Are you feeling the pressure to come up with activities to keep the kids busy this summer? I certainly am. I’ve already started hearing the dreaded two words ‘I’m bored’ from my grandchildren, and we’re only into our first week of summer break. When I was a kid we were sent outside for the afternoon, and weren’t allowed inside until it was time for supper. Things have certainly changed, but in a good way. I have enjoyed being more hands on with my children and grandchildren. So this past Saturday when I heard those dreaded two little words from my granddaughters, I was prepared. I’ve been scouring the web to find summertime crafts for kids, and had DIY oven baked clay beads on my list.
We made a simple dough from basic kitchen ingredients.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 – 1 cup hot water
In a medium-size bowl, we combined the flour and salt. Next we added the oil and hot water, and worked it with our hands until it was pliable… and continued to kneed for 10-15 minutes until it was smooth and not sticky. This is when you’ll want to put the kids to work.
We planned to paint some of our beads, so we left a large chunk of our dough in it’s natural color. But some of it we colored with food coloring. To do this, simply add a few drops of food coloring to your dough, knead and work it in until you’ve achieved the color you want.
Back to making the beads… Once your dough is prepared, use your hands to roll the dough into desired shapes. For the tube shaped beads, take a small piece of dough and using a rolling pin, roll it out onto a piece of parchment paper. Next, carefully roll the flattened piece of dough around a wooden skewer.
For the round beads, simply roll a piece of dough into a ball and poke a wooden skewer through the center. The kids actually got pretty good at this.
Once all of your unpainted beads are shaped, place them on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet into the oven on 200 degrees for about 1 1/2 hour. They will be hard to the touch when done.
Lastly paint your beads. Allow them to dry completely. Then string them up using stretchy cord, to make bracelets and necklaces. All you have to do is tie the ends in a knot.
It’s funny, but it seems like my oldest grandchildren make the biggest messes. They were much neater doing crafts as toddlers.
Beautiful hand painted beads…
This bracelet below is one we made using natural beads and dough that we colored with red and blue food coloring. I think it turned our very pretty!
So, what’s in your summer arsenal? Will you be making any oven baked clay beads?