painting

Creative afternoon #5 - Moon wall decoration DIY

We are quite crazy about salt dough crafting in our house at the moment. Last week i posted our favorite recipe and some directions for models that are fun to do for kids from age 2 (click here for the link to the post). This week, i am sharing some ideas about salt dough stuff to do with bigger kids. There seems to be a trend around lately for beautiful moon phases mobiles, moon drawings ect. So here is an idea about how to create a hanging wall decoration with moon phases out of salt dough.

Things you will need for this DIY:

- A batch of salt dough (see recipe here)

- A bowl and a smaller round cookie cutter

- Baking paper (you will have to bake the salt dough for 3 hours in the oven)

- A chopstick and a knife

- Black and white acrylic paint

- A small size and medium size brush

- white glue

- a piece of white toilet paper

- a needle and white yarn 

Directions:

Take a chunk of salt dough and roll it into a ball, flatten it with the palm of your hand and level it to about 1 cm height with the help of a rolling pin. Then cut out one big round piece with the bowl and 7 smaller round pieces with the cookie cutter. Put all of the pieces on a baking tray layered with baking paper. Put the biggest piece in front of you and imagine that you are looking at a clock. Take the chopstick and make holes at about 1 cm from the edge of the circle at the following "hours": one at 12 o clock, one at 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and one at 9. Then make a single hole at 12 o clock in all the smaller pieces. Follow the instructions for drying and baking the salt dough in creative afternoon #4.

Once the pieces are dried, baked and cooled down, you can paint all of them with the black paint. Don't worry if they are not flat and look a bit bumpy. This will make your moons look more like moons actually...Once the black paint is dry, paint some white dots of different sizes on the biggest piece. This will be a dark sky with stars. For the smaller pieces, draw a moon phase on each one of them. You can either improvise, like i did or you can look for moon phases in the internet and recreate their shape. For the smaller ornaments, you can add a few small white dots of different sizes to make stars on the small surface that stays black next to the moon (like in the pics below).

Once everything is dry, put all the pieces on the table and place them in the way that you would like your wall decoration to look like when finished. Take the piece of white toilet paper and tear it to 7 little pieces. It might seem weird to you that i use toilet paper for crafting but it is actually a great material, since it kind of dissolves when mixed with liquids and gives a paper paste that is quite uniform. Wash your hands very well and make sure that they are free of paint. Pour a little bit of white glue on the first piece of paper and roll it in the palm of your hand to form a little ball. Once done, wash your hands and repeat the process, till you have 7 small balls. Don't worry if they are not all the same size. Wash your hands before starting a new ball, to avoid that the balls get dirty with dried up glue. Then cut 7 pieces of yarn (they should all be about 5-7cm longer than the distance from the smaller "moon" pieces to the bigger "space and stars" piece. Make a small knot at the end of the yarn and move each yarn piece through one of the small balls.

Then pass the yarn through one of the holes of the "space and stars" piece, so that the small white ball will be in the front of the piece. Repeat the process 6 more times. When finished, attach the small "moon" pieces to the yarn in the height that you want (make sure to thread the yarn from back to front of the smaller ornaments and tie the yarn with a double knot. Cut the remaining string. Repeat the process 6 times. When the paper balls are completely dry, you can paint some of them with a bit of black paint, like i did in the pic below, to make them disappear. This will make the stars in your "space and stars" piece more random.

Cut one last piece of yarn for hanging the wall decoration, tie it at the top of the "space and stars" piece, put your finished work up on the wall and enjoy.

Note that you can make any wall decoration that you want with salt dough. Let your imagination flow...I would be thrilled to see your creations...just leave a picture in comment at the bottom of this post! Here is another piece that i did last week:

Creative Afternoon #3

Most of my joy and wish for crafting comes from my mother and the many many projects she did with us. Specially for birthdays of family members, she always had ideas about nice presents to create with us. So it was quite natural that when the birthdays of all of Alva's grand-parents came up (they were all born within the same two month) i searched for small projects i could do with him. 

It's not quite easy to find something suitable for a toddler to create and enjoyable/useful for a parent to receive...Alva loves to scribble around with paint and brushes. The result of it is often a baby covered in colors and a white paper, but he enjoys it so much that i let him. So i thought to work with his joy of scribbling.

What you need for this DIY:

- A wooden box or any other wooden object that you think fit (mirror with wooden frame or picture frame, pin-board, terracotta plant pot, ect...) - I got a simple box with a small locker at a craft store.

- Acrylic paint - I used two different colors but you could use as many as you like and do a JacksonPollock type of box

- A medium sized flat paint brush and a medium sized round paint brush

- Any kind of protective layer for the table you will do the project on

- A piece of white or colored paper (A4 size is perfect)

- Eventually clear lacquer (if you like a glossy finish) but careful, lacquer is toxic and should NEVER get into the hands of your child - i personally don't use lacquer because i don't like the smell of it and i prefer the natural look of the matte finish...

1. Cover the table you are working on with some kind of protective layer.

2. Paint the box in the color of your liking. Let it dry for several hours and make sure that the paint is entirely dry before you go to the next step. If your kid is old enough, maybe he/she can do this step on their own with your help. (You could of course also skip this step and let your kid paint on the natural wood).

3. Let the fun part begin. Put some clothes on your toddler that you don't mind getting dirty, (or take all the clothes off him/her)... Show how to dip the brush in the paint and make a first stroke on the box, then hand off the brush to your kid and let them do whatever they choose to do. eventually turn the box slightly to make them paint on all surfaces more or less equally.

4. Since the painting of the box is probably done pretty quickly, get a piece of paper ready so your kid can continue to paint without getting frustrated. In the meanwhile, put the box away to a safe place to dry over night.

5. Once dry eventually apply the layer of lacquer. This should be done by YOU and never by your kid!!!

6. Finished is the birthday present...Maybe you can even use a piece of the extra paper you gave your kid to paint on as a matching birthday card.