Snow Day Salt Dough

The other day O and I had an unexpected snow day. Hubby worked in the morning and my already short day at work got cancelled all together. I took the opportunity to do a little toddler holiday craft with her. And you guys, I turned to Pinterest. Surprise! Having done salt dough before with kids, I basically knew what I wanted to do but I needed the recipe.

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All the recipes were mostly the same. Here is what I found over and over on Pinterest:

1 cup salt

2 cups flour

1 cup warm water

Optional: powdered tempura paint or food coloring to add color.

Mix all in one bowl. I started string with a spoon and quickly realized my Kitchen Aid dough hook would have been perfect for the job. After it was well blended I just dove in with my hands. The more you knead it the smoother it gets.

Bake at 200F for 20-45 minutes depending on thickness or dry overnight.

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I rolled it out on wax paper, used a cup as a cookie cutter to make circles the right size for O’s hands. Then I helped her make her hand print on each cut out. This is where there were tears. Apparently the kid thought these were cookies and she was really excited about cookies… but then I had to burst her bubble. She just wouldn’t accept that they weren’t cookies. So Mom of the Year over here let her take a bite and she was really disappointed that these were not cookies.

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After she made about 15 prints, I made holes  for a hanger and we left them to dry. I let them dry overnight (as my Pinterest sources repeatedly recommended) but I found them to still be soft, damp and still a little malleable. So I popped them in the oven as many of the sources also recommended. Um, no. NO. No. no. 20 minutes? Nope. 45 minutes? Nope. Try MOST OF THE DAY. I just kept peeking in on them. Not only did they not dry quickly… I realized they weren’t drying evenly. The bottom side that faced the pan was still wet halfway through the day! So I flipped them. And I continued to keep an eye on them. I lost track of exactly how long they were in there but they did eventually dry.

I had originally thought I’d spray paint them silver (a color I knew I had on hand) but I stumbled upon another idea on Pinterest to paint the hand print to look like Santa.

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I used acrylic craft paint that I already had. I’ve broken Santa down into steps above. To be honest, I did these in stages… between laundry, dishes and a tv show’s commercials. An hour maybe total. My only flaw was that I had already punched the holes. Santa will be hanging sideways… but that is ok with me. I was having fun and really considered adding glasses to Santa as a little tribute to O but decided it might be too challenging and time consuming. I sharpied her name and the year on the back. These will be given to great grandparents, grandparents, aunts/uncles and special people over the next few days. If you’re one of these people… pretend you never saw this! Of course, ours already hangs on our tree!

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Earth Day Creation: recycled plantable paper

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Earth Day is Monday April 22nd! Over at Regarding Nannies I’ve shared a great recycled craft. We made recycled paper with wildflower seeds embedded in it. Write a message, plant it and wait for wildflowers to grow! Great for Valentines or Mother’s Day cards too. Be sure to check out the post and try it yourself.

Put a Ring on it

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Hubby and I are revamping our master bedroom slowly but surely, and of course on a budget. I was scrambling for inexpensive and easy ways to update things we already had for the room. We have bedding we can live with (for now), and I will be repainting nightstands and the dresser but I need accent pillows. In all my rooting through Target sales, Home Goods, and such I was frustrated. I already owned tons of throw pillows. Why do I have to buy more? Then I reminded myself of a couple of pillows I made for my sisters recently. Duh, I will MAKE new covers for the throw pillows!

Here’s the catch- I don’t sew. Not like that at least. When I made the pillows for my sisters I didn’t sew. I bought plain white pillow covers at IKEA and used fabric paint! I think I payed $3 ish for each cover and the paint was existing (but cheap if you had to buy it).

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Quick Tutorial:

1- Line the inside of the pillow case so paint doesn’t bleed through to the opposite side. I used foil, but wax paper or cardboard or something would work too.

2- Decide on a design. I highly recommend simple. The texture of the fabric makes detailed work hard. Consider a stencil, stamp or even tape off a border.

3- Paint away! I used a mason jar ring to stamp interlocking circles on this one. On the other side I printed her monogram but I can’t find a picture. On another pillow I taped off varying widths of stripes and painted a couple of coordinating colors. The possibilities are endless! I smudged occasionally but with a busy pattern nobody can tell and it adds to the handmade vibe. Even if you don’t have a steady hand or aren’t artistic, you could do this.

4- Dry WELL. I used a hair dryer to help it along.

5- Wash according to directions. The paint smell is strong and you will want to “set” your design” by washing it.

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Then fill the pillow cover with either an existing pillow, a filler from IKEA or batting. They zip closed so nothing is super permanent. Ta-da! new life to an old pillow or a new pillow all together! You could make a handful of these for the price of one already made pillow!

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40 Homemade Stationery Cards for $10

I’d like to start by congratulating my beautiful little sister on her college graduation. What a fantastic accomplishment and milestone to reach!

That’s how this all came about- my $10 craft. My sister graduated, our parents threw a party (a darn good one too!), she received tons of generous gifts. True to form, my sis wanted to write thank you notes to each and every person who attended the party and/or sent a gift. True to form, she’s on a budget…. More intense than the college budget: the graduate budget. She asked for a little help… I obliged. We discovered that target, Walmart and hallmark carry tins of thank you note selections at reasonable prices. But for $10 she was only able to get 8 or 10 ho-hum cards. I introduced her to the Michael’s craft clearance bins.

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We got 2 stamps (way more her style than most of the cards we saw elsewhere), 3 ink pads and 5 sets of 8 cards (totaling 40) for $9 and some change.

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Now I’m not a stamper, but I stamped my little heart out for about 30 minutes and this is what we came out with.

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I tied a bow on it to be cute… Hilda always does that. And at-da! A great craft for yourself or a gift for less than 10 bucks. This one will be seriously hard to beat!