Posted in Children, DIY, Home Made, Parenting

DIY Play Dough

Preparation time: 5 – 15 minutes
Rest: 1 hour

I’ve pinned the recipe to this DIY play dough on my Pinterest for ages, but I’ve never really gotten around to doing it. One of the main reasons is that because I don’t want to mess it up and end up throwing out a batch of flour.

However, the other day a friend posted on her Facebook on how she made it for her daughter and it turned out great. Finally, I decided I should try it.

And I really should’ve done it a long time ago. My kids were literally occupied for 3 hours straight!

If you ever doubt it, I suggest you try it right away because it really is that easy and yes, foolproof.

DIY play dough

Here’s what you need:

1 cup of flour
1/4 cup of fine salt
1 cup of warm water
Few drops of food coloring

1. Mix the flour and salt
2. Make a well and add the warm water. Drop in a few drops of food coloring depending on how bright or pale you want the color of the dough to be
3. Mix everything into a dough with a spoon until you get the right texture

I love to bake and I love kneading dough with my hands. So what I did was, halfway through, I took out the dough and knead with my hands. If you’re accustomed to baking pies or bread, just knead as you would with a bread or pie crust dough.

Dust your work station and knead. You can sprinkle with flour as you go if you find the dough to be too sticky. Once you got the right pliability, you can let it rest.

Note: The dough will be stickier than the store-bought Play Dough because of the hot water. Don’t worry too much about it because once the dough cools, it will be exactly (if not better!) than the commercial product.

DIY play dough

Storage: My friend advised me to keep it in a Ziploc and put it in the fridge so that’s what I did. I kept the dough in the fridge at around 7pm and now it’s almost 3am. I just checked the dough and obviously it’s hard, but the great thing is that it’s not crumbly. So I guess I will have to take it out for a few hours before I let the kids play with it.

I also tried to wrap it in cling wrap just as I would when I’m resting my cooking dough in the fridge. It works just the same if you don’t have a Ziploc. And if you don’t have a cling wrap, I sometimes use this trick: Use any groceries shopping plastic bag, put the dough in and tightly twist the bag around the dough. I then tie it with a strong rubber band to seal it in. Works just the same as wonderful!

Cleanup: This is surprisingly really easy. The kids dropped bits and pieces of the dough onto the floor and it sort of hardened up. But just by rubbing my toe on it, I was able to sweep it off the floor and it doesn’t leave any greasy mark behind. I dusted the table on which they played the dough with corn starch. There were dough on the table sticking to the table even with the starch, but using a damp cloth, I was able to wipe them all away because the dough just dissolved.

After all this, I will never buy the commercial Play Dough. Ever again. And yes, I’m still kicking myself in the rear for not making this dough sooner. Hahahaha.

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Posted in DIY

Make Your Own DIY Abstract Painting

I love anything DIY.

I constantly look for anything around the house to repurpose. This week’s art project is abstract paintings that I made with things that cost less than $10.

All I used were:
Art blocks
Old cardboard boxes
Watercolor
Straw
Old pot brush

*I forgot to take a step by step photo because I was too excited to get these done. Sorry. I will remember it next time!

Cut the sides of the cardboard boxes into the size that you want. Here I searched for a large enough box so the sides are the sizes I want. If you can’t find a big enough box, you can get a mounting board and that would work just fine.

Mark the corners of the cardboard on your art block to give you a rough idea of where to paint.

Place art block on easel or flat surface, taped securely on the surface.

Make sure paint is completely dry before placing it on the cardboard.

Making the Art

Give your painting unique texture using daily household items. Here I used an old pot brush.
Give your painting unique texture using daily household items.
Here I used an old pot brush.

 

 Pot Brush Art
1. Dip your pot brush into your palette and dab the art block in any design you like.
2. Wash your brush thoroughly before changing color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blowing paint with a straw is a great old school technique that I love!

 

Straw Art

1. This is a basic art technique taught when I was in kindergarden and I love it!
2. If you never tried it before, you will need a slightly runny paint for this because you want the colors to easily move in the direction  that you are blowing.
3. Place a drop or two of paint onto your art block and blow on it with a straw, creating designs or going along with the direction of the  paint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a video on how to do it if you have never tried it before.

Bold strokes are great to create that abstract painting look.

 

Just Paint

1. This is one is pretty self-explanatory, I know.
2. I grabbed a large paintbrush (or an old blusher brush if you don’t have one!) and just started painting in bold strokes.
3. Mix and match your colors. If you’re not confident with how it will turn out, test on a rough piece of art block first.
4. Once you found your groove, you just let go and paint!

 

Displaying the Art

1. Since you’re using a cardboard box, you need to make your own mounting screw.
2. What I did was:
– Punched two side by side holes on the cardboard
– Weave through a twine
– Knot it!
3. You can also you any type of mounting screw you have. Just make sure you do this before you place the art on top of the board
4. With a spray-on glue or double-sided tape on one side, carefully place your art on the board. I left about two inches of border so I can wrap the edges around the cardboard. It is okay to paint more than the marks you made earlier as it will be folded behind the cardboard anyway
5. If you have the extra borders, carefully fold them to the back of the board as you would wrap a book. Tape securely with sticky tapes.

 

 

 

The great thing about DIY art is that even though you know there are many gorgeous art decors sold at art stores, there’s something about it that makes you proud when looking at it. Plus it would be a great conversation piece when your friends come over to dinner.

Happy painting!

Posted in DIY, Motherhood

Handmade Baby Block

So I’m really into this sewing craze at the moment!

I was looking for things to do because there wasn’t much housework to be done today. I didn’t feel like making another of those monogram letters although I did feel like sewing something.

There were a few bells that I saved from Sophia’s old baby rattle and as I was looking around inside my sewing kit box, I thought I could use them for something tonight.

So after a few minutes of making sure that I have enough material, I made my very own (and first!) handmade baby block!

Took me about 2hours to complete it because I handstitched it. If you were using a sewing machine, then this wouldn’t take you more than 30 – 40 minutes tops, depending on your sewing skills, of course.

This shouldn’t be really hard, I think, even if you’re a beginner. In fact, I think if you’re a beginner, this would probably be one of the simplest thing to try.

1. Cut 6 pieces of fabric into squares. You can have them as big or as little as you like.

2. Sew the pieces together with their right sides facing each other.

3. Continue to sew to attach the fabric together to create one long piece. Sew the ends together so you’ll have something like this.

4. Now sew the top of the block, starting at one corner and making your way around the 4 sides of the fabric.

5. Once you got all the sides done, turn the block right side out and put your stuffing inside. As you can see, I already got the polyester stuffing I was talking about last week! Yay, me!

You can also put in bells or any noisy toys here along with the stuffing. I put in the bell I saved from Sophia’s rattle.

6. Close up the final side of the block with the ladder stitch or the invisible seam.

Here’s Sophia with her new baby block. She loves to shake it and dance to the jingle of the bell!

Posted in DIY, Motherhood

DIY Monogram Letters!

I have always been good with my hands.

I have a knack to make something out of nothing when it comes to arts and crafts and all things DIY. I love spending time learning new techniques or “upcycling” old stuff that I can find lying around the house.

A few months ago I started quilting for throw pillowcases and my kids’ blanket. It was fun because I love how I get to arrange the extra fabrics into attractive designs. But because I don’t have a sewing machine, it was a slow project.

Then I did wall decals for my kids room and the living room.

I bought one of those large stickers and then cut them up into shapes. Saw the design on an interior designing website and I thought, I can do that with half the cost because the site offered professional interior consultation and professional painter to paint the mural and all that it almost cost me a new house.

So I bought those A3-sized stickers and cut them up into the same design I picked from the site and it turned out darn well, thank you very much.

The wall decal I made from scratch.

Recently I’ve tried my hands at monogram letters. *By the way, I really love to put step by step photos of what I did but because I don’t own a fancy hi-res camera, I decided not to put any. That is until I get a new camera!

It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

I mean, I’m pretty good at sewing but this time around, the letters did pose quite a challenge. They sure made it looked easy on the tutorials sites but when you really sit down and do it, it can be a little tricky!

Like I said, I have yet to get my own sewing machine so everything had to be done by hand. The first time I did I spent almost 2 hours getting the stitches and the measurement right.

My first attempt at monogram letters.

Even so, I was pretty proud with the result because it didn’t look too bad at all. And Mohen thought it looked good for someone who did monogram letters for the first time.

For this one, I used a cardboard as the base and then I taped rolled newspapers onto it to fill out the letter. Then I cut the fabric into shape and sew it into place.

This wasn’t exactly the best way to do it because even though you will get a perfect shape of the letter, it was rather tricky and awkward to wrap and sew the fabric around the cardboard.

Perhaps if I were to try it again then I could be better at it because I kind of like this technique (even though I think it isn’t the best) since it gives me a definite shape of the letters and I don’t have weird looking corners pulled too taut from the sewing and stuffing.

The next night I did my second letter, for my daughter (in case you’re wondering, the E above was for Eros). I was happy that the second time around it took me half the time than the first time I sew monogram letters.

Second attempt. The stitches are better and neater!

Again, I used cardboard as the base and sew the fabric around it. Since this was my second attempt, I knew how to estimate the fabric required and how to sew it better than the first time I did E.

Still, there was something that I find difficult.

I knew I had to try again and again until I find sewing monogram letters an easy thing to do.

So the next thing I did was to make a template of all the alphabets from cardboard and cut out the fabric into shape.

I was going to try sewing them without the cardboard base because I thought it would be easier since the fabric will be flimsy and I would be able to sew around corners much easier than if I were to sew around a hard cardboard.

I learnt two things:
1. It is easier to sew letters without the cardboard base
2. It isn’t as easy as I thought to sew corners without the cardboard base

Because I didn’t wrap and sew the fabric around the cardboard like I did before and I had to sew inside out first before turning it right side out, I had to get used to straightening the fabric into shape, especially the corners because I love to make the alphabets flare at the end like the above two.

Then there the case of stuffing.

I didn’t have the polyester wool yet because this isn’t a project that I take seriously before. I know that that would be a much better material to work with since it’s very light and very easy to push into shape. I am definitely going out and getting them very soon because I can’t wait to have all the alphabets done!

Old t-shirt cut up into small pieces as makeshift stuffing.

So instead I used old t-shirts and the excess fabric from the letters cut up into small pieces as makeshift stuffing for the time being.

I cut them up as small as possible but most of the times I got too lazy because you try cutting up a big t-shirt into small shreds then you’ll know how long it can take!

With cloth stuffing and instead of rolled up newspaper to fill out the letters, their shape did turn out better because it gives the full, rounded look of the alphabet, like a pillow. With the cardboard base, I have one side flat and the only the front filled up.

Because I didn’t want to waste so much of the stuffing (since they took such long time to cut!) I did a small one first, about 3 inches in length, like the ones you can hang as key chains.

It was really cute and I love how it neat it looks but it was a little tough to get the edges to close up when I’m done with it. But really, it was just a matter of practice because I have yet to really understand how it works because I seldom work with invisible seams before.

Once I got the hang of it, I’m pretty sure I can do it with my eyes closed!

I thought this size is pretty cute!
Posted in DIY

Newspaper Print Nails

I love nail polishes.

And come to think about it, which girl doesn’t? It makes your fingers look prettier and it can compliment an outfit like magic.

I just discovered something new and it’s newspaper print nails! It’s the coolest thing since flowery nail art, I think! For a book freak like me, I think it’s awesome and geeky at the same time. It shows my love for the printed words.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Make sure your nails are clean, healthy and no open cuts. Wash your hands and scrub your nails before you start the procedure
  2. Your nails would need to be painted in the base tone already or not lacquered at all as the newspaper print will be the design on the color/nails
  3. Rubbing alcohol or vodka, 10 stripes of newspaper (this is what you will be putting on your nails so make sure it has the words that you want to show on the nails. Make sure that the stripes are bigger than your nails.), clear nail polish as coat
  4. Dip your nails, one at a time, into the reagent for about 5 minutes. This is to make sure that newspaper ink will come off the paper and stick to your nails
  5. Just when the nail is just wet enough (not too wet), press the strip of the newspaper firmly against your nail. Make sure it doesn’t move otherwise it will cause smudges and the print will blur
  6. Remove the strip of newspaper and let the remaining reagent vaporise before applying a clear nail varnish as coat

Newspaper print nail art is the new art