Sunday, July 10, 2011

Plaster of Paris - Not as SCARY as You Might Think!

My fondest memories of being a kid was during the summer. My mother never sent us to camp, instead she would take us out to interesting places or create fun crafts out of low budget materials. For 2 years straight my mother and her best friend Sandy, joined "magical mommy" forces and created a superb experience for all us kids. We would later dub it "Camp Bloomskey" taking both our last names and merging them into one AWESOME unit :)

One of the BEST projects that we ever did were plaster of paris hand molds. I actually saved mine throughout the years and I would suspect that it's somewhere up in my attic. You can find the project here with all the steps on how to make it with your own kids. I just want to say a couple things. You can buy plaster of paris easily at any craft store like Michaels. Right after you make the impression of the hand and it's still wet, write the child's name and year of the project with a stick - like a BBQ skewer. You could also wait for it to dry and use a sharpie pen and write the same info on the back. Also once it's dry - paint it with any acrylic or tempera paint. That will prolong the craft for another day and give them more hours of enjoyment. An alternative project would be to use the same tins, but instead of making hand shaped molds, you could get pretty mosaic stones to decorate the plaster. Once dry you can place the molds into the ground creating a stepping stone pathway in your backyard. 

I don't know about you, but I really love the beach, especially with the kids. OK, I do hate all that sand, but why not do something fun and crafty with it! Not only can you find FREE items on the beach, but you have the best time finding them! The next time your heading out to the beach on a fun filled family day, put some plaster of paris into your beach bag! Yup, you heard me right! Here are some GREAT idea projects with all the instructions you need! There's the Sandy Hand Mosaic The Sand Cast Bass and my absolute favorite Footprints in the Sand. Here are a few more beach craft ideas I like the first one - Ocean in  Bottle - You can just reuse all those water bottles you have around already!

One last idea, and this one came to me last week when my family and I were spending the day at Oceanfest in Long Branch, NJ. The Jersey Shore city puts together a beach festival every year, with sand castle contests, arts and craft shows, and fireworks. As I was perusing the crafts I noticed this woman who was selling flip flops. What she did, and they were so super cute, was tie pieces of fabric and ribbon over and over and over around the straps. You can add ribbon with a glue gun around the bottom to make a nice finishing touch.

Hope you have a great time with these crafts. ENJOY!