Salad Spinner Art

Salad Spinner ArtThe most fun you (and your kids) will ever have with a salad spinner…

You will need:

  • A salad spinner (no, really?!)
  • paper
  • scissors
  • pen
  • non-toxic poster paint, watered down slightly if it is thick.
  • blu tack or masking tape
  • child, or children, if you decide to let them join in…

Take the inner basket out of your salad spinner and draw around it on a peice of paper so you have an idea of how lagre your paper will be. Use this as your template and cut several peices of paper into this circle shape.

use a piece of blu-tack or masking tape folded over ontu itself to secure a piece of precut paper inside of the basket.

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Let your child (or go on, have a go yourself) put a few blobs of slightly watered down paint on to the middle of the peice of paper. Be as experimental with colours as you like! Get them to try the 3 primary colours to guess what colours will be created (using red and yellow for example).

Pop the lid on and SPIN BABY SPIN!!!!

DSCF1335 DSCF1334 DSCF1329Remove your paper and admire your artwork! Then try another, and another… (be warned, salad spinner art is seriously addictive so be sure to have enough paper handy!)

Spin Art

Make sure you wash your spinner thorughly, before using it actually spin salad (or keep a spinner just for art making purposes!) x

 

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Ginger Biscuits – Gluten & Dairy Free

Ginger cookies, gluten free

I saw this idea on pinterest, where a pattern has been pressed into each biscuit, and couldn’t resist giving it a go!

I was craving ginger biscuits and S was keen to do some baking so I adapted a recipe to suit him being gluten free and was pretty happy with the results. My husband didn’t even complain about them being gluten free (usually he can tell the difference) So they must’ve been good!

Ginger biscuit/cookie recipe*:

  • 150g dairy free magarine
  • 220g soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 360g gluten free flour (I used Healtheries baking mix its by far the best I’ve found)
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • pinch of salt

*you can use regular butter and flour, if you don’t need to make them GF or dairy free!

Preheat oven to 170 centigrade (375 f) and grease 2 baking trays with non stick paper (ignore the fact that I used tin foil, I was out of baking paper when I made these and the foil was not my greatest idea) If you like you can halve the mixture once it is a dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge for a few days before baking a second batch.

Cream magarine, and sugar until pale and creamy then beat in egg. You can use a mixer but I used elbow grease! Add flour,  baking powder, ginger and vanilla essence then a pinch of salt and beat with a wooden spoon until a dough has formed.

ginger cookie dough

DSCF1121 My little helper x

Next, roll walnut sized amounts in to balls and place an even distance apart on a baking tray like so:DSCF1132

To make the pretty patterns on the cookies I used a small bowl I had which had a cut glass pattern in the bottom. You can find similar patterns on the bottom of some brady type glasses, have a scour of your local charity/op shops for inspiring biscuit stampers! I sprayed the bowl lightly with cooking oil first.

baking patterns

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Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes – check at the 12 min mark and remove as soon as they are a golden brown colour.

ginger biscuits

Store in an airtight container or serve with a good old cuppa tea! x

DIY Fossils with salt dough

DIY fossils

A super easy craft activity that my boys LOVED. All you need is a simple salt dough and either items found from nature or toy dinosuars (or both!)

Salt dough recipe

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 3/4 cup hot water (or there abouts)
  • black food colouring

Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Then add the oil. Add about a teaspoon of black food colouring to the hot water water and slowly pour it into the mixture, stirring as you go. If dough becomes too wet add a little more flour, or too dry add more water at a tablespoon a time. Kneed until it is a nice smooth dough.DSCF1216Divide dough into roughly equal sized parts and roll each piece to about 1 cm thick. let your childs imagination take over, as they choose which fossils to make. We went on a ‘nature walk’ to select shells, leaves, and things such as seed pods, and also used a selection of plastic dinosaurs.

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I didn’t manage to get many photos as S needed a bit of help during the process, but I think its easy enough to work out what to do!

Bake them in the oven at 120 c (I used fan mode) for 1-2 hours, I greased the baking tray lightly with spray oil first, and turned the ‘fossils’ every half hour until they felt hollow and seemed thoroughly dried out. It depends on the thickness of your dough. You may need to remove some sooner then others before they get brown.DSCF1226DIY salt dough fossilsVarnish if you like, but we left ours as they were. S took his proudly to his Montessori pre-school where they have placed them in a basket with a magnifying glass for the other children to explore, so we have since made another batch and he seemed to enjoy it even more. x

DIY fabric printing tutorial part 1 – Making stamps

diy fabric printingI have finally got back into printing fabric, its only been, oh, 10 years since I completed my degree in printed surface design… A few things got in the way (ahem..) but the urge to print has finally returned! I thought I would share an example of how to make your own stamps. Fabric printing is such fun and the results are pretty instantaneous and so satisfying, and you can achieve great results without the need to buy expensive equipment. But of course it doesn’t have to be limited to fabric, paper is just as satisfying to print onto and great to do with kids too.

For the stamps you will need:

  • blocks of wood, bottles tops, corks or other material to stick your stamps onto (get creative and look in your recycling!)
  • craft foam
  • a pen
  • craft knife and/or scissors
  • strong glue (glue gun or craft glue)
  • cutting board (if using craft knife)

DIY stamps

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Cut out your shapes. For complicated shapes, you can draw your design on paper first, cut it out then trace around it onto your craft foam.

Glue down your shapes.

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DSCF1079 Here I used corks and milk bottle tops for smaller shapes

To print your stamps you will need:

  • fabric paint (I used fastex)
  • plate/pallet or similar for mixing colours on
  • sponge or sponge dabber
  • something to mix paints with e.g paintbrush or small spoon
  • for larger quantities of mixed fabric paint you may want to store leftovers in a clean lidded jam jar or tub.
  • masking tape
  • suitable printing surface*

*I will be adding another tutorial on how to create a printing surface. For small scale projects you can just masking tape your fabric to a table, but bear in mind that the ink make sink through to the table.

DSCF1356Mix your desired colour, and dab the ink onto your stamp with your sponge.

DSCF1089DSCF1358Here I tied and elastic band around a sponge to give it a more ’rounded’ area for dabbing with. (please excuse my claw like hand!)

testing the stampsTesting out the stamps on paper or smaller scraps of fabric first is a great idea…! It will save you wasting your chosen fabric as the stamp may print differently to how you imagined and it takes a few goes to get the pressure right. Also it will give you a chance to see if the colour you have chosen is correct.

DIY fabric printing Here you can see how my fabric tightly stretched onto my printing surface and taped down to keep the fabric from moving as I print.

Have fun! x