Sunday, April 15, 2012

Salt Dough Medallions

Making medallions from homemade salt dough is a great tactile experience for children and adults with some very pretty results. Here is the recipe that I used: 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon salad oil, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup salt, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, food coloring. Combine all ingredients, other than the food coloring, in a saucepan. Stir constantly while heating at medium. The mixture will be soupy for a few minutes until it begins to thicken and pull away from the sides of the pan. At this point, remove from heat and continue to stir. When a ball begins to form, turn the mixture onto a floured board. Knead until any lumps are gone and add extra flour if the dough is too sticky. It can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator.
I used about 2 tablespoon of dough and mixed in a couple drops of food coloring before rolling out the dough with a rolling pin. I cut out the circles with a plastic glass and used the "tools" in the picture to make impressions in the clay. The salt dough can be air dried for several days or baked at 170 degrees for a couple of hours depending on thickness. The dough does expand slightly when baked so make sure that your impressions are deep enough so that they don't disappear and that the hole you make for hanging them is a little larger than you might think you will need. After baking I coated mine with glossy Mod Podge.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tulle Flowers

Tulle comes in such beautiful colors and is quite inexpensive and forgiving to work with. The school where I teach wanted a backdrop for their spring play about gardens. I had at least 20 yards of a shiny, white fabric and decided that making flowers with tulle and attaching them to the fabric would create dimension and be an unusual way to solve the problem. The children applied blue watercolor in plastic spray bottles to the fabric. I picked up tulle in half a dozen colors at my local Ace Hardware, of all places, for just $1.19 a yard. I cut the tulle into long skinny rectangles and pinched them together in the center for the petals. When I had five or six done I would tack them to the fabric with thread and needle. I cut out small circles in contrasting colors and bunched those together for the centers. The finished piece is about eight feet long and I was unable to get a good photograph to capture it in its entirety. You can get an idea of the scale by comparing the size of the flowers to the spool of thread and sewing scissors. I think they would be adorable in a little girl's room.