Home made Halloween decorations (toddler friendly)

11 10 2013

If you didn’t know, I have a two year old, and I am a little paranoid about my little child being in touch with chemicals… Okay, I know technically everything is a chemical, but I don’t like not to know what he is in touch with. Some day I will just buy stuff, but for right now, a period in which his organism, his neural system, is undergoing such a rapid development; a time in which industries just dump substances of dubious effects in everything, I am making a lot of things myself: play dough, paints, and today we did some home made plaster to make some Halloween decorations.

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Cute ghosts and Jack-o-Lanterns to decorate your home.

The recipe was simple, I took it from a website:

Two cups of flour

One and a half cup of boiling water

One cup of salt.

Dissolve salt in boiling water, mix everything, knead, voila!

… Except that it didn’t work, I was left with a mess of very thick bubbling salt. It looked like some prehistoric swamp. So I went ahead and started reading about making brine, and it so happens that different salts occupy different volumes so you should actually work with weight. Since I don’t have a scale, I had to eyeball it, and since I don’t know what kind of salt you will use I cannot give you an exact recipe, so I will tell you what I did and you can work things out in your nook in the woods.

In a bowl add two cups of flour. Boil one cup of water and start adding salt (I started with 1/4 cup) stirring to dissolve, stop adding salt when the water cannot take any more. Add this water to the flour, mix with a spoon and once the mixture is cool enough, knead with your hands as if it was bread.

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Cutest little helper

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Cutting shapes

Before doing this, I separated the dough in three and added some food coloring. I used orange and purple to evoke Halloween colors. As I kneaded to integrate the color and make it uniform, the plaster took a good smooth and elastic consistency.

Then I took the rolling pin and stretched the dough thin, as if making cookies. We used cookie cutters to make shapes: pumpkins, ghosts, and just because my son loves them also hearts and stars. With the help of a straw I made holes to pass string. We put the cut shapes on cookie sheets covered with aluminium foil (the tray and the cookies) and put them in the oven at 200 ¤F for three and a half hours, I turned them half way through. Poor Ignacio, he truly though we were making cookies, it took a lot to convince him that the plaster is not for eating.

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Before baking, nice pastel colors

The dough baked, and even at such a low temperature the colors became muted and dry. I didn’t much care because I wanted to evoke fall, but if you want vivid colors, which I will want for Christmas, I would suggest to use a lot of coloring.

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After baking…. :/

After the shapes cooled off we proceeded to decorate them. I didn’t have a lot at home that was toddler friendly, and my other baby was napping, so I wanted to be quiet, therefore I took pencils and crayons. You could use markers, paint and brush, anything you want. We also used stickers…. because stickers are awesome.

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I used pencils for simplicity, but use whatever you fancy!

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The last thing was to pass some string through the holes and hanging the shapes.

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We made holes with a straw before baking, then we passed some red yarn through them.

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While these are definitely not pinterest perfect, we enjoyed making them, especially since I could keep my child quietly entertained while the baby was napping. And he loved picking where to hang them.

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Halloween Kit: Nevermore

27 09 2012

At PSP Tube Stop we are always thinking of ways to give the best to our costumers. Lisa was thinking and squeezing her brains screaming “Enough of orange and purple! This is supposed to be a ‘scary’ thing!” when she came up with a Gothic theme for this Halloween’s kit. The palette was inspired on this piece:

By W.D. Noble

So off we went to work on this creepy scrapkit including tombs, witches, Gothic frames, creepy trees and scary backgrounds.

As an anecdote, this time around Lisa was going through some difficult times so she trusted me the honor of taking care of this one. I have to say I have a new found respect for Lisa’s work, it is difficult, time consuming and mentally taxing to be the person in charge of coordinating artists, editing their work, tubing, changing colors and pushing to meet the deadline in a nice manner. She is an awesome person for many reasons, and now I get a glimpse into what a hard worker she is, given that she is the one taking care of all this in a regular fashion. Lisa, you are wonderful!

And so, without further ado I’ll leave you with this beautiful scrapkit:

Nevermore.

 

This scrapkit comes with 15 backgrounds, 13 frames, and 37 objects. Contributing artists are Constanza Ehrenhaus, Katerina Koukiotis, Jenny Heidewald and Lisa Cree.