Thursday, January 24, 2013

Salt dough magnets and plaque (Part 2)

In this second part of the lesson , we will make some magnets and a plaque . This is one of the most exciting process in this project .

Materials needed:
                               * Some salt dough we made last week  (give each student a generous amount so he/she will be able to make two magnets and one plaque)

                               * A rolling pin

                               * Some plastic knives (to cut the dough neatly)

                               * Some toothpicks (to make designs on the dough)
                               * Some plastic straws

                               * Small plastic cups for water

                               * Some plastic picture frames 5" X 8" (to measure the plaque )

                               * Wax paper

                               * You may want to have some flour handy , in case things get too sticky .

Project :
              Start by covering each desk with wax paper .

              (1) Each students will start by kneading the dough a little bit to get rid of the air bubbles .

              (2) Each student will then roll the dough flat with the rolling pin . He/she will use the plastic picture frame to measure the size of the plate . With a plastic knife he/she will cut around the frame . We now have the base of our plaque .

              (3) Use a plastic straw to make two holes at the top of the plaque (so we will be able to put a ribbon through later on , to hang the plaque) .

             (4) Now each student can decorate their plaque the way they want to . They can add flowers , ice cream , make a cat or a dog , or simply make a landscape . It is really up to their imagination ! When they add additional pieces of dough on the plaque , they should "glue" it by adding a little bit of water .

             (5) The student can add details to their design , by using toothpicks , a plastic knife ,a straw , etc.

             (6) Once the student is done with the plaque , he/she should set it aside on his/her desk .

             (7) With the extra dough that a student has , he/she can now make a couple of magnets , once again , simply ,using their imagination . They should just use the dough as they would using play dough . They can once again add details by using toothpicks , a plastic knife or a straw .

             (8) After the student is done , they should set the magnets aside on the wax paper .

Teacher's job :
Once every students are done with their salt dough art , it will be the teacher or art docent's job to bake every single piece . BE AWARE ! It will take some time . Use the oven at 350 F . The magnets could take about 2 hours (depending on their sizes ) and the plaques about 4 hours . Make sure each piece is completely dry on BOTH sides !!!!!!!!

Examples: Here are some examples of magnets and one plaque after they were baked .

A glass of refreshing lemonade . Look how the lines on the lemon and on the straw were added by using a plastic knife .

An apple on a book .

A cactus . This time the details were added with a toothpick .

A little mermaid . The mermaid , the flowers and the algae were all modeled separately and then glued onto the plaque by using water . As you can noticed , there is already a little bit of paint on this item , which bring us to our lesson next week  ,where I will explain how to paint and varnish the items . We will also add all the other finishing touches . 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Salt Dough Part 1

With the cold weather , I thought it would be a good idea to make some crafts with salt dough . I will divide this tutorial in 3 parts :

                                 (1) Salt dough recipe

                                 (2) How to make a plaque and magnets

                                 (3) Painting and varnishing your items .

Part 1 : Salt Dough Recipe 

I did this project with second graders . But once again , it can be adapted for any grade .

My mom knows how much I love to create things , so a few years back she sent me a book on how to make salted dough projects . The book was a French translation of "Salt Dough" written by Cheryl Owen . The book contains a lot of amazing creations and is very inspiring . I love her salt dough recipe and that is the recipe I use whenever I want to create something out of salt dough .

Here is the recipe :
                               2 cups of flour
                               1 cup of salt 
                               1 cup of water 

You need to mix the flour and salt in a big mixing bowl . Then you add the water , little by little until your dough becomes smooth and firm . 

Be careful , if you add too much water , your dough will be extremely sticky and it will be hard to do anything with it . If you add too much flour , some cracks will then appear in your creations after you baked them .

Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it for at least ten minutes . By doing so you will eliminate the air bubbles . You may used the dough immediately , but it is better to let it rest about 30 minutes in a closed container in your refrigerator . 

And it is done . As a teacher or an art docent , you may choose to make the dough yourself , in advance . If you are a mom and doing this with your kids at home , you may want to have them  help  you out .