Glitter, Sequins, and Plaster of Paris Ornaments

finished Moomin Troll ornaments
finished Moomin Troll ornaments

Sophia adores glitter so I came up with this project for her. When we started I wasn’t sure what we would make with the end results but we ended making them in to hanging ornaments πŸ™‚

Glitter and sequin Moomin Troll ornament
Glitter and sequin Moomin Troll ornament

What you will need:

  • Molds of your liking
  • Glitter
  • Sequins
  • Beads or anything else small like buttons, rocks, etc
  • Water
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Tray to contain the mess
  • A cookie drying rack
  • Ziplock bag
  • Measuring cup
  • Scissors
  • Mod podge
  • Ribbon
  • Paint brush
  • Tin foil
  • Hot glue gun and stick of glue
  • (Optional scale)
Things we used in the molds  (minus the googlie eyes, she didn't want any)
Things we used in the molds (minus the googlie eyes, she didn’t want any)
Excited to glitter!
Excited to glitter!
Small beads got poured in
Small beads got poured in

After the first mold was all done to her liking we moved on to the next.

TIP: In case of glitter spills, wet wipes and also play doh are great fast ways of picking up the strays

Excited to make Moomin Trolls
Excited to make Moomin Trolls
Mixing glitter
Mixing glitter
Adding sequins after she was satisfied with all the glitter
Adding sequins after she was satisfied with all the glitter
The last of the sequins got poured in
The last of the sequins got poured in

Once she was satisfied with all the glitter and sequins in the mold. We mixed up a batch of plaster. I didn’t think we would need a full one pound (It comes in one pound bags in the box), so we mixed first a half a pound and halved the recipe on the box.

TIP: Instead of using a bucket and a stick as the instructions on the box say, use a gallon ziplock bag to mix in. Sophia demonstrates how to mix in the bag below.

Once mixed just cut a small hole in one corner of the bag and pour it on the molds. I found that we were a little shy so we made another 4 oz (with the recipe quartered for water amount).

For the molds I used up 12 oz of the 1 pound bag of plaster
For the molds I used up 12 oz of the 1 pound bag of plaster

We were left with 1/4 pound of unused plaster.

Plaster poured in
Plaster poured in
Hearts plastered
Hearts plastered
Removed the ornaments out of the molds after they had set for about an hour, so they would dry better
Removed the ornaments out of the molds after they had set for about an hour, so they would dry better

I did remove the ornaments out of the molds after they had set for about an hour, so they would dry better. In the process I did break two of the Moomin Trolls arms off. But glue them back on once they dried with mod podge.

Mod podged ornaments to seal on the glitter and sequins
Mod podged ornaments to seal on the glitter and sequins

After the ornaments were dry I took a larger paintbrush and mod podged the tops and sides of them to seal in the glitter and sequins. I set them to dry on a sheet of tinfoil.

Hot glued ribbons on the Moomin Trolls
Hot glued ribbons on the Moomin Trolls

Sophia was happy to cut up all the ribbon pieces we needed. I hot glued them on. You have to let the glue cool before touching it or they do peel off pretty easy when wet yet.

Hot glued ribbons on the hearts
Hot glued ribbons on the hearts
Finished heart ornaments
Finished heart ornaments

All done!

finished Moomin Troll ornaments
finished Moomin Troll ornaments

Perler Beads for a toddler?

Sophia and I made a perler bead fish
Sophia and I made a perler bead fish

The recommended age for perler beads are 6+ according to the packages you buy at the store. However, I feel that in a supervised setting toddlers can benefit greatly from practicing with them. It is great for fine motor, hand eye coordination, concentration, and following directions. Also, it provides for great talks about color, patterns and provides opportunities for learning new vocabulary.

Perler beads
Perler beads

We did this fish together as she wouldn’t have the patience to do one by herself.

I would recommend to do this in a tray of some sort as the beads do roll away easily. We love doing projects like these in her highchair πŸ™‚

Pure concentration
Pure concentration

She’d knock some over and I would just comment about it being OK and I’d knock some over too. I felt that this is a good way to show her that it’s not bad and not to get frustrated when some fall over.

We just went with random colors (no set pattern)
We just went with random colors (no set pattern)

She learned a great technique of flipping the fallen ones back up on to the pegs all by herself by just experimenting. (I was working on the tail, the rest were hers.)

Almost there
Almost there
The finishing touches
The finishing touches

 

All done
All done

I didn’t let Sophia assist in the ironing process, since she had just spent a lot of time concentrating on the project. I felt that her attention span would be too short to be safe for her work with the hot iron.

All ironed
All ironed
Added a string to hang it up
Added a string to hang it up

Love Bugs 3 versions trials and tribulations

You may have seen these cute critters on Pinterest. We made 3 different versions since we kept having glue issues. I’ll show you what we all did. With pro’s and cons as they appeared.

Toddler approved
Toddler approved

1. First we tried to make them with Elmers glue as a post on Pinterest had suggested. I found it very flimsy and not toddler friendly as I had to hold the pieces on for a long time and the pom poms sucked in all the glue I put on. However this is a great version for older kids with patience and enough skills to do this on their own.

Things for the Elmers glue version
Things for the Elmers glue version

What you will need:

Put glue on the clothes pin
Put glue on the clothes pin
We wanted our Love Bug to have legs so we cut a pipe cleaner in 3 and folded little feet at the ends
We wanted our Love Bug to have legs so we cut a pipe cleaner in 3 and folded little feet at the ends
Placing pom poms
Placing pom poms
As you can see the 4 pom poms didn't fit all that great and were having trouble drying nicely
As you can see the 4 pom poms didn’t fit all that great and were having trouble drying nicely

2. The second Love Bug we tried Removable Clear Mounting Squares instead of the Elmers glue. This version is great for toddlers as a sensory and exploratory experience, as there is no messy glue to work with. However, the end product is not stable to hang up and the mounting squares don’t grip very strongly. So we ended taking it apart and using the pieces in the final version.

What you will need:

  • Elmers Glue
  • Clothes pin
  • Googlie eyes
  • Deco Tubing ribbon for the legs
  • Red and pink pom-poms
Removable clear mounting squares trial
Removable clear mounting squares trial
Sticking on the legs
Sticking on the legs
Great art material  exploring experience
Great art material exploring experience
Toddler approved
Toddler approved
Love Bug with removable clear mounting squares
Love Bug with removable clear mounting squares

3. The final and most successful version, we used hot glue. As I mentioned we used the pieces from the second version so the googlie eyes are already attached. This method will give you the most durable end result. Not as toddler friendly unless they know how to use a glue gun. Sophia is good about listening to instructions so I don’t have problems with her putting pieces on to the hot glue dabs I place. Plus I’m like a hawk with 100% attention on what she does when we are working together. I think in a few months (if I can find a suitable glue gun) I’ll let her practice holding it.

What you will need:

  • Hot glue gun and glue stick
  • Clothes pin
  • Googlie eyes
  • Deco Tubing ribbon for the legs
  • Red and pink pom-poms
  • Glitter foam sheet (for cutting feet from)

Plug in your glue gun and let it heat up before starting.

Hot glue version we added little feet on to the ribbon
Hot glue version we added little feet on to the ribbon
I hot glued the feet on to the ribbon before hand
I hot glued the feet on to the ribbon before hand
Love Bug hot glued
Love Bug hot glued

Since we were working with a hot glue gun I didn’t get any action shots. But I would put a dab of glue and Sophia would stick either a leg or pom pom into it, as she wanted.

Pine Cone Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Pine Cone Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Pine Cone Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

What you will need:

  • Small and Large Pine Cones
  • Hot glue gun and glue stick
  • White and Red Felt for making a hat (or buy a hat pre-made)
  • Googlie eyes
  • 3 Brown pipe cleaners
  • Red pom-pom
Santa Hats
Santa Hats

I was planning on making a Santa hat out of felt for our pine cone Rudolph, until I found these cute Santa hats on sale at Hobby Lobby for 50% off.

Things needed
Things needed
Placing the leg
Placing the leg

Weave/wrap the first pipe cleaner through the pine cone in the spot you want the legs to go, when the two ends meet leave them about an inch apart.

Weave through
Weave through

Fold back the end of the pipe cleaner back up to the pine cone (so you have shorter sturdier legs) the finished legs should be about 2-3 inches long.

Fold up
Fold up

Weave/wrap the second pipe cleaner about an 1.5 inches down from the first legs.

Weave the pipe cleaner through the pine cone
Weave the pipe cleaner through the pine cone

Once the legs are on there make sure that it balances well.

TIP: You can re-adjust them as needed since they are only pushed in the pine cone cracks and not permanently attached in any way.

Once the legs are on there make sure that it balances well
Once the legs are on there make sure that it balances well

Weave the remaining pipe cleaner to one end of the small pine cone. Cut off about 2 inches off the end of the pipe cleanersΒ  and then twist them on to the antlers as desired.

Weave the remaining pipe cleaner to one end of the small pine cone
Weave the remaining pipe cleaner to one end of the small pine cone

Squeeze hot glue to the large pine cone to where you want the head to sit and put the smaller cone into place. Glue the hat on behind the antlers.

Gluing the nose on Rudolph
Gluing the nose on Rudolph

On the tip of the small pine cone put glue and put the pom-pom nose on.

Lastly glue on the eyes
Lastly glue on the eyes

Lastly glue on the eyes.

Reindeer hugs
Reindeer hugs

Your reindeer is ready for some love πŸ™‚

Reindeer kisses
Reindeer kisses
Pine Cone Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Pine Cone Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Pine Cone Holiday Penguin!

Holiday pine cone penguin!
Holiday pine cone penguin!

What you will need:

  • A Pine Cone
  • Black tempera paint
  • Paint brush
  • hot glue gun and glue stick
  • Black, White and Red Felt for making tummy/face, wings, and a hat (or buy a hat pre-made)
  • Googlie eyes
  • Orange pipe cleaner
  • Wet wipes (for cleaning)
Santa Hats
Santa Hats

I was planning on making a Santa hat out of felt for our pine cone penguin, until I found these cute Santa hats on sale at Hobby Lobby for 50% off.

Paint the pine cone black
Paint the pine cone black

First paint the pine cone black and let the paint dry.

TIP: If you the squeeze the paint directly on the pine cone and then spread it with a brush, it is easier to do than putting the paint on a plate and having to scoop it up with the brush.

Things to make a holiday pine cone penguin!
Things to make a holiday pine cone penguin!

Cut the white felt in a oblong 8 figure as shown in the picture above. Cut two wings out of the black felt. If you are making your own Santa hat make it before you start on the penguin.

Penguin's beak and feet
Penguin’s beak and feet

Cut a small part off the orange pipe cleaner and bend it in a “V” shape for the beak. Then take the remaining piece and bend 3 toes on each end as shown in the above picture.

Ready to hot glue!
Ready to hot glue!

Plug in your hot glue gun and let it heat up.

Gluing the face first!
Gluing the face first!

Start with gluing the face first on to the white felt piece.

Then take the pine cone and glue the white felt piece on as desired. After that glue the hat and wings on as desired.

Penguin's feet glued on
Penguin’s feet glued on

On the bottom of the pine cone glue on the feet as shown above.

Pine Cone Holiday Penguin!
Pine Cone Holiday Penguin!

Enjoy your new Holiday Penguin πŸ™‚

Penguin love
Penguin love <3
Pine Cone Holiday Penguin and Rudolf!
Pine Cone Holiday Penguin and Rudolf!

Instructions for Rudolf here.

Our holiday pine cone friends πŸ™‚

Holiday pine cone friends
Holiday pine cone friends

Instructions for pine cone Santa click here

Instructions for the painted tree click here

Instructions for the salt dough ornaments click here

Potato Stamping Christmas Cards!

Toddler Potato Stamping Christmas Cards
Toddler Potato Stamping Christmas Cards

It’s the time of year to get your Christmas cards sent. We decided to make some this year. I figured for the most toddler participation, potato stamping would be the best option. (I didn’t want to have Sophia only be interested in making one or two cards and all the rest left to me)

Free hand Christmas tree stamp
Free hand Christmas tree stamp

What you will need:

  • A large potato
  • A large knife (to cut the potato in half)
  • A small knife (for carving)
  • Cookie cutters
  • Tempera paints
  • Foam brushes
  • Card stock paper for cards
  • A paper cutter
  • A cup with water for setting dirty paint brushes in
  • Wet wipes (for easy clean up)

First cut your potato in half. Then cut out designs as wanted. I wanted to use cookie cutters on both but the tree cookie cutter I have was too big for the potato, so I ended free handing it.

When using a cookie cutter press it in to your potato half about a quarter inch. Then take your knife and cut away the potato to the cookie cutters edges.

Use a cookie cutter to cut out the stamp
Use a cookie cutter to cut out the stamp

Cut the card stock paper in half to a desirable size card. We decided we wanted our cards to fold open with a stamp on the outside and a stamp on the inside.

Ready for Potato Stamping Christmas Cards
Ready for Potato Stamping Christmas Cards

Put some tempera paint on your stamp with a foam brush. You don’t want to put the paint on too thickly or it will just smear.

TIP: Practice a few stamps on a scrap sheet of paper to figure out a good amount of paint for the stamp.

Excited to start stamping!
Excited to start stamping!
So amazed! :)
So amazed! πŸ™‚

Place the stamp on the card and press firmly down on it before removing from paper.

Allow the first stamp to dry before stamping the inside of the cards.

Ready to stamp candy canes
Ready to stamp candy canes

I tried to make striped candy canes with red and white but it just blended together in to pink candy canes.

Stamping the candy canes
Stamping the candy canes

Allow paint to dry. Then they are ready to write in or decorate further if desired. Sophia drew pictures and added some stickers to ours πŸ™‚

The Painted Tree

Our pastel painted branch!
Our pastel painted branch!

I saw this fun idea on Babble Dabble Do blog for a rainbow tree.

From that day I was on a constant search for a branch that would work. It took several weeks since around where we live right now 99% of the trees are pines.

What you will need:

  • A branch of your liking
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Cup with water for setting dirty paint brushes in
  • Wet wipes (for easy clean up)
All set up to paint
All set up to paint

Cover your work surface. I tape (with painters or packing tape) the wax cloth directly on to the table so it doesn’t move around while we work.

Excited to paint :)
Excited to paint πŸ™‚
Painting our pastel tree
Painting our pastel tree

TIP: The foam paint brushes are the best for toddlers to work with on this project

Ready to flip over
Ready to flip over

Sophia was more interested in using a fewer colors over all covering larger areas.

It's great for hanging up crafts
It’s great for hanging up crafts

I placed rocks in a vase to hold up our tree. The tree is a really fun way to display some of our art work we do πŸ™‚

Snowflake the Elf all ready for mornign for Sophia to find her
Tree with our salt dough ornaments

(I painted the vase pink since I wasn’t a fan of the brownish red color it was before. )

How to make:

Cookie cutter salt dough ornaments here and decorating them here

Pine Cone Santa here

Counting down to Christmas with Elf on the Shelf with a toddler friendly version here

Pine Cone Santa!

Pine Cone Santa
Pine Cone Santa

I was planning on making a Santa hat out of felt for our pine cone Santa, until I found these cute Santa hats on sale at Hobby Lobby for 50% off.

Santa Hats
Santa Hats

What you will need:

  • A Pine Cone
  • Red Acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Gorilla Glue (you could use a hot glue gun instead)
  • Felt for making a hat or buy a hat pre-made
  • Googlie eyes
  • Cotton balls
  • Dowel Cap (for head)
  • Wet wipes (for cleaning)

 

Ready to paint
Ready to paint

Paint the pine cone.

Painting the pine cone
Painting the pine cone

It doesn’t have to be completely covered in paint, the imperfections will add character πŸ™‚

TIP: Have wet wipes handy to wipe off paint from hands

Painted pine cone
Painted pine cone

Allow the paint to dry.

TIP: You could add glitter if you wanted to by sprinkling some into the wet paint.

Ready to glue together the Santa
Ready to glue together the Santa

Test out how you want the head (dowel) to sit before adding the glue.

Put glue in the bottom and sides of the hole in the dowel and then fit it over the pine cone top pieces (the spot you want the head to sit).

Attaching the beard
Attaching the beard

Stretch out and shape a cotton ball into a beard of your liking. Then place glue on the parts of the pine cone that it will touch and set it in place.

TIP: You will want to glue the top of the beard on to the head, so add a dab of glue there.

Attaching the googlie eyes
Attaching the googlie eyes

Put a dab of glue to where you want the eyes to go and put the googlie eyes in place.

Attaching the googlie eyes
Attaching the googlie eyes

Put a small cotton ball inside the hat (to help keep it’s form). Put glue on the edges of the hat and cotton ball where they touch theΒ  dowel (head). Allow all the glue to dry.

TIP: This is where I wished I had faster drying glue option (like hot glue or maybe super glue) since the hat didn’t want to stay exactly where I wanted it to at first.

Finished Pine Cone Santa!
Finished Pine Cone Santa!

Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

Decorated Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Decorated Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

This is for different ideas for decorating your ornaments. For directions on how to make salt dough cookie cutter ornaments click here.

Ready to Paint Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Ready to Paint Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

What you will need:

  • Salt Dough Ornaments
  • Acrylic paint
  • Mod podge glossy finish
  • Ribbon/ string
  • Paint brushes
  • Toothpick
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Beads
  • Felt
  • Glitter
  • Pony beads
  • Different sized gold beads
  • Googlie eyes
  • Buttons, cotton balls, pom poms or anything else you find laying around
Painting Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Painting Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

Paint the ornaments as desired and allow the paint to dry.

Painted Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Painted Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

TIP: Make sure you don’t fill the ribbon hole with paint or the ribbon won’t fit through. If you get paint in it just use a toothpick to remove the excess paint.

Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

We added glitter to the white parts of our candy canes. Lightly brush a thin layer of mod podge on and sprinkle glitter over the wet mod podge. Allow to dry.

Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

Using gorilla glue we glued on googlie eyes and pony beads for the “gum drop” buttons πŸ™‚ I tried out buttons I had first but we liked the pony beads better.

Gingerbread Men Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Gingerbread Men Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

We cut little felt mouths for the gingerbread men, which we gorilla glued on.

Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

We gorilla glued on two different size gold beads on the Christmas trees.

Christmas Tree Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Christmas Tree Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

I gorilla glued on pieces of gold string as “tinsel garland” on the trees.

Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

We gorilla glued on gold string as halos for the angels.

Once you have all your ornaments decorated as desired allow the glue to completely dry. Once it has dried paint a thin layer of mod podge over the ornaments to help preserve them and it will give them a nice glossy finish. The mod podge dries clear so don’t worry about it looking cloudy when you put it on.

Displaying our finished ornaments on our painted branch tree since we don't have our Christmas tree up yet :)
Displaying our finished ornaments on our painted branch tree since we don’t have our Christmas tree up yet πŸ™‚

Once the mod podge has dried string your ornaments and they are ready to be hung on a tree.

Cookie Cutter Salt Dough Ornaments

Having a play date and looking for a easy fun craft activity for the little’s to do for cheap? Want to make ornaments for your own tree or maybe some presents for family members? These are a great choice for all of them!

Cookie Cutter Salt Dough Ornaments
Cookie Cutter Salt Dough Ornaments (and a handprint)

What you will need:

  • 1 cup Salt
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup of Water
  • Measuring cups
  • Rolling pin
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spatula
  • Cookie cutters
  • Skewer (or something else to make holes for the ribbon)
  • Parchment paper
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Ribbon or string
What you need to make Cookie Cutter Salt Dough Ornaments
What you need to make Cookie Cutter Salt Dough Ornaments

Mix together the salt and flour.

Tasting the flour
Tasting the flour
Pouring the flour in the bowl
Pouring the flour in the bowl

Add the water in smaller increments while mixing with the spatula.

Adding water a little bit at a time
Adding water a little bit at a time
Mixing it up slowly
Mixing it up slowly

TIP: You may not need to add the whole 1/2 cup of water. If dough gets sticky and a little bit more flour.

We actually needed a few extra table spoons of water to pull the dough together. The dough is perfect when it holds form. See below.

At this point it will be easier to use your hands. Press the dough together to form a ball.

All done and ready to go
All done and ready to go

Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper and flatten it out with the rolling pin to a desired thickness. We did ours at about 1/4″ thick. The thicker the dough is, the longer it will take to dry and the heavier the ornaments will be (heavy is generally not good for Christmas trees).

Dough rolled out and ready for the cookie cutters
Dough rolled out and ready for the cookie cutters

Cut out the ornaments and set aside.

Cutting out ornaments
Cutting out ornaments

After the first set was cut out, we balled the scraps and re-rolled them flat again.

Cutting out ornaments
Cutting out ornaments

After the second set of ornaments were cut out, we decided to make a hand print ornament with the rest of the scrap dough.

DON’T Forget to poke holes in your ornaments before baking. I used the skewer to make the holes.

From the leftover scraps we decided to make one handprint ornament
From the leftover scraps we decided to make one handprint ornament

TIP: If you want to smooth down cracks and rough edges, you can do so by dipping your finger in water and smoothing them out, adding water as needed.

After 2 hours in the oven at 200 F
After 2 hours in the oven at 200 F

Put the ornaments on the parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Put in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for at least two hours. After 2 hours in the oven at 200 F the ornaments still had wet spots (when you squeeze they are soft and give to pressure). So I flipped them over and increased the oven temperature to 225F and baked them for 2 more hours.

After 2 hours in the oven at 200 F, still wet in spots. Flipped over and increased temp to 225 for 2 more hours.
After 2 hours in the oven at 200 F, still wet in spots. Flipped over and increased temp to 225 for 2 more hours.

Once the ornaments are fully dried out allow them to cool down before continuing to the next step.

The ornaments can be used as is, just add the strings, or you can further decorate as desired.

This is for different ideas for decorating your ornaments. For ideas on how to make decorate your salt dough cookie cutter ornaments click here.