Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dough Ornaments AGAIN??

Ok, so I know I've already posted the dough ornaments.  But, I've had to make more initials since then for my children's playgroup, and while making them we created my favorite ornaments yet!  My son was taking the dough and smooshing it down on the baking sheet.  Well, I went to pull his dough up and re-use it and I noticed that his tiny little handprint was on the dough.  That gave me the idea of making larger ""cookie" shaped ornaments and putting the kids handprints into them. 

So, I smashed out the dough into a roundish shape (you can use a rolling pin and round bowl to cut the shapes if you want it to look a little neater).  I then pushed the kids' hands into the dough and baked.  You can find the recipe and baking instructions in my blog titled "Dough Ray me faa so la te Dough".

When they were baked and cooled, I took some paint and painted the inside of the handprints and painted their name and the date on them.  I finished them off by spraying glitter over them and sealed with a spray gloss, then hot glued a ribbon on the back for hanging (because I forgot to poke a hole before baking).

These are a great, easy, cheap idea for a present for grandparents.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Present for Grandmom your Little One Can Help Make

We are putting together some last minute Christmas presents, and these little pin cushions are too cute to not share.  Obviously, I like to make stuff that involves Russ, so this one is perfect. 

I took empty cans and let Russ paint them.  You can use any can, but I prefer the smaller ones.  These had red jalapenos in them.  Tomato paste cans would be good too, but I wasn't making anything with tomato paste.

After the paint dried, I made the pin cushion tops.  I took a piece of scrap fabric and cut it into a square.  I put a bunch of stuffing in it and tied it with a rubber band.  I then put hot glue around the lip of the can and stuffed the stuffing filled fabric into it.  Thats it! 

It may not be the most beautiful pin cushion in the world, but Russ painted it so I love it.  I just wanted something he could help with that was a little different than the normal gifts we make.  Can't wait for him to give them to his grandparents.  He is soo proud of them and I am soo proud of him!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Finishing Touch

I'm just sooooo happy about FINALLY having a tree topper that I had to share this with everyone:

As I've stated many times before in my blog, our tree has all homemade ornaments.  Each year we try to come up with an idea for a tree topper, but we never carried out any of the plans.  So, for the past 4 years, we have had nothing on top of our trees.  Well, after we picked out our tree this year, we were walking through Home Depot, and I saw something that motivated me.  We were in the lumber section and I saw a wooden baluster (or whatever its called) that to me looked like an angel.  I asked my husband if I was crazy, but he saw my vision. 

So, I took the wooden piece and painted it white and skin toned.  I painted a face on the "head".  The screw was removed from the bottom and a hole was drilled so that it could be placed on the tree.

To make curly hair, I took brown yarn and wrapped it tightly around wooden dowels.  I then wet the dowels and put them in the microwave for 2 minutes (or until the yarn had dried).  When I took them out, I sprayed them with hairspray.  Once cool, I removed the yarn from the dowels and POOF, curly hair!!  Using a hot glue gun, I attached the hair to the "head" and hairsprayed it to keep it in place.  I bent a piece of wire to form the halo and hot-glued it to the back of the wood (I love my hot glue gun).

To make the wings, I took a coat hanger and bent it into shape (with the help of my husband because I couldn't get it exactly the way I wanted it).  I covered the bent hanger with a pair of white tights and tied it off to make it tight.  Then, I sprayed glitter spray over it and lined it with glitter glue and glued it on the back of the angel (glued my fingers to it as well).

Thats about it....  She is nothing fancy, but we love her anyway.  Russ said she is beautiful;  as long as he is happy, thats all that matters.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dough ray me faa so la te Dough!

Yay!!  We made more ornaments!  These turned out sooo cute, at least I think so.  They are great fun for all ages;  Russ loved helping with these from start to finish.

So basically, you will make a playdough type dough mixture.  Just mix together 1 heaping cup of flour, 1/2 cup of salt, and 1/2 cup of water.  Mix it up with your hands.  The dough should feel like playdough if the consistency is right.  Just add more water or more flour until you get it right.  If you want colored dough, just add some food coloring.  Once mixed, sit it aside for awhile (trust me, its easier to work with if you let it set for about 30 minutes). 

Now its time to shape your ornaments.  You can do it any way your heart desires.  Of coarse, you can use cookie cutters or a knife to cut out the shapes.

You can roll out little "snakes" with the dough and then shape them.  I did letters for each of my kids' initials.  You can also twist the "snakes" together and form them into a circle for a wreath.  I haven't done this yet, but I want to twist a white one and a red one together and shape it into a candy cane (to make white dough, just add cream of tartar).

This snowman is made by rolling balls and stacking them. 

I also want to try cutting out a simple round shape and then carving an initial into it, or etching a picture into it.

Once your shapes are made, put them on a cookie sheet and bake at about 250ish for 2 hours.  Be sure to flip them every 25 minutes so they don't turn brown.  If you do a standing ornament, don't worry about it.

Take the ornaments out of the oven and let them set until they are completely cool before you paint them.  If you don't, the paint doesn't stick right.  If you have rough edges, just file them off with an emory board or sand paper.  After the paint drys, be sure to spray a clear coat over them for protection and to add a nice shiny finish.

If you do make these, please send me pics to post!!  I have sooo many more fun ideas for these;  I would love to see what every one else comes up with, too.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Do You Know the Gingerbread Man??

I simply LOVE this project.  Its for cute little "gingerbread" ornaments that you can hang on your tree and keep year after year.  The kids will love to help with this one.  Even if they can't help make them, they can definately help decorate them.  These cuties will smell like straight cinnamon, and the smell will last for years to come.

NOTE:  THESE ARE NOT EDIBLE.  You can try, but you will break a tooth as they set-up super hard.  Oh yea, and they contain glue so I doubt that would taste too good even if you could bite them (I know, kinda funny).  

Mix together 1 cup of applesauce, 1 1/2 cups of cinnamon, and 1/3 cup Elmer's Glue.  Yes, I know, thats a LOT of cinnamon!  When its nice and mixed, chill in the refridgerator for 30 mintues.  Have a cup of hot cocoa (or wine) while you wait....

Take the dough out of the refridgerator.  You'll need to sprinkle some cinnamon on your work surface to keep the dough from sticking.  You can do this on a board if you want;  I just use the counter.  Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick.  It can be a big pain in the butt getting the dough to set-up just right.  If its too cold, it won't roll correctly (trust me, you'll know if its not right).  Don't throw it away; just set it aside and wait until it warms up a little and try it again later.  My friend threw hers in the trash and then came to a playdate and told me what happened.  I had her go home and pull it from the trash, and it then worked just fine. 

Once its finally set right and rolled out to 1/4 inch thick, take your cookie cutters and cut out the shapes.  You can use any size cutters, large or small.  Letter cutters are also really cool to use.  Be sure to poke a hole in the top of each ornament (this is for the ribbon they will hang from later).  If you forget to poke the hole now, you won't be able to do it later as it sets up really hard.  Put the shapes on a cookie sheet and place the cookie sheet on a rack to harden.  It can take a few days  for them to harden all the way.  I set mine in the oven so they wouldn't be in the way.

When they are completely hardened, you can decorate them!!  Use any kind of paint, glitter, sprinkles, beads, or whatever you want.