Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mommy and Me Arts and Crafts

Now that it's that yucky. rainy, cloudy, dreary and cold transition between fall and winter Kaylie has been spending more time inside which of course makes her a little antsy when she doesn't feel like playing with her cars or doll house.  My solution?  Arts and crafts time!

I'm a huge fan of either buying handmade or making your own cute Christmas gifts to give out to family and friends.  Besides leaving more money in your wallet it's more meaningful and of course unique!  This year I had Kaylie help me make some gifts to give out to her grandparents and great grandparents now that she's older and loves to help!  I bought this inexpensive kit and I had her help make these cute hand print stepping stones to give out!  She loved smashing her hand in the cold mushy plaster and then squish all the little tiles and gems in too!  After they dried I painted her hand prints and dated each one.  Grandmas love this kind of stuff :)  Sorry the photo is terrible, I took it on my phone and then forgot to take a better picture before wrapping them!

She's so focused!
Today it was especially dreary outside so I had Kaylie bundle up and go out with me to pick up pine cones under the tree by our house.  She's always collecting pine cones so she's pretty much a pro at this one!  We put them all in a paper bag and then picked out the best looking ones the squirrels hadn't ravaged and cleaned all the dirt out of them.  Now there's tons of fun things you can do with pine cones so I made sure to keep extras for later projects too.  I figure we can make peanut butter and bird seed pine pine cone feeders for the birds with the "ugly" pine cones later!  I told her that today we're going to paint pine cones and hang them on the Christmas tree!  Anything involving ridiculously messy projects are a gigantic favorite for my 3 year old!  She was so focused, making sure she got every nook and cranny slathered with red paint.  She picked the red paint and told me I could paint mine green.  By the time she was finished painting her three pine cones she looked like Dexter after a kill!  Everything set aside to dry and half a roll of paper towels later and LOTS of soap later, the little ornaments turned out super cute!  I just tied a bit of twine around the top for hanging and once she's had her nap she can hang her pine cones on the tree!  Perhaps next year we'll add to them and decorate them with glitter glue but cleaning paint out of her ears (how kids get messy in the weirdest of places is beyond me) was more than enough for me!

While she was napping I did another quick batch of pine cone ornaments using genuine copper paint on the tips and finishing them with a verdigris patina for an awesome look!  It's a bit time consuming but they turned out great!  I just need to clear coat them and add twine to hang.  We're having a "woodland" theme for our Christmas tree this year so these and the painted ones are a perfect fit!  Now if only we had an oak tree so I could make acorn garland...

Once I make it to the grocery store and buy more flour I'll have Kaylie help make some salt dough ornaments to give as gifts too.  They're super easy to make and very cheap as well!  I'll share the recipe with you :)

Salt Dough Ornaments
2c All Purpose Flour
1c Salt
1c Water

-Preheat your oven to 200 degrees
-Mix the flour and salt thoroughly and gradually add the water, mixing with your hands till soft
-Roll dough on floured surface and cut out shapes with cookie cutters.  Use a toothpick to make hanging holes on the tops for string.
-Bake approx 3 hours or till hardened, checking every so often to make sure they don't burn.
-Let cool and paint with acrylic craft paint.  Coat generously with a clear sealant like polyurethane to protect them from crumbling over time and to protect the paint.

Cutsie ornament made with salt dough
Of course you can also make your own shapes since the dough is much like play-doh and you can hot glue ribbon hangers instead of poking holes.  You can write on them with permanent markers to personalize them too.  I actually have a cute pea pod ornament made with salt dough that was given to me for Kaylie a year ago.  The possibilities are endless with this recipe!

1 comment:

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