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Crafts for Kids

September Project of the Month
Precious Prints

Materials needed:

  • Dough ingredients (listed below)
  • Aluminum foil covered cookie sheet
  • Acrylic paints
  • Some form of shellac
  • Paint brushes and sponge or paper towels (if desired)
  • Ribbon or tack-on hooks
  • Felt
  • Permanent marker
  • Craft or hot melt glue

Making the Dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1.5 cups water
  • Food coloring (optional - the demos were done with paints)

Mix all ingredients. It will form a goopy mess, but after sitting for 10-15 will absorb the water and become a very pliable dough. *If using food coloring mix with the water first.

Making the Prints:

  • Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness on a well-floured surface. You can roll out balls of dough to get free-form circles or cut out shapes using jumbo-sized cookie cutters or cardboard stencils. If desired use a straw to make a hole for hanging (or two like in the heart-shaped example).

  • Carefully transfer the flattened dough to a foil covered cookie sheet using a spatula.

  • Help your child press a hand or footprint into the dough. Be sure to make the print about 1/4 inch deep. Deeper prints will burn and ones that are shallower will rise. Babies tend to grab and pull so be prepared for many tries. Babies also curl their toes when their feet are placed in dough! The nice thing about this dough is if the print doesn't work the way you want it to the first time, you can roll it out again for a second (or third!) try.

  • Bake for an hour in a 300-350 degree oven until prints no longer look wet, about 1-1 1/2 hours. Flip the dough over every 15 minutes to ensure it bakes flat. If the center of the print rises at the start of baking you can gently press down on it to release some of the air. Regular flipping prevents the rising. Be aware that the larger your shape, the more you have to watch for this rising and misshaping of the dough.

Decorating the Prints:

  • If you didn't use food coloring you may wish to paint your prints.

  • Apply a base coat of acrylic paint (any water based paint such as acrylic or tempera will work.)

  • If desired, "sponge" another color on the area that is not part of the imprint. The blue and lavender hands were done this way using crumpled paper towels for "sponges". This worked to accentuate the handprint.

  • When the paint is dry, seal with shellac. We used a product in a spray can that is designed for finishing acrylic painted items. It is available in glossy or matte.

    handprints' back

  • Thread a ribbon through the holes or attach a hook to the back for hanging.

  • Cut a piece of felt slightly smaller than the shape. Write the child's name and date on the felt and glue to the back

Do you have an idea for another Project of the Month for our Crafts for Kids Cubby? We'd love to hear from you. Email our moderators with your suggestions!

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