Budget101 Discussion List Archives Crafts & Homemade Items I need help adding a transparent layer to small plastic balls for children to use in the classroom.

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    • #377132

      Hey readers,

      My first post here. Thank you for your time. I’m looking everywhere I can for a solution to this problem:

      I have been using transparent tape to attach common words to ball-pit balls and using them in classroom games for my kindergarten kids who are learning English as a second language.

      Now I’m looking for a way to cover the balls with a transparent layer in order to make them more professional looking, possibly to try and market them to other ESL teachers. Not making a business or anything, just kinda for fun.

      Does anyone know what I could use for that?

      I thought about wax, but it would rub off. I thought about maybe some sort of acrylic glaze? I’m teaching in South Korea so researching products is kind of hard.

      Also, of course, whatever I use has to be completely non-toxic and approved for children.

      If anyone has any idea for how to accomplish this, please let me know! Thanks!

      Peter

    • #463616
      FreebieQueen
      Moderator

      @alppdcjr12 1073029 wrote:

      Hey readers,

      My first post here. Thank you for your time. I’m looking everywhere I can for a solution to this problem:

      I have been using transparent tape to attach common words to ball-pit balls and using them in classroom games for my kindergarten kids who are learning English as a second language.

      Now I’m looking for a way to cover the balls with a transparent layer in order to make them more professional looking, possibly to try and market them to other ESL teachers. Not making a business or anything, just kinda for fun.

      Does anyone know what I could use for that?

      I thought about wax, but it would rub off. I thought about maybe some sort of acrylic glaze? I’m teaching in South Korea so researching products is kind of hard.

      Also, of course, whatever I use has to be completely non-toxic and approved for children.

      If anyone has any idea for how to accomplish this, please let me know! Thanks!

      Peter

      My first thought was to use modge podge, but I don’t know if that’s available overseas. Once it dries it would be safe for kids to touch.

    • #463613

      If you can’t find modge podge, there’s actually a recipe for it here on the site:

      https://www.budget101.com/content.php/4053-DIY-Mod-Podge

      I think that you would still have to apply a clear acrylic sealant afterwards though to ensure that sticky kids hands didn’t cause it to wear off.

    • #463623

      Wow! Thanks. Actually this is the third time that I’ve had someone recommend Mod Podge to me; I don’t know how I didn’t hear about it!

      What I may have to do is use an international shipping service; it’s expensive but if I ship the balls and the Mod Podge in one shipment it might be worth it.

      Do you know if when you use Mod Podge there’s a layer that could peel off? That is, would I have to coat the entire ball or would it be OK to just coat over the part with the label?

      Thanks for the help!

    • #463624

      Thanks for the reply! That sounds like a good option because people keep recommending it to me. Do you know if Mod Podge would need to be applied to the entire ball or just to the part with the label?

      I.e., is there a visible seam that would be easily picked off by little fingers?

    • #463625
      FreebieQueen
      Moderator

      @alppdcjr12 1073130 wrote:

      Thanks for the reply! That sounds like a good option because people keep recommending it to me. Do you know if Mod Podge would need to be applied to the entire ball or just to the part with the label? I.e., is there a visible seam that would be easily picked off by little fingers?

      🙂

      on a ball you’d probably need to apply it at least an inch around the item you’re decoupaging to the ball. Let it dry, then spray the entire ball with a clear varnish to seal it. They’ll need to be set on a surface to make them easier to handle, I’d flip an egg carton upside down, this will allow the air to circulate around them so they dry faster. Once they’re sealed it shouldn’t be an issue. They’ll be waterproof and (mostly) pick-proof.

    • #463622
      FreebieQueen
      Moderator

      An alternative idea would be to make your own stencil of whatever you want the balls to say and then use permanent non-toxic Paint Markers like these.

      I make stencils using “Contact” paper- it’s a heavy duty tacky(sticky) paper that adheres to surfaces, this would ensure that the stencil sticks to the ball allowing a bleed-free layer.

      (This is what the contact paper looks like)

    • #463620

      Cool, that sounds good. Probably won’t go the stencil route because each ball will have a different word, so that would take too much time. Stenciling onto a sphere also seems tough.

      Right now the Mod Podge + varnish seems like the best route.

      If the word is already stuck with sticky paper, would it be possible to just varnish it and skip the Mod Podge? What advantage does the Mod Podge give? Since I’m making a bunch, it would definitely save time to just lay them out all together and spray them with varnish once rather than having to coat something on with a brush.

      Can you recommend a particular varnish/are there any specs I should look for?

      Thanks so much!!!

      Peter

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Budget101 Discussion List Archives Crafts & Homemade Items I need help adding a transparent layer to small plastic balls for children to use in the classroom.