Archive for the ‘kids crafts’ Category

Making Doughnuts

June 5, 2008

Today we were busy baking and making. With Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller as our inspiration we filled our tummies with yummy doughnuts.

We used 101 Cookbook’s recipe for baked doughnuts. They were (yes we ate the whole 1 1/2 dozen YIKES) delicious. I would like to believe they were healthy since they were baked—but they were dipped in butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar. We were able to make the entire recipe in the food processor. This makes quick time of the kneading (we counted to 45 slowly and it was done).

And so you don’t think we are only about weapons around here, we made felt doughnuts too. My eleven year old was amazing with his needle and his sister was thrilled to have some new play food.

First we cut out our felt circles. You may use our template if you like.

doughnut-template

Sew the frosting to one of the doughnut pieces.

My son then sewed “sprinkles” all over the “frosting” with embroidery thread.

With right sides together sew doughnut pieces together, leaving an opening for turning

Turn doughnut right side out.

Stitch completely around the center of the doughnut. We found this easiest to do on the sewing machine. Stay as close to the edge as possible, catching the top and bottom layers.

Stuff doughnut and slip stitch dounut closed!

Ta Da!

We hope you will consider reading along with us to Reed to Feed! This funny and superfluous story gave me pause. As we are reading and eating I am reminded of how lucky we are to have an abundance of food. We can “play” with our food. This it not the case for so many. As a world population over 800 million people will go hungry today.

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Marbleizing Paper

May 25, 2008

To make this fun and easy marbleized paper you will need: 1/2 tsp alum (helps paint adhere to the paper), 2 cups liquid starch, liquid acrylic paints, a long wooden skewer , a 9 X 13 pan and white copy paper cut to fit the inside your pan. You can change up the size of the pan, just keep the proportions of starch and alum the same. The starch should be 1 to 2 inches deep in your pan.

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Pour 2 cups of liquid starch in the pan then add 1/2 tsp alum stirring until mixed.

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Gently drop acrylic paint on the surface of the starch. Some paint will sink to the bottom- do not worry. Try not to use too much paint. For best results choose light and dark colors that go together. It will take some experimenting to know how much paint works best for you. Brands of acrylic paint differ in consistency. If after several tries you have trouble with the paint not staying on the surface, try adding a drop of water to your paint.

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Take the wooden skewer and drag the paint through the starch. Continue dragging the skewer through the paint until you get a design you like. You might try other tools like a fork, feather or comb besides the skewer. Really the fun of this activity is watching the paint swirl around making different designs. There is no right and wrong. Enjoy the experimenting. We were mesmerized —- we hope you will be also!

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Lay your piece of paper on top of the starch. Allow it to sit for a couple of seconds.

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Lift the paper out of the pan and allow the starch to drip off the paper

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Rinse the paper under running water removing any extra starch. This does not change the intensity of the colors (the below photo is a different piece of paper paper from the above photo)

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After the paper has been rinsed, lay it out to dry. It will take about two hours for the paper to dry. When the paper is completely dry, iron on medium setting until the sheets of paper are flat.

You may find that you can print two sheets of paper before adding more paint to the starch. In the photo below, the bottom piece of paper was made first. We then used our skewer again making a different design and put on another sheet of paper.

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In the photo below we had too much paint on our starch so we went ahead and made a print then changed up the design and then made another. If you feel that you have made a lot of prints and your starch is too full of paint, just pour it out and start again.

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The possibilities of what to do with your paper are endless—- cover pencils, a book or a box, make note-cards, book marks or a picture frame etc.

Have fun!

Happy May Day!

May 1, 2008

We used children’s straw purses from the dollar store as our baskets for our May Day flowers today

I hope your day was happy!

May Day

April 27, 2008

May Day is just a few days away. Here is a little download for a simple cone and gift tag.

may-day-cone-template

Print out on card-stock or decorative paper(my paper was two sided so that is how I got the solid tag and printed cone), roll into a cone shape and then glue. I had pretty good luck with a glue stick (when tiny hands were present) but hot glue is more sturdy. Embellishing the cones with drawings, trims, glitter, stamps, cut-outs, is a great family project————but nothing is more fun than the “ding and dash!”

Appreciation 7 days a week

April 22, 2008

This year for teacher appreciation week we will be giving each teacher a “days of the week” pill box filled with little treats and sayings. I found the pill boxes at the dollar store.

You may download the sayings if you like –

teacher-appreciation-sayings

(I didn’t use the “We are lucky to have you for a teacher” saying. It would go nicely with a lottery ticket!)

Fabric covered tacks fill one of the compartments to tell them they are sharp!

I used Jessica Jones’ fabulous instructions to make the fabric covered thumbtacks

Some purchased colorful clips fill the next compartment

Next up marble magnets

These are simple to make with glass gems (floral department at the craft store), E600 craft adhesive, a 3/4 inch hole punch, 3/4 inch magnets and decorative scrapbook paper, wrapping paper and or magazine scraps. First punch out a circle and glue it to the back of the glass gem. I removed air bubbles by moving paper in a circular motion to distribute glue evenly and then pressing hard. Allow to set. Next glue the magnet to the back of your papered gem. I found it necessary to sort my glass gems to find the largest ones with no scratches or imperfections. If your glass gems are smaller try using a 1/2 inch hole punch and 1/2 inch magnets.

A measuring tape tells our teacher that they really measure up

Change for the soda machine fills another compartment

Small little post-it notes (the kind for marking a page) just fit to say, “Just a note to let you know we think you are a wonderful teacher!”

Some mints to say thank you

Wrapped all up with a little gift tag that reads:

A daily gift for all you do,
Teaching my child each day through.
Making a difference without taking a rest,
As a teacher, you’re one of the best!

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Hopefully our teachers will feel appreciated each day!

What’s for lunch?

April 8, 2008

How about a ham, roast beef and Swiss pita with tomato and lettuce and a bag of chips?

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This little lunch is for my niece’s birthday.  I could easily become addicted to making felt food. 

Bunny Egg Holder

March 21, 2008

I though these would make cute place-cards or table decorations

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Download bunny-egg-holder.pdf

Print on colored card-stock and cut out on dotted line.

Bring legs up then wrap one arm in front of legs and then bring the other arm around and place on top of the first arm. Staple where claws on bunny should be.

Want more bunnies? Check out Bunny Napkin Rings

Bunny Napkin Ring

March 21, 2008

Here’s a little something for the children’s table at Easter —- a bunny napkin ring.

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Download bunny-napkin-ring.pdf

Print on colored card-stock then cut out. Roll end toward back of bunny head.

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Staple where claws on bunny should be

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I wrapped silverware in an orange napkin then fastened with a green pipe cleaner and slipped the “carrot” into the bunny.  If you have a hard time with the bunny standing up, a cotton ball glued to the back would provide stability and be a cute addition.

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You will find a matching Bunny Egg holder here.

Window Silhouettes

March 6, 2008

We had so much fun making these window clings —–the possibilities for seasonal and everyday decorations are endless.

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You will need a roll of clear contact paper, paint brushes, paint (we used acrylic), fine sandpaper and masking tape.

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First cut a piece of contact paper from the roll. I cut squares about 5″ x 5″ because that was about the size of shapes I knew I would be cutting.

Take a fine piece of sandpaper and lightly sand the shiny surface of the contact paper where you will be painting. Wipe off any dust. This step helps the paint adhere to the slick contact paper.

Since we are often VERY messy when we paint I taped a piece of wax paper to the table. Tape the piece of contact paper shiny(sanded) side up onto the wax paper.

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Paint onto the contact paper square. Since my daughter is three I encouraged her to paint using lots of colors. I knew I would be cutting out Easter eggs so it really didn’t matter what or how she painted.

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Allow the painting to dry completely. I think she painted about 10 of these squares.

Once the paint is completely dry take another square of contact paper the same size as your painting and peel off the paper backing. Cover your painting with the clear contact paper. Smooth out any bubbles.

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Trace around any shape of your choosing. I used an egg and bunny for my template.

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Cut out the shape

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Carefully remove the paper backing. This takes some time —–make sure you are only removing the paper (the back of your painting should be sticky). If you use acrylic paint it is plastic enough that it has a tendency to peel away from the contact paper, so peel carefully! If it does peel away and it won’t stick back down just put a little glue stick between the layers.

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Once you are finished stick your silhouettes to your window

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from the outside looking in

from the inside looking out

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I would encourage older kids to paint their own designs and then cut out. I can imagine huge flowers and birds! Nothing is sweeter than kid’s art!

Have fun!!

Lucky Shamrocks

March 4, 2008

My 11 year old boy made these cool hanging felt shamrocks for our window. (He wanted me to make sure that you know he was VERY bored and needed something to do and he got to use the sewing machine —stressing the MACHINE part, so it was all good)

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We took two layers of felt and cut out a shamrock shape.  My crafty boy used a sewing machine to beautifully stitch the layers together and also stiched  in a ribbon at the top.  He added a few beads on the ribbon and now they our hanging in our window—hopefully bringing us lots of luck!  If you need some luck, here are the shamrock shapes we used.

Be Mine

February 14, 2008

My little girl couldn’t take any extra treats, candy or trinkets with her Valentines for preschool. That meant the lollipop lilies were out for us. So instead we made these little conversation heart garlands out of cardstock.

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We added “pink fairy” glitter (carefully chosen and liberally sprinkled by my daughter) to each of the letters. I used a Fiskers 1/4 inch rectangle hole punch to punch a hole in each side and then strung the letters on a 1/4 inch ribbon. We included two mini clothes pins with each garland. We packaged each garland in a clear cellophane bag tied with a ribbon.

BE MINE Conversation Heart Garland

I LUV U 4 EVER Conversation Heart Garland

Wishing you a very happy Valentine’s Day!

Oh Boy!

February 12, 2008

Here is our solution for Valentines for a boy that couldn’t decide whether Valentines are still “cool” to pass out. (He is in the fifth grade)

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This boy’s indecision pushed us into a last minute project last night that I am still trying to finish today.

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So if you find yourself in the same spot you can download the COOL Whirly Gig. We used card-stock, but they worked on thinner paper also.  My son finally getting into the fun decided we should punch a hole in the bottom and tie on a piece of candy (YIKES)!

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Cut on all solid lines and fold on the dotted lines.

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Fold up bottom flap and if you are not tying on candy you can fasten with a paper clip (wish I had a cool shaped one) , staple or cute heart brad.  Since the party is an hour away I think I might just hot glue that candy on the bottom!

Toss up into the air and it will twirl to the ground!  I hope you enjoy!  I am off to the Valentine’s Day party.

How does your garden grow?

February 8, 2008

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Here is another free valentine download for you! This one is much simpler! Download the files, cut and assemble!

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Lollipop Lily

Leaf

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I’d SNAP at the chance to be your Valentine!

February 6, 2008

Here is a free Valentine download for you if you dare (lots of cutting, folding, gluing….)

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First download and print out an alligator and inside of mouth

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Cut out pieces

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Lightly score lines on pillow box and gently fold

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Put glue on side flap of pillow box and fold together, leaving the ends open. Allow to dry a few minutes before folding in the ends of the box.

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Score about 1/2 inch from the end of the upper mouth piece so it can open and close (see final picture). Fold in ends on box and begin gluing on upper and lower mouth and the tail.Use lots of glue stick! Use a rubber band to secure pieces while they are drying.

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Fold edge of each leg and glue to sides of box

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Add some googly eyes and fill box with candy

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Recycled Candy Containers

February 3, 2008

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Take a little tuna fish can and cover it with spray paint and paper. Hot glue plastic pony beads all the way around the side and run a yarn through the beads and you have a little drum. Be sure to use a safety can opener so that there are no sharp edges and the top of the can works as a lid.  I think it would be best to package the candy in little clear bags so the candy doesn’t take on any odd tastes from the can.

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Small olive and green chili cans would make cute little drums. You could also forget the beads and yarn and use glitter and other embellishments instead!

Stuffed

January 18, 2008

Our pal Elle came today and she made the most adorable stuffed butterfly and “puppy.”

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These fabric crayons are great to have on hand to pull out when a quick and entertaining crafted is needed. You can use regular crayons directly on fabric but I really like using the paper. I think it is much less intimidating for children.

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First Elle colored these pictures on plain white paper. You need to color hard. Keep the drawing large with simple edges. It is important to color on only ONE side of the paper. If your child feels that she made a “mistake” give them another sheet. Our “mistakes” bled through when we ironed. Remind them that their drawings will be reversed so they must write backwards if they are using letters.

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Iron the drawings onto synthetic or poly/cotton blended fabric (I think my colors would have been more vibrant if I had done this, but I only had white muslin on hand) by placing the drawing face down on right side of fabric . Sandwich a layer of plain white paper on the top and on the bottom to keep from leaving crayon on your iron and ironing board. With iron on cotton setting, iron over design until the image is seen through the back of the paper.

Place the design onto another piece of fabric right sides together and stitch around the design, leaving a small opening for the stuffing. I think this is much easier than cutting out the design and then sewing.

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Cut out the creatures, clip all corners and curves

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Turn inside out and stuff

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Slip stitch the opening closed and you have some wonderful creations.

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BOO!

October 2, 2007

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Here it is, a Booing Poem Download. After many years I have decided this is the simplest way to Boo my friends. There is no need for them to make photocopies. Your friends just fill the cone with goodies and pass it from friend to friend. Now, there is one big problem——-those friends who refuse to pass the cone along because they want to keep it (you know who you are– hehe). I usually make about 5 cones to get everyone started and hope somebody passes one along.

I made a large cone out of black posterboard. I printed the poem on cardstock. I cut it out and glued a ruffle of orange crepe paper to the back. I backed the whole thing with a piece of poster board to make it more rigid. I hot glued the poem to the front of the cone. I embellished the top of the cone with a paper fringe I purchased at Hobby Lobby. I painted polka dots over the cone and added a touch of glitter here and there. I wrapped wire around a large dowel to make a curly handle and then attached it to the top of the cone. These are all just ideas for inspiration. You can make these cones however you want and with whatever supplies you have. You can also include a ghost cut-out if you want them to have something to hang in their window. It might be cute to hang a bunch of ghosts from the bottom of the cone so everyone can take one.

If you would like the Booing Poem with black letters  you can download this version.

Please let me know if you are not able to download the poem. Here it is if you would like to copy and paste.

Since this is the time for goblins and bats

Halloween spirits and ghosts and cats

Happenings are weird and witches make brew

The following are the things I wish for you.

May the only spirit you chance to meet

Be thee spirit of love and friends that are sweet.

May the only goblin that comes your way

Be the neighborhood phantom, the breeze takes away.

So by tomorrow, pick a friend down the street

And give to them a Halloween treat.

Fill this cone with goodies galore,

Then hang it on their front door.

You only have one day to do this, so hurry

Leave treats on their door and run in a flurry

As this cone moves along from friend to friend,

All good wishes go on and never end

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

 

I have also made a sign instead of a cone.

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I layered black cardstock, then a piece of brown paper sent through the crimper with some crepe paper fringe taped to the back, then the poem copied on cardstock. Punch two holes at the top and run a cord through the holes for hanging. I embellished the sign with a little glitter and a wooden pumpkin.

Boo Sign Download

Boo Sign Download with black letters

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Happy May Day!

May 1, 2007

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My favorite holiday is May Day. I love the sweet unexpectedness of goodies. Usually May Day is a very elaborate affair around here. This year we have too many projects with our house and too much going on to give May Day it’s usual attention. To make matters worse Kansas experienced a very late frost and most of the flowers are gone. So we borrowed a fabulous idea from our friend Jenni.

We used plain brown drink holders from McDonald’s.

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A little paint.

These could also be decorated with rubber stamps, stickers, crayons, markers, collage items, etc……….

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We filled them with  garden flowers,  candy hot glued to floral picks and a tag.

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We are ready to “ding” and “dash”—– My boys favorite part!

Egg Shaped Sidewalk Chalk

March 12, 2007

Just in time for Spring—-egg shaped chalk. 

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These were so easy to make.  You will need:

  • Plaster of Paris
  • Tempera Paint
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • plastic Easter eggs
  • disposable cups
  • disposable spoons or wooden craft sticks
  • egg carton

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Take petroleum jelly and liberally coat the insides of the eggs and then place in the egg carton.  Mix 1/2 cup Plaster of Paris with 1/4 cup water and stir well.  Mix in enough liquid tempera paint to get your desired color.  We added about a teaspoon or so.  You can also use powdered tempera paint (start with about 1 tablespoon and go from there). We mixed up a blue batch, poured it into the eggs then immediatley mixed up a pink batch.

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Pour mixture into egg halves.  This amount makes about 1 1/2 eggs.  We used the 1/2 to make  two colored eggs. DO NOT pour extra plaster down your sink drain –I tell you this is a no no. Throw it in the trash!

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Allow this mixture to set about 5 minutes—just until thick enough to put the egg halves together.  Once together, hold tightly and carefully  give egg a good shake and a firm tap on a hard surface  to allow plaster to form to the egg and the halves to come together.

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Allow eggs to harden overnight.  We couldn’t wait (patience issues) and rushed ours  allowing only about 3 hours (this is overnight in child time isn’t it?) to dry.  To remove them from the plastic an adult must use a knife to work the halves apart. I would like to make a few of these to put back into plastic eggs once first removed and dry to hide on our egg hunt.  I think gray ones would make cute favors for a dinosaur party.

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Chalk On!!

Blarney Treasure Stones

March 6, 2007

Tradition says if you kiss the Blarney Stone you will be given the gift of gab. You will be able to talk eloquently and convincingly. I don’t think these girls need any help with the gift of gab, but we still thought we would make these Blarney Stones. A treasure can be found in the middle of each stone.

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Mix up:

  • 1 cup used coffee grounds (or used dry espresso grounds–what we had)  If they are too wet I am sure it would change the color of the mixture
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sand
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • (I think it would be very easy to tint this mixture with tempera paint—they might be dull colors when dry)

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Mix together dry ingredients and then slowly add enough of the water to make a stiff dough—you might not need all off the water, so add slowly.

Knead the mixture on a floured surface until fairly smooth.

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Break the dough into desired sizes. We divided it into 4 equal pieces.  Hide your trinkets (super balls, small plastic toys, etc.) or money in the center of each ball of dough.

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Bake at 150F degrees for 2 hours (I turned them over half way through)  and then air dry 2-3 days (or longer).  If you make smaller rocks I would dry one hour in the oven and then air dry 2 days or more.  The size of rock and the amount of humidity in your home will affect the drying time.  They will look and feel like rocks when dry.

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I had hoped to paint them with green and white paint for fun and wait to open them on St Patrick’s Day, but nobody was willing to wait to crack them open with a hammer— let alone wait for paint to dry. 

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I think we might make some egg shaped ones for Easter.  These would make great favors for a Dinosaur birthday party!