Today we have another very special guest with us, isn’t this FUN to have all these new faces! We are so excited to have one of our great friends and a WONdeRFuL vendor of ours Beth of Little Bee & Me. Each month Beth will be joining us for a kids craft and sewing project! How fun is that! We so so excited to share her with you!
When I was a kid, putting ornaments on the tree was a big deal. Each family member had our own box without our own special ornaments in it. My mom even made notebooks that had a description of each individual ornament, who it was from, when we got it, etc. Now, I am not that anal, er, meticulous about our Christmas decorations, but ornaments are still a big deal to me. I especially love the “kid fabulous” ones, the ones that remind me of kindergarten or Sunday School and how much fun I had making them, and how proud I was to give them to my family.
Check out this little cutie!
So this year I decided to introduce my little bees to the tradition of making “kid fabulous” ornaments. Since they are still pretty little (4 and 2) I wanted to keep it really simple, so I settled on making salt dough cutouts. Salt dough is really easy to make. Just combine
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup fine salt
Then gradually add between ½ and 1 cup water until the mixture resembles Playdoh. I mixed mine in the bowl until all the water was absorbed, then dumped it out on the table and kneaded it until it was smooth. Then, of course, we paused for a moment to play with the result. These busy bees love play dough, so this was a must for them!
At first, I just rolled the dough out on the table, but getting the shapes off in one piece was impossible. Then I got smart and pulled out my silicone baking sheets. (these are an awesome invention, by the way and if you don’t have one already, put it on your Christmas list! I even use these as placemats at restaurants for the Baby Bee because they don’t slide around)) Once I figured that out, the shapes came off much smoother. After they were cut, I used a high tech tool – a pen – to put a hole in the top of each one. I put them on a cookie sheet in the oven on the dehydrate setting for a few hours, but this isn’t necessary. You can just let them dry for a day or two.
Once the ornaments were dry, we used tempura paint to make them beautiful. Then I mod podged a picture of the cute little bees on the front, and used a plain old sharpie to write on the back. And I ate an apple.
As an afterthought I let the Little Bee use glitter pens to outline the photos, because, hey, everything is better with glitter (Right Coley?) I used simple brown twine to hang them. Here are our beautiful salt dough ornaments!
Granted, these are not the beautiful, perfect salt dough ornaments that you see on Pinterest. But for little ones, crafts are about the process, not the result. Being able to do crafts by themselves gives kids a sense of pride and independence, and keeping them really simple saves this Mama Bee’s sanity. And I know that in 20 years, when I unwrap this ornament to put on the tree, I’ll think back to the time spent with my sweet little Bees.