Salt Dough ornaments

Every year we gift hand made ornaments to our family. Usually this includes me wrestling the kids handprints onto a glass ball, then staying up late to finish them myself. This year I think the kids are old enough to help so I picked 2 projects I thought they (and I) could handle. The first was the crayon ornaments and the second is salt dough ornaments. The dough itself was SO SO easy to make. I used the recipe posted by Play At Home Mom. They are so awesome, if you get a chance, check them out! Anyways, here’s the project:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  •  mix flour and salt and add water slowly as you stir….once mixed, knead the dough with your hands until soft and pliable
  • Bake in the oven (after rolling and cutting) for 1 hour at 325. DON’T forget to cut a hole (with a straw or toothpick) for the string BEFORE baking so you can hang them. If you’re brave like the PAH Mom’s, you can let them drill a hole in them afterwards. I don’t have a drill for my kids yet so we did it beforehand.

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I totally let O get in on the measuring and mixing action. Bonus building his confidence and teaching math🙂

My original plan was to trace their hands onto the dough and cut it out. Then paint it to look like santa and an elf. Yeah, I had big dreams. My boys had other plans, but I’ve learned that it keeps them happy and me sane if sometimes I just let them roll with what they envision instead.

So instead, we rolled it out and cut with cookie cutters. My boys have a whole set of tools that I bought specifically for playing with clay, but I did dig out some of my mom’s old Christmas cookie cutters for this. Z also found a “stamp” with a snowflake on it that he used on his ornaments. Honestly, it was super difficult to just kind of stand back and let them do it, because of course these are gifts and I wanted them to be “perfect”, but I felt like THEY needed to do it, even if it meant rough edges and some stars were pieced together. I think in the end it will mean more, to both them and their grandparents, because the kids actually did it themselves.

ImageSide note: I LOVE this alligator rolling pin. I picked it up at Target for like $5 I think. Perfect for little hands and it is heavy enough to get the job done😉

 

Next we baked them. 325 degrees for an hour. We did the cutting right before nap so the boys slept while they baked / cooled. I didn’t want them getting all excited as soon as they came out and not giving them a chance to cool down. Image

 

And then of course, it was time to paint! O’s favorite thing in the entire world. I covered the “multi purpose” picnic table with a dollar store plastic table cloth and put it on top of the soft foam floor pieces to keep any spills off the carpet. Used a recycled (yay!) Chinese food container for the paint and some cheap $2 brushes. Acrylic paints worked really well and were easy to wash off during clean up. We also used glitter glue because O thought they needed some sparkle, and who can argue with that? Again, so hard to just step back and let them go to town, especially when the red and green were getting mixed on the ornaments and becoming “maroon” and “dirt” colored.

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Then you just let them air dry and tie a piece of ribbon through the hole (you did remember to poke a hole right?) to hang them by. Once the boys were in bed I wrote on each with a paint sharpie “Made with love by:…” and each relative will get one from each boy. Cute, right? Plus, when O is a famous artist they can all say they have an original😉

 

Melted Crayon Ornaments

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So project was inspired by the hundreds of melted crayon crafts on Pintrest. Lots of fun, lots of experimentation, and the result is pretty awesome

Supplies:

Glass bulbs (I bought mine at ACMoore for $4.00 for 6)

Crayons, Luckily I have a 3 year old and a 2 year old so broken crayons are in abundance. However, after experimenting with different brands, I do have to say that Crayolas melt the best.

Hair dryer

Craft knife or peeler, if you use the peeler make sure it’s one you are going to keep for just crafts since it will no longer be good for food

That’s it… nothing complex! First, you have to get the pesky paper off your crayons. The hardest part was peeling the labels off the crayons, However if you soak them for a few minutes it becomes easier.

For the next step we used 2 different methods. The first method was to break / cut the crayons into chunks, the second was to shave off pieces of the crayons. Each one gave a different result once melted. Image

Next, remove the metal top of the ornament, pick your colors and place the chunks / shavings inside the ornament.

ImageUse the hair dryer to heat the ornament (and crayons) until the wax melts. With the shavings we shook to ornaments to spread the shavings around and the heated them just enough to get them to stick. The chunks take a little longer to melt, but as you turn the ornament, you have a little more control over where the color goes. I left lots of transparent space on mine because I liked the look of it, however, you can definitely cover the whole inside with color. Image

This was a great project to do with the superheros, however, because the glass gets super hot, I would definitely recommend some serious supervision. We let them choose their colors and fill the ornaments, but we held / turned the ornaments while the kids held the blow dryer. We tried oven mitts, but they made it hard to hold on to and as long as you keep it moving it shouldn’t burn your fingers.

Have fun!!!

 

Hello world!

 

There is something amazing and terrifying about little boys. They’re loud and messy, full of energy and downright exhausting. They are also sensitive and loving. Perhaps, however, the most unnerving trait of little boys is that they are fearless. In fact, I’m pretty sure the only things my boys have ever been afraid of is their vegetables, and even they eventually fell, on the floor that is. There is not a chair, table or book case my kids have not climbed up and jumped off of. My youngest son’s claim to fame is climbing his baby gate until it fell over and he slid down the stairs on it, at the ripe old age of 16 Months! Now, 8 months older and wiser, he and his 3 year old brother have decided to put their power to good use! They are fastening on their capes (literally) and ridding the world of the evil that is the oppressive parental units. The diabolical mom and dad who don’t let them go diving into the raging ocean waves, or play with the steak knives out of the dishwasher. Obviously, this has presented a challenge and forced me to take on my own alter ego known as “Super-Mom”. I know I am not alone in this endeavor and so here is the memoir of my journey, or daily struggle if you will, to becoming the Super-Mom that my Superheros need.