Grandma Van's Magic Duplicating Gel

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About: Grandma Van uses the Instructables website to share little print-and-mail books. Once in a while, she has other fun things to share.

When it comes to art projects, it is the EXPERIENCE that matters, not the product.

I have done this project with many groups of young children. While the final pieces of art are sometimes quite lovely, the real joy comes from seeing how much fun children have when they use Grandma Van's Magic Duplicating Gel.

Step 1: Measure One Tablespoon of Cornstarch.

Step 2: Put the Cornstarch in a One Quart Microwavable Container.

Step 3: Add One Tablespoon of Water and Stir. Then Add 2/3 Cup More Water and Stir.

Step 4: Microwave for Thirty Seconds.

Step 5: Stir!

Step 6: Continue Microwaving, Thirty Seconds at At Time, Until Mixture Is Thick and Slightly Bubbly.

Usually there will be three or four thirty-second microwavings.

The mixture should be thickened and very slightly bubbly.

Let it cool.

Step 7: Fold. Draw.

Fold a sheet of regular paper. Using water-based markers, draw on one side.

For the sample project, I am using a butterfly shape. It is also fine to just use uncut paper.

Special shapes for holidays (hearts, trees, pumpkins) are also fun.

Step 8: Brush the Opposite Side of the Paper With a Smooth Layer of Duplicating Gel.

Step 9: Fold.

Press gently along every part of the paper ("pat, pat, pat") then open fairly quickly.

(WARNING: If you leave the paper folded for long, the duplicating gel acts like glue!)

Step 10: This Is the AH-HA Moment!

Usually, children get very excited at this point, and request more and more paper. They may just scribble. Paper is cheap. Let them experiment.

Writing names is a natural thing to try... and at this point children will discover that the duplicated side is a mirror image of the original.

Step 11: Finishing.

Once the project is dry, it will be somewhat wrinkled.

You may want to iron the paper.

You may want to glue some trimmings.

You may want to just throw away the paper because the important part was having FUN.

Step 12: The Storybook.

I write many little storybooks for my grandchildren. I like to share these storybooks here on Instructables.

The storybook can be personalized. I think you can figure it out!

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