Finding a great kid-friendly project is always a win-win, so we were excited to test out Homemade Finger Paints by Easie Peasie!

 

Please click here to visit Easie Peasie and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission:  To do a fun craft project that both my kids and I could enjoy!
 
 

Details:

  • This project started out great – the ingredients and finishing items were inexpensive (less than $8) and it seemed to be going great from the beginning.
  • We followed the recipe exactly and I ended up making two batches (each separately) so that I could fill up the four darling Ball Jars I had purchased.
    The mixture firmed up quickly and was ready for the food coloring to be added soon after it was done. I opted for yellow, green, a vibrant orange and a deep purple shade.
  • We waited until the next day to try out the paint – my kiddos didn’t nap the day we made them, so were both down for the count by 7:00 pm. They were pining to try these out since I mentioned making them!!
  • When we opened up the paint to get going, it was very apparent that it was going to be clumpy. I did try thinning one of the colors out at this point, but that only made it more clumpy and didn’t do what I was hoping for – turned more into a mashed potato type texture. Needless to say, this was frustrating, but I honestly didn’t know what to expect for the final texture.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I used the gel food coloring tubes and they worked great – the colors were vibrant and we had no problems with staining.

Due to the final texture of our paints, we tried using Sponges for painting, which worked fairly well.

Pros:

Looks beautiful and we were so excited to give them a try!

Cons:

Ended up being very clumpy/goopy and didn’t work like actual paint. We were really bummed.

Conclusion:

I want to love these, but have to say that I can’t.  I do want to try this again and maybe cut the amount of cornstarch a bit or add some additional water during the initial preparation process. The colors are great and the idea is fantastic – my kids were going batty just wanting to try it out!! All in all, we had fun giving these a try!

 
 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission: I must admit I was a little apprehensive with this project. I usually have to put my brave face on when doing a “messy” kids project. However, after reading the simple ingredients I figured how hard can it be? My kids normally don’t finger paint; we’re a tempura and watercolor kind of household, so I figured this would be a fun change.

Details:

  • Simple ingredients. Heat them up together. Stir, cool, add color and transfer into jars.
  • Well! Very simple but the consistency is Vaseline goop.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Cut down on the corn starch so the consistency isn’t such a goopy mess.

Also, transfer the mixture to a separate bowl to speed up the cooling process or your kids are going to drive you bananas!

Pros:

It was fun and they look cute in the little jars.

Cons:

They don’t work well. The consistency is goopy and slick. The kids weren’t too pleased.

Conclusion:

Well I think this project was a fail for me. Although we had fun, the resulting product just isn’t what I imagined it would be.

Cutting down the corn starch produces a better consistency, but it’s still not the consistency I expected. The boys basically ran some colored Vaseline on the paper and then walked away. Deacon looked at me crossed and said, “Mom this is NOT finger paints.”

On the flip side, my boys now have an obsession with food coloring and want me to color everything! Last night’s request was for green and blue ice cream.
 
 

 

The colorful photo of Homemade Finger Paints taken by Easie Peasie


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The Imagination Tree suggested their absolutely cute Salt Dough Footprint Keepsakefor a quick and cost effective Father’s Day present!

Intrigued by the allure of a personal and thrifty gift, the girls of The Crafty Collaborative rolled up their sleeves and dove in!

 

Please click here to visit The Imagination Tree and the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Mandy

Mission:  Bond with my nephews and make a cute (and cheap) keepsake that they can give to mom, dad, grandma and grandpa!

 

Details:

  • I followed the recipe as written except for being strict on the time. Well, actually used Kosher salt as that’s what I had available. 

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I used more water than the recipe called for so make sure you plan accordingly.

Mine didn’t look as smooth as the photos in the original recipe did. Maybe it was the Kosher salt?? It is a bit grittier than normal table salt.

Pros:

Easy and kid-friendly! Plus, when I put my pup’s (Ruthie) paw in it, she totally didn’t mind as I think it tasted good to her when she got to lick it.

Cons:

Takes awhile to cook. Make sure you are not in a rush and can be at home while it’s cooking. Also, don’t forget about it like I did.

With such a long cooking time, I totally spaced on watching the time! Whoops.

Conclusion:

When I finally remembered to take the creations out (which I still think ended up being around 3 hours later), they cooked up just fine and didn’t burn at all. They could have maybe even gone longer as the centers were still a little moist. Definitely will make these again with my nephews for fun, affordable gifts for the fam!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission:  To create a keepsake of my children’s footprints with salt dough.

 

Details:

  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Darling kiddos!
  • Acrylic paint

Tips & Tricks Learned:

You have to push the kids hand or foot into the salt dough a bit firmer than you may think to make a good impression of their print.

Pros:

SUPER easy to do and we had all of the materials on-hand.

Awesome keepsake for yourself or a gift for a loved one. 🙂

Cons:

My kids are a bit young to really understand the acrylic painting technique – but it all turned out great.

This project is somewhat time consuming – due to the bake time and then paint and dry time. We did the project over the course of two days.

Conclusion:

The kids and I had a great time making the salt dough forms – they turned out really cute too!

This is a sweet family project that you can cherish for years to come – and you could even do this as a yearly project. It would be a great project to do as a new mom with your infant as a keepsake of those cute tiny hands and feet 🙂

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Amanda

Mission: To turn dough into art! I am creating shapes for my kids to paint on a rainy day.

 
 

Details:

  • I went into this craft knowing there would be some things I would change and may do differently.
  • I decided that I would use my KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer
    instead of doing the work manually. At first this seemed like a great idea but then I could tell that no amount of mixing, adding flour and water was going to make it smooth. So I opted to take the dough out of the bowl and knead it like bread dough. This was the trick!
  • I lightly floured the counter and kneaded for about a minute and then used the roller to make it smooth and about 1/4 inch thick so I could cut out shapes.
  • I used small cookie cutter in various shapes. 3 of each to keep it fair with my kids of course!
  • I also used Kosher salt since the recipe didn’t call for specifics. I wonder if that may make a slight difference in texture.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Hand kneading is key and adding just a little water and just a little flour at a time is best. I only ended up adding about 1 tablespoon of water and about 2 tablespoons of flour to get the desired texture.

Pros:

This recipe requires cheap ingredients in small amounts so it is extremely economical and fairly readily available if you need a rainy day project.

Cons:

It is clear that you need to perfect the amounts and your kneading technique to make this a “quick” project.

Plus the amount of time it has to bake might make the waiting unbearable for little ones.

Conclusion:

I still think this will be a fun project to surprise my kids with and I KNOW they will love decorating them. I even cut out some small shapes that we could add magnets to.

I will definitely try this again but may try heating the water and salt together to make the dough smoother. Much like you would with a playdough recipe.

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Maren

Mission: The second I saw this project there was just one thing was one my mind.  Pawprints!  I couldn’t wait to stick my pup’s paw in some dough!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I don’t think that there really is an exact recipe to make this stuff.  Having said that, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to make it work.  You just have to wing it.  I tried to keep track, but in the end, I have no idea how much salt, water or flour was in the bowl.  I did use warmer water though, in hopes that it would help the salt dissolve.

After over-thinking everything, I finally just approached the dough as if I were making cookies.  I floured my work surface, and rolled the dough out to an even thickness.

Make sure that you wipe your pups paw off after pressing into the dough.  I think that Rosie’s paw was like a mini salt-lick in the end.

My paw print ornaments were not more than 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick, however they felt moist and soft in the center of the underside after baking for 3 hours.  I decided to bake for another hour, and then leave in the oven overnight.  The following morning they still felt damp on the underside’s center (I wonder if it’s because I used parchment paper?).  Since the top part was totally dried out, I flipped them upside down and baked them for another hour at 200 degrees.  Wa-lah!  Perfect!

When they were done baking, the ornaments looked like they were a little grainy, but they were totally smooth to the touch.

Upon painting my little paw prints, I noticed the dough sucking the paint into tiny air holes, the surface was pretty porous in some areas.  Lightbulb!  A porous surface should be sealed first with gesso!  After this brilliant idea, and after trying one with and one without… it was determined that they looked almost exactly the same in the end.  Damn it.

In terms of these bad boys being kid-friendly – it should be noted that I dropped one of mine [unpainted] onto the granite countertop from about 2 feet above, and another one [painted] from my hands onto the wood floor and neither one of them broke.  Yay!

Pros:

Totally easy.  Super cute!

My doggie was a good sport.  We were both happy about this being a pet-safe activity.

Cons:

There was a lot of guesswork in the bake time, but since it was such a low heat – it wasn’t a scary thing.

Conclusion:

This was an easy, fun project!  I am happy with how my puppy keepsake turned out, too!  I am already thinking of other things that I can make with this quick and easy dough!  I think that I might have to steal my nephew’s hand or foot to make a keepsake like The Imagination Tree’s!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Sheri

Mission: Okay here’s that word that I’m not too comfortable with… “Dough.”

Dough needs the right flour to water ratio to work right. Dough gets sticky. You add more flour and then dough get crumbly. I often have a problem with dough. This project should be interesting…especially seeing the boys will be helping me.

Details:

  • After reading the instructions I was a little more at ease. 1 cup salt, 1 cup of flour, and half a cup of water. Easy. I let the boys help. They were super excited.
  • You simply combine the three ingredients and form a ball of dough.
  • The boys flattened their dough and of course wanted to make dinosaurs instead of handprint keepsakes.
  • We put them in the oven at 200°F for two and a half hours.
  • Logan decided to get creative and make a dinosaur egg fossil. Seeing he put plastic bones in it we couldn’t put it in the oven. I think it’s going to take weeks to dry.
  • The following day, they painted.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I found that the dough was a little too sticky. The predicament I hate to be in.  I added a quarter cup of flour and the consistency was much better.

Also, don’t use your kids tempera paints…you really should use acrylic.

Pros:

First and foremost the kids had fun. Clean-up was easy. Only 3 ingredients!

Cons:

Kids asking if they’re ready yet 50 times over a span of 2.5 hours.

Conclusion:

I have to admit it was a really easy dough to make. They boys had fun. Big bonus was that the clean-up was easy. I’m already thinking of things we can make with the stuff as gifts.

 

Adorable shot of the Salt Dough Footprint Keepsakes taken by The Imagination Tree


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Sueños Encantados has shown us how to Make Your Own Crayons!

Where there are Crafty Collaborators, there are often Crafty Kids!  We’re always on the hunt for fun projects to do together!

 

Please click here to visit Sueños Encantados and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission:  Utilize broken crayons and make them new again.

 

Details:

  • Broken crayons
  • Mini cupcake pan(s)
  • Olive oil
  • Kids

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If some broken crayon pieces are still too big to fit in the mini cupcake pan, use a knife to cut vs. painfully hurting your fingersJ

Pros:

A great way to re-use broken crayons vs. tossing them out.

Cons:

Breaking the crayons into smaller pieces was a bit hard on the fingers, but nothing this lady couldn’t handle. We had included some broken Melissa and Doug brand crayons as well, but they did not melt as well as the Crayola crayon pieces.

Conclusion:

The make your own crayon project was a hit! My kids and I had a great time getting the crayons ready for melting and found the directions easy to follow. Overall a great activity!

My son was so excited about them after we were done that he took them to show his friends at daycare!

In addition, the final size of these crayons are great for younger toddlers as they are much easier to hold.

 

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission:  Today’s project…I just call it the Melted Crayon Thing…you can call it whatever you want. You see it all over Pinterest, mostly as school gift ideas for classmates.

 

Details:

  • The first step, aside from pre-heating the oven to 250°, is peeling the paper off the crayons. Let me tell you Crayola crayons paper sticks the best. It was easier to get the paper off the cheap crayons we got from the restaurant. After about 5 minutes of peeling crayons I had to grab the wine. This SUCKED, and it wasn’t even something I had thought of. I was too worried about my pan and oven.
  • A few sips of wine and then there was clarity. Pocket knife!! Worked like a charm. I plowed right through that pile of crayons.
  • Major thing to NOT forget is to liberally oil the muffin tin. I just used regular vegetable oil. After the pan is oiled you pile in the crayons like so. Make up any color combo you like. I tend to like the warm colors with the warm colors, cool with cool. You get it, right?
  • Put them in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. I kept an eye on them because as I stated previously I was very afraid of the “blub-blub-blub” and having to scrape melted crayon out of my oven.
  • When they were done aka melted completely I let them cool. Then came the moment of truth…would they be stuck in my muffin pan… please no. I took a deep breath, flipped the pan and plop, plop, plop, everyone single one of them came dropping out onto the counter. Success!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

This looked like a cute idea. What home of kids doesn’t have broken crayons? I mean my three-year-old his breaking the things all.the.time! Maybe it makes him feel like Superman? I always end up with a pile of broken crayon pieces, for which my other two boys refuse to use.

I finally started buying the twist ones and still seem to end up with some broken pieces of crayon because they often twist the crayon up too high. However, for this project I needed more than just a couple of broken crayons so I snuck into Grammie’s stash.

I figured this would be an easy project that wouldn’t take much thought and time to come out great. My only worry was my muffin pan…would it get ruined? Oh, and the “blub-blub-blub” factor. If crayon bubbled over and melted all over my oven I would be in tears.

Pros:

Really easy and not very time consuming. You can’t really fail esthetically; Martha’s would look the same way!

Cons:

Peeling the paper off the crayons was a pain in the butt, but if you use my little tip it makes it less painfully tedious.

 

Conclusion:

I might actually do this with the kids come the next school year. It really wasn’t difficult and you can make a ton at once. Big factor for me was that my pan and oven survived and clean-up was a super easy. The “melted crayon thing” – a success.

 

Adorable Handmade Crayon photos taken by Providence Handmade


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