Bats and Science

Halloween is my favorite crafting holiday.  It is pure silliness and fun.  I’ve been anticipating Halloween crafts for some time now and I’m excited to post some of my fun ideas.  Or rather, some fun takes on others ideas.  Recently I bought 1200 coffee filters.  It’s coffee filter crazy around here!  Have you ever dyed coffee filters?  I looked online and found a few ways to dye them but my favorite is to use food coloring.  Here comes the science.  I wanted to make bats wings out of coffee filters so I wanted to dye them black.  How do you get black food coloring?  I really don’t know.  I tried adding a little of every color of food coloring that I had that seemed to work, until I submerged the filters.  I like to sit the filters in the colored water bottom first and then let the water soak up the filter.  It’s just neat to watch.  Something surprising happened though, the dye began soaking up the filter in a weird way, the blue was creeping up the edges faster than the other dyes.

 

I did not understand why but even when I put only a tiny bit of blue dye in, my filter turned blue on the edges.  I had to know the reason.  After a long night of google searches I finaly figured it out.  Apparently it’s called chromatography and the gist of it is that blue particles are smaller and therefore lighter weight so when traveling up a coffee filter by osmosis they move faster against gravity.  Facinating.  There is nothing better than when crafting and science come together!  (If you want to read more on Chromatography and Osmosis, you can read about it on pbskids.org and exploratorium.edu)

Back to the bats; So my filters turned out pink in the center and blue on the edges.  Not cool.  We tried water color paints but they just didn’t spread well and looked wrong.  finally I just dyed them agian with the food coloring, this time submurging the filters completely in the dye so that the blue didn’t travel anywhere.  They still ended up purple, but it was good enough for me.

 

After the filters had dried I folded them in half, then in half again.  I drew a bat wingy shape and then the kids cut along the lines.  We unfolded one of the folds so that the wings were all double. (still folded in half, but not folded in quarters.)

 

We applied a line of white school glue along one side of a clothes pin.  Stuck the center of the wings to the clothes pin and then added a head that I had earlier cut out of felt.  I would put patterns here, but I always just free hand stuff.  When these were dry, we decided we’d like to put them in the window so we wanted them to be double sided.  All that entailed was flipping over the clothes pin and glueing the wings and head the same way on the other side.

 

To make them into a garland we strung a piece of yarn across the window and just used the clothes pins to clip onto the yarn.  This makes it easy to move them around if you want to.

One Response to “Bats and Science”

  • RachelJean:

    I saw these a few weeks ago on your site and never commented so I know this is late in coming but I love the bats!!! Seriously cute.

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