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Craft Recipes - Face Paint

Face Paint
1 tsp. corn starch
1/2 tsp. water
1/2 tsp. cold cream
Food coloring
Stir together starch and cold cream until well-blended. Add water and stir. Add food coloring. Using a small brush paint designs on child's face. Remove with soap and water. Store in airtight container.

Face Paint for larger areas
1 tbsp. solid shortening
2 tbsps. cornstarch
Food coloring
Mix shortening and starch together until smooth. Add food coloring. Use a sponge or your fingers to apply to face. Great for turning faces green on Halloween. Remove with soap and water. Store in airtight container."

Craft Recipes - Frosting Paint

Frosting Paint (non-edible)
1 cup powdered tempera paint
2 tbsps. wallpaper paste
1/4 to 1/2 cup liquid laundry starch

Mix tempera paint with wallpaper paste. Add starch, mixing until thick enough to spread - like frosting.
Place paint on a plastic lid and use Popsicle sticks to spread.

Craft Recipes - Condensed Milk Paint

Condensed Milk Paint
1 cup condensed milk
Food coloring
Mix one cup condensed milk with a few drops of food coloring.
This makes a very bright, glossy colored paint.

Craft Recipes - Poster Paint

Poster Paint
1/4 cup flour
1 cup water
3 tbsps. powdered tempera paint
2 tbsps. water
1/2 tsp. liquid starch or liquid detergent

Measure flour into saucepan. Slowly add 1 cup water until mixture is smooth. Heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Cool. Add 1/4 cup flour paste into small jar or plastic container. Add tempera paint and water for each color. For opaque finish add liquid starch. For glossy finish add liquid detergent.

Craft Recipes - Flour Finger Paint

Laundry Starch Finger Paint
1 cup laundry starch dissolved in cold water
1 qt boiling water
1 cup pure white soap flakes or powder
Food coloring or poster paint

Add boiling water to starch and cold water mixture and boil until thick. Remove from heat and stir in soap. Divide into small containers and add food coloring as desired.

Craft Recipes - Cornstarch Finger Paint

Cornstarch Finger paint
3 tbsps. sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 cups cold water
Food coloring
Soap flakes or liquid dish washing soap

Mix sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan over low heat. Add cold water and stir until mixture is thick. Remove from heat. Divide into four or five portions (in muffin tins or cups). Add a drop or two of food coloring to each portion and a pinch of soap flakes or soap. Stir and let cool. Store in airtight container.


To make your own decoupage paste, used 3 parts of Clag Paste to 1 part of PVA glue which is the same as white glue, or Elmers white glue.

10 Slam-Dunk Crafts For Little Kids

Crafting with young children really isn't about creating something in particular. Most young children don't have the foresight to see too far ahead on how a project is going to turn out.
For young children it's more important that they have the opportunity to play and experiment with art. Kids need to use as many of their senses as possible to get the most out of crafting. This allow them to try new sensory experiences, as well as learn causal relationships.
These are my 10 favorite crafts for little kids based on all that AND the 'fun factor.'

1. Finger painting: Finger painting is a wonderful activity for kids. It lets them 'feel' the craft as well as be creative. You don't have to have finger paints to do this activity with kids. You can finger paint with homemade paint, watercolors or even mud. You can also experiment with adding other things to the paint such as sand or glitter.

2. Yarn Painting: Dip pieces of string or yarn into paint and then drag it across the paper to paint with it. It's a good experience to paint with something other than a brush and you can just throw the yarn away when finished.

3. Q-Tip Painting: Use Q-tips to create a painting. There are lots of ways to use a Q-tip - scrub, dot, or use it like a brush. It's a good coordination exercise because Q-tips are small around, but it also provides a lot of interest for the child.

4. Glue Art: Draw squiggle lines on a piece of paper or let the child use their finger to make random glue spots or patterns on a piece of paper. Experiment with adding different objects to the glue. Sand, glitter, cotton, yarn, feathers, and tissue paper all work well.

5. Salt Dough Sculpture: Make a batch of salt dough and turn the kids loose with it. You don't have to worry about them eating it (it's safe and tastes terrible) and clean up is easier than play dough. If you want to keep their creations, let them dry overnight and then paint them the next day.

6. Toe Painting: If it's a warm summer day, put on the swimsuits, put some finger paint into pie tins, lay out large sheets of poster paper, and let them 'paint' all afternoon. They will have a ball and all you have to do is hose them off when they are done (that's my kids' favorite part actually!)

7. Found Object Art: This project is always a sure thing because kids love to 'discover' things. Let your child gather up leaves, sticks, flowers, etc. and then glue them onto a piece of paper. When they are done, let them tell you about their collection.

8. Peanut Pictures: Every kid loves to play with packing peanuts -- but it makes such a mess. Let them create pictures with them instead. Kids can draw on them, glue them to a sheet of paper, or glue the peanuts to each other to make a sculpture. The kids will love it!

9. Sticker Play: Turn your child loose with a bunch of stickers, markers, and a sheet of paper and let them create. It's good for little ones to work on their coordination, and it's fun! 10. Stamping: Kids love to use any kind of stamps. My favorites are the self-inking stamps or the double-sided markers with the stamps on one end. This may sound like pure play, but is also teaches young children cause and effect.

To find FREE samples from some of my craft print CD's, click on "View My Complete Profile" for a quick links list to my other blogs.

Making your own Gesso

How to make your own gesso:


Sprinkle two tablespoons of whiting into a container of water and allow it to settle. Don't stir!
After it has stood for a short while, pour off all the excess water. Add one tablespoon of white glue and one teaspoon of linseed oil (raw or boiled) and stir thoroughly. The mixture should have the consistency of thick cream. If it is too thin, sprinkle in more whiting and stir until it is smooth.

Gesso is an excellent treatment for the surface of papier mache. It seals pores, covers rough spots, and dries with a hard, white surface that is good as a base for paint.

Read this article about crackle varnish

This is an interesting article. Although we make angels and nativities, I often use the varnishing techniques used in decoupage to create antique finishes on our figurines.We often use the two varnish techniques to achive the antique effect of cracked varnish, which imitates the real crackling that occurs with age on much varnished work, whether it is a painting or a fired figurine.

Click here to read the entire article
or visit Jenny's website to see more of her beautiful creations.

Angels, Cherubs & Nativities hand painted from Spain
copyright to J M Stewart 2007

Picnic Plate Crafts

Make your own craft plates
Then decorate them with decoupage or hand paint them in your own unique style.
Folk artists and crafters who love doing decoupage, folk art painting, or even fine are always on the lookout for new and unusual items to decorate with their particular craft. Items that do not cost the earth but are attractive, cute, adorable etc. are not always easy to find at a bargain price, but you can easily make your own small plaster plates or plaques with plaster of paris using simple plastic picnic plates (the throw-away kind) as moulds.These plastic plates come in a variety of shapes and sizes. I have only used the usual round lunch or picnic plate and the larger oval shaped dinner plates but you can find other shapes as well. There are small round plates that you would normally use for serving dessert or cake. There are also larger ones that are generally used as platters or dishes. These are the kind of plates I am talking about:
Plastic picnic plates or dinner plates are not the only items you can use as moulds. There are so many items out there that you can find at flea markets, and op-shops such as cheap plastic dishes, trays and platters. As long as they are slightly flexible they will work as a mould. Items that are too ridgid do not make good moulds because it would be very difficult to get the set plaster to release from the "mould" when it has set.
Hand painted plate using round plastic plate as a mould.

Decoupage plate using prints from CD #22 and round plastic picnic plate as a mould.

Decoupage plate using prints from CD #18 and round plastic picnic plate as a mould.

Decoupage plaque using decoupage prints
and oval plastic picnic plate as a mould

Oval welcome plaque using decoupage printon a hand painted crackle look background.
Oval plastic picnic plate was used as the mould.

Making the plates or plaques

A couple pounds of Plaster of paris
1 packet of plastic picnic or dinner plates for the moulds
12 guage galvanized wire ... for making the hooks
A small flexible plastic jug or mixing bowl for mixing plaster (about 1 litre)
Old spoon or spatular for stirring
Pliors for bending and cutting the wire
Plastic sheeting or newspaper to protect your work surface
1. Making the Hooks

Cut the wire into approximately 10 cm (4 inch) lengths.
First bend in half by hand, (see diagram below) then bend back the end as shown.The hook must be able to sit
quite deep in the plaster with enough of the loop extending out of the plaster to allow for hanging.When you think you have enough hooks made, go to step 2
2. Lay out the molds ready for pouring
Lay out the picnic plate moulds on a flat work surface that is protected with a sheet of plastic or several layers of newspaper.
3. Mixing the plaster
Fill the small plastic jug 1/2 full with clean water at room temperature.
If the water is too hot, the plaster will set too quickly and if too cold, the plaster will take much longer to set.
Slowly sprinkle the plaster into the water until the water cannot absorb any more plaster and the plaster starts to settle just a little bit above the water level in the jug
Leave the plaster to soak in the water for about two or three minutes
After that time, gently stir the mixture from bottom to top with an old spoon, spatula or your hands so as to break up any lumps but try not to beat or whisk or air bubbles will form in the mixture ... and you don't want that!. When the plaster is well mixed, tap the mixing jug or bowl gently on the table encourage any trapped air bubbles to rise to the surface.
Pour the mixture into the plastic picnic plate moulds to a depth of approximately 1.5 cm (5/8 inch)
Again, lift each plate slightly off the table with both hands and gently tap each one in turn on the table to make any air bubbles rise to the surface. ... next ...Position the hooks in each plate and leave to set for at least 20 minutes or until the plaster has heated up and then cooled again.Once the plaster is set, the "plates" or "plaques" can be removed from the moulds.
Flip the plates over and remove the now hardened plaster plaque from the plastic picnic plate. Place in a open area to dry for a few days before using. To tell if the plaster is completely dry, it should not feel cold or damp to the touch. Do not try to dry them in an oven as this will cause the plaster to weaken.
4. Prepare to be creative
Once the plaster is completely dry, the back and any rough edges of each plate or plaque will need a light sanding to remove any roughness. Once this is done to your satisfaction, Wipe away any dust residue with a damp rag and you are ready to start decorating.
5. Ways to decorate
There are many differen ways to decorate these adorable little plaques or plates.
1. Decoupage with photograps and floral prints to create a unique gift.
2. Decoupage with traditional decoupage prints.
3. Hand paint with folk art techniques and designs.
4. Hand paint with egg temperar paint. This is my most favourige medium to use on plaster. You must experience it to know what I am talking about. The egg temperar goes on like velvet.
5. Fine art in any style. Great little practice pieces when learning new techniques.
6. Any 3D art techniques

School Glue

School Glue
1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup cold water
3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 tsp. white vinegar

Mix cornstarch and cold water in a bowl and set aside. In a saucepan, combine the remaining three ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Gradually add cornstarch mixture to the boiling liquid, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and store in an air-tight container. Glue works best after it has set at least 48 hours.

Paper Mache Paste

Paper Mache Paste
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup flour
5 cups boiling water

Mix the flour into 1 cup cold water. Stir until lumps are dissolved. Gradually pour mixture into boiling water, stirring constantly. Boil about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool before using.

Library Paste

Library Paste
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. alum
4 cups water
1/2 tsp. oil of cloves

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and cook until thick and clear. Add oil of cloves. Allow to cool, then store in an air-tight container.

Glitter Glue

Glitter Glue
white glue
powdered tempera paint (optional)

Combine 2 parts glue with 1 part glitter. Add powdered tempera paint if desired. Mix thoroughly. Store in air-tight container.

Rock-Hard Sawdust Clay

Rock-Hard Sawdust Clay
2 cups sawdust
1 cup flour

Mix two parts sawdust with one part water. Add water, until the mixture is stiff, but pliable. If dough is too crumbly, add a little more flour. Dump the mixture on a newspaper-covered table. Knead until it reaches an elastic consistency.The dough may then be molded into any shape desired, then dried in the sun. As it dries, it will become extremely hard. When it dries, it can be sanded if desired or simply painted, depending on the finish you prefer. Complete with an acrylic finish to add shine to your clay creation..

Modeling Clay

Modeling Clay
2cup flour
1 1/3 cup salt
4 tsp. powdered alum or cream of tarter
2 cup boiling water
4 tsp. vegetable oil
your choice of food coloring

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add vegetable oil and boiling water. Stir until well-blended. Dough should not stick to the sides of the bowl and should be cool enough to handle. Add food coloring, and knead into dough until color is well-blended. Continue adding color, a little at a time, until dough reaches desired colour. This recipe will keep several months in an air-tight container. Projects will dry overnight.

Kool-Aid Play Dough

Kool-Aid Play Dough
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 small packet unsweetened drink mix (Kool-aid or generic)
3 Tbsp. oil
1 cup boiling water

Combine dry ingredients. Add oil. Add boiling water. Stir well. Knead ingredients until soft dough forms. Store dough in air tight container or zip-lock bag. This dough is not edible. It smells lovely but tastes horrible.

Jewelry Clay

Jewelry Clay
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup salt warm water

Mix dry ingredients together. Slowly add warm water until the mixture sticks together and can be shaped. To create bead jewelry, roll dough into small balls, pierce the balls with toothpicks, and allow to dry. Paint as desired, and allow to dry. Paint or spray painted balls with acrylic finish. Allow finish to dry for a day or two. Then string the beads on jewelry thread, invisible fishing line, elastic cording or use for other crafts.

Edible Play Dough

Edible Play Dough
1 cup peanut butter1 cup honey (corn syrup or rice syrup may be substituted if necessary)
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup dry milk or unsweetened soy milk powder

Mix all ingredients until smooth.

Dryer Lint Clay

Dryer Lint Clay
3 cups lint from the dryer
2 cups water
5 drops oil of wintergreen
1 cup flour

Put lint in a 2-quart saucepan and cover with the water and oil of wintergreen. When the lint is saturated, add the flour. Stir until smooth. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the dough forms peaks and holds together. Pour it onto newspaper to cool. Model figures out of cooled dough, or use it to cover a form... Allow the finished craft to dry about 5 days. Once dry, paint or decorate as desired.

Basic Modeling Clay

Basic Modeling Clay
1/2 cup potato starch or corn starch
1 cup salt
1 cup boiling water

Boil the mixture until it is similar to a soft-ball; then knead on waxed paper. Wrap the clay in a wet cloth, and place in air-tight container to keep it moist.Allow products to air-dry. Pieces may be painted after drying is complete.

Basic Play Dough

Basic Play Dough
3 cups flour
1/4 cup salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
liquid food coloring

Mix flour with salt. Add water, food coloring, and oil slowly. If mixture is too stiff add more water. If it is too sticky, add more flour. Store dough in air tight container or zip-lock bag

Play Dough 2

Play Dough 2

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 cups water
2 tbsp. baby oil
2 tbsp. cream of tartarliquid food coloring

Combine dry ingredients. Add water and oil. Stir well. Microwave on high 4 to 5 minutes. Stir again. Microwave another minute. Stir. Continue to microwave one minute, then stir, until dough is the consistency of mashed potatoes. Cool it enough to touch. Knead in food coloring until dough is desired color. Store dough in air tight container or zip-lock bag.

Tissue Paper Sculpture Mix

Tissue Paper Sculpture Mix
Tissue paper or streamers

A lightweight sculpting compound. Tear or cut tissue paper into little pieces. Put in a blender and add starch. Blend until it is a smooth. Add food coloring if desired. If using colored tissue it is advisable that you wear gloves because it will stain your hands.

Basic Paper Mache

Basic Paper Mache
Mixing bowl
Craft paints
Mix up water and flour to make a thick paste. Tear strips of newspaper about one or two inches wide. Dip strips into glue and squeeze of excess. Wrap the strips around your form in criss-cross layers. Let dry then continue adding more layers until you get the desired thickness. Great for making paper mache bowls to decorate with decoupage.

Make Your Own Fresco Board

Make Your Own Fresco Board

Mat board
Lime based gesso (lime is cheaper than marble based gesso)

Fresco is the art of painting on wet plaster but this recipe for fresco board will give you the same feel. Prime mat board with gesso. Let dry.
Use watercolor, tempera paint, or egg yolk paint to create your very own fresco.

Craft Recipes - Simple Playdough

Simple Playdough
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups salt
6 tsp. cream of tartar
3 cups cool water
3 Tbsp oil
Food coloring Mix dry ingredients in a big cooking pot. Blend liquids together in a bowl. Combine with dry ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat when dough pulls away from the sides of the pot and can be pinched without sticking (about 5 min.) Turn onto board or counter and knead until smooth play dough consistency. Store in an airtight container.

Craft Recipes: Peanut Butter Playdough

Peanut Butter Playdough
18 oz. peanut butter
6 tbsps. honey
Non-fat dry milk
Cocoa for flavor

Mix all ingredients, adding enough dry milk to give make dough pliable. Shape, decorate with edible treats, and eat!

Craft Recipes - Salt Playdough

Salt Playdough
1 cup salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup flour

Mix ingredients and cook over medium heat. Remove from heat when thick and rubbery. As mixture cools, knead in enough flour to make a workable dough.