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Tips for Homemade Crafts

"Cupboard Creations"

Arts and crafts are a fun and productive way to occupy your kids when they’re cooped up in the house, and you already have more ‘art supplies’ at your fingertips than you think. Below are hints for "cupboard creation" craft supplies (kids will have great fun just making the supplies, but adult supervision is necessary):

"Picture Perfect" Watercolors:

  • 4 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon glycerin
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Red, blue, yellow food coloring

Mix the vinegar and baking soda in a small bowl or jar until mixture stops foaming. Add the glycerin and cornstarch and stir thoroughly. Pour the mixture into small containers or paint box compartments. Now you can experiment with color by adding a few drops of food coloring to each individual container. Mix each color thoroughly and leave (preferably overnight) to set.

"Get Your Hands Dirty" Finger Paint:

  • 1 cup plain wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon glycerin
  • Food coloring or powdered paint pigment

Blend the flour in enough cold water to make a smooth paste. Boil 4 cups water and stir into the paste, stirring until the mixture is translucent. Stir in 1 tablespoon of glycerin and allow to cool.

Pour into separate containers for different colors and mix in food coloring or powdered paint pigment.

Paper Mache

  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon powdered alum
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove oil, cinnamon oil or lemon extract

Mix the sugar and flour thoroughly in a saucepan, then add the cold water slowly, stirring constantly to make a paste. Keep stirring and add the boiling water. Make sure there are no lumps and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the paste is translucent. Remove from heat and mix in the alum and clove oil. This recipe will keep for 1-3 months if kept in a covered container.

Homemade Glue

  • 5 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon powdered alum
  • 1 teaspoon undiluted antiseptic such as decolorized iodine

Mix the sugar and flour in a small saucepan, then add water slowly, stirring continuously to make a smooth paste. Make sure there are no lumps, then heat gently, stirring constantly until the mixture is translucent. Remove from heat and stir in the decolorized iodine. Use warm or cold. This glue will keep for 1-2 months in a covered container.

To find a store near you that stocks the ingredients to enjoy these simple home remedies, click here.

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