saltdough

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 #4 - Saltdough cafting

Before i swam in the dead sea for the first time and licked my fingers after the swim (big mistake) i thought that the most salty thing on earth is the saltdough from my childhood...

My mother often did saltdough carfting with us and of course, although she would warn us that this is not cookie dough and far far far from tasty, we couldn't help it and always ate a tiny little bit, just to spit it out right afterwards yelling and laughing: "pfffffiiiiiiii disgusting!!!!"

Saltdough is amazing for kids. First its non-toxic (except if you eat tons of it...) and completely natural. Its prepared in 1 minute and it doesn't stick to the fingers while you model it and it's cheap. Alva can play with it for a long while without getting bored. The basic recipe listed below gives a white dough, but you can add food colors to make colored dough, you can also work with all sorts of lentils and seeds for decoration (i like to use black lentils the most, you can do stracciatella dough with them). When the models are dry and baked, you can also paint them with non-toxic paint (avoid using aquarell paint, it contains too much water and would make the models soft again).

saltdough2.jpg

Recipe for Saltdough:

200gr. white flour

100gr. Potato flour

200gr. table salt

150ml. water

While the handling of saltdough is quite easy, the drying and baking process take some time and have to be done carefully to avoid the models to break.

Carefully place the models/ornaments on a baking tray layered with baking paper. If you plan on hanging them, don't forget to make a small hole. You can use a chop stick or any other pointed object, like a wool needle. Please make sure that the hole is at least about 2 mm diameter. If it is too small, it could close during the baking process. Let the models dry at the air for at least 1 day. Then put them in the oven for 3 hours. In the first hour, bake them at 75 degrees celsius (if your oven doesn't have temperatures that low, you can put the temperature to the minimum possible and leave the door of the oven open a bit). After one hour, raise the temperature to 120 degrees celsius and bake for another hour (make sure to close the oven this time). After that, raise the temperature again to 150 degrees and bake for another hour.

Let the models/ornaments cool down. Once they are cold, they are ready to be painted.