun project to try- and is a great project for elders to do with their grand children.  The rice is so colorful- it could be used in the same ways as sand art in bottles.

Right now I am working on an "easy" batik project.  I found it originally on That Artist Woman's blog as have many folks- and am doing a sample project right now.  The Batik project is definitely a 2-3 class project as it has several steps and requires drying time between steps.  Will post the results later this month.

Till Then-

Good luck with the new time change- and get ready for Spring projects!


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