Looking for some special trimmings for your terrace?  Wit & Whistle‘s darling DIY Garden Markers are the perfect way to add some spice to your sunny space!

 

Always looking to add those special touches to our homes, as well as find ideas for great gifts, we couldn’t wait to give this project a try!

 

Please click here to visit Wit & Whistle and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission:  I didn’t really need markers for my herbs but thought these little ditties were so cute.

 

Details:

  • I found oven bake polymer clay at Wally-World.
  • I already had rubber alphabet stamps at home.

Working with this clay is incredibly easy and soft. It felt like play-dough. Easy to shape, roll and stamp.

The directions said to bake your clay at 275 degrees at 15 minutes per ¼” of thickness and do not OVERBAKE.  I totally freaked out over this stage and took mine out too soon, as I have zero patience!  I should have baked them a little longer, as my makers were not as stiff as would have liked. Oh well-lesson learned.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be sure to follow the baking instructions. I took mine out too soon.

Also, measure each maker so they are the same in length and width.

Alicia - Garden Markers 1

Pros:

I can now tell my herbs apart with these beautiful markers-although it is not hard to tell the difference between each – LOL

Cons:

None. Letter stamps can be expensive. Good thing I already had some!

Alicia - Garden Markers 2

Conclusion:

What an inexpensive and quick project. I loved how they turned out and it took my less than an hour to create-including baking times.

The shapes of my markers were not exactly uniform and my stamps were a little hard to read (OCD much), I am okay with that. Cilantro and Basil, here we come…….

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Janet

Mission:  Make herb markers as a gift.

 

 

Details:

I loved this craft as soon as I saw it on Pinterest!

I couldn’t make this for myself as I am not growing any herbs, but decided to make it as a gift for my fiance’s mom.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The clay is very forgiving. If you mess up, just roll it back into a ball and start again!

The stamps I bought were circular, making it difficult to get my letters straight. Before you press the stamp, press it very lightly on the clay to make a slight indent to get your letter straight and spaced how you want it.

Make the clay balls in any size you want, depending on how skinny or fat you want the marker to be.

The clay package didn’t give me much insight on how long to bake these for. I don’t think I baked them long enough as they were still a little flexible after they cooled. I’d suggest baking for a little bit longer than you think to make sure they are done.

Janet - Garden Markers 1

Pros:

Easy and cheap! You couldn’t buy something unique like this in the store for less than $10.

Cons:

The clay package just didn’t give enough direction on how long to bake.

Janet - Garden Markers 2

Conclusion:

I really liked this project, but think I am going to have to make it again to get it right.  I bought a different brand of clay to try for next time.  My markers turned out a little fatter than what was shown on the blog and I want to make them skinnier next time.

Also, since I don’t have herb plants so I might put other words on the markers and use as decoration in my potted plants. Overall, the project was easy, quick and cheap!

A great DIY project for all skill levels!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: I cannot get herbs planted soon enough!  We just got the final grade in at our new house, so I am chomping at the bit to get gardening!  This project was the perfect way to distract me long enough to get through the sod-laying process!

I am still learning about plants and gardening so having markers will probably be great for me.  I can’t even remember how old I am most of the time!

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

IMG_3557Knead that dough like crazy!  My clay was hard as a rock when I got it, so I needed to knead the living daylights out of it before I could even attempt to roll into little balls.  Once I did though, it was like buttah!  Super easy to work with and really smooth.

My OCD couldn’t handle the rounded edge of each marker, so I used my butcher knife to whack off the edges into a clean line.  Worked like a charm.

I also used my rolling-pin to gently taper the edges of the markers so that they come to more of a point.

I am not sure that I really baked them long enough…  and I did bake them quite a bit longer than the package recommended.  Mine are definitely set, they aren’t going anywhere, but you can sort of bend them a little.  Normal?  No clue.

Maren - Garden Markers 1

Maren - Garden Markers 1.5

Pros:

Amanda from Wit & Whistle was right!  These markers are really cute, and super easy to make.

I loved the end result so much that I quickly cranked out 2 more sets to give as gifts!  Tah Dah!

Cons:

As much as I really enjoyed this project, I think that to do it again, I would need to use a different kind of clay.

While really easy to work with and lovely in the end, the polymer clay left my oven smelling like some kind of chemical drug baking operation that I have been smelling ever since I baked these things.  It makes me fear that if we eat any more frozen pizza this summer, that I could wake up one day with an extra eyeball on my head.

Maren - Garden Markers 3

Conclusion:

This project was so easy, I loved it.  I don’t know what it is about working with clay, but it really is fun!  I love the idea of pairing a set of these with a cute potted herb plant for a housewarming gift to give a friend a start on their own garden.

I can think of quite a few ways to personalize these too, whether it be with color, font, embellishments or even using sassy words or phrases – like “No Gnomes Allowed!”  Haaha!

This is a fun one, and I will certainly give it another shot.  Maybe in Alicia’s oven…  Haaha! Kidding!

 

 Garden Marker Conclusion


The darling
DIY Garden Markers and photo by Wit & Whistle


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PlaydoughRecipe.org has a nearly 20 recipes for homemade playdough to share.  We were excited to learn about their Jello Playdough which uses the fruity gelatin to add light color and a yummy aroma.

 

With cold temps outside and antsy kids inside, this sounded like a recipe for a fun afternoon!

 

Please click here to visit PlaydoughRecipe.org and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sheri

Mission: Attempting to make my own play-dough for the first time ever. The boys’ school has sent a homemade play-dough recipe home with us every year but we’ve never made it. However, this recipe was different, this recipe called for Jello. It’s going to smell yummy. I must admit I was a bit frightened after our disappointment when we made our own finger paints.

Details:

I read the instructions multiple times before starting. I decided NOT to include the kids in this one. The recipe scared me a bit. It let me know that there was a large margin for failure. What I got out of it…keep stirring and don’t burn it!

  • I chose Melon-Burst Jello. It smelled good and was a light color that let me make the dough blue and green dough, as the kids requested.
  • I first combined all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  • I then put the ingredients in a sauce pan and kept stirring, and stirring, and stirring some more. Sip of wine, stir some more. Finally it started to tighten up and form a ball.
  • I dumped it onto wax paper to cool. As I examined the blob I began to think I should have let it cook a little bit more, it looked a bit sticky. Well it didn’t just look sticky, it was sticky. I ended up adding quite a bit of flour to it to tighten it up.
  • Then I added gel food coloring. I was worried that this would end up staining the kids’ hands when they played with it, but it didn’t.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Adding flour while kneading will help to tighten it up, also gel food coloring works fantastic for this project.

Sheri - Playdough 1

Pros:

It smells really good and it wasn’t difficult to make.

Cons:

If you don’t get it just right, it’s rather sticky and a waste.

Sheri - Playdough 2

Conclusion:

Well we definitely have some great melon smelling play-dough! Logan keeps putting it up to his nose.

I’m not thrilled with the consistency, I think I should have left it on the heat a little longer, but they don’t seem to mind. They were able to work with it and build their snowmen and reptiles.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission: To create some fun with my kids and have an activity to entertain them.

 

Details:

This household LOVES playdough – seriously, my kids are infatuated with it! We have made lots of homemade playdough before and I always keep some in the fridge on-hand for them to play with. My tried and true playdough recipe uses Kool-Aid as a color addition – and it adds great flavor for those kids that eat it! Come on, who hasn’t tried it before?!? I was excited to try this version using Jello instead of Kool-Aid

  • I had everything on-hand already the day we made this, which always gets a project going on the right foot.
  • We had Black Cherry Jello, so our playdough turned a deep pink hue.
  • The steps were very easy to follow and it came together very quickly and easily. My kids were playing with their new playdough in no time!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Let your playdough sit a bit to cool before you begin kneading it into the floured surface – it is very hot!

Sarah - Playdough 1

Pros:

Quick, easy, cheap and a fun activity for you and your kids.

Cons:

The use of Jello made our playdough a bit softer than we are used to.

This isn’t necessarily a con, but something I noticed as a difference to our previous playdough.

Sarah - Playdough 2

Conclusion:

So much fun! My kids played with it for at least an hour using their fun rolling pin, cookie cutters and their darling imaginations. We will be making it again!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Amanda

Mission: Try out a new playdough recipe that the kiddos can enjoy and that isn’t too much work to make.

 

Details:

  • I used Strawberry Jello, although the flavor really didn’t matter since I was already planning to add food coloring, too.
  • My kids (and by “kids” I mean me) LOVE color so I kicked it up a notch by adding a couple drops of Wilton Neon Gel Food Color in Magenta. As you can see we are talking BRIGHT folks!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I did not dirty an additional bowl by pre-mixing all of my ingredients before putting them in the pan and deeply regret this. I think it added a lot of extra stirring in the cooking process. I definitely suggest following the instructions precisely!

Amanda - Playdough 1

Pros:

The texture was lovely as was the smell! Sweet and fruity thank to the Strawberry Jello.

Cons:

I did not enjoy the stirring process that cooking on the stove required.

My go-to playdough recipe involves the microwave and my KitchenAid mixer. I do prefer that method but really wanted to give this one a shot.

Also, after only a couple of weeks the playdough grew some fiercely disgusting mold and I had to toss it. My go-to recipe has NEVER molded.

Amanda - Playdough 2

Conclusion:

I do not think I will be making this one again only because I already have a recipe that I have had great success with in the past with much less work.

I did like the idea that all of the ingredients were edible. My go-to recipe happens to call for baby oil, so that would be a point for the Jello version!

 

Playdough Conclusion

 

The lovely Jello Playdough and it’s photo by PlaydoughRecipe.org


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