Category Archives: Crafting

Brush Lettering

 

Whew! It has been quite some time since I’ve posted anything.  Life sure has been busy lately!
It’s finally starting to settle down though, so I decided to take up a new art – brush lettering.  I’ve always been fascinated by fonts (I have hundreds of fonts downloaded to my computer, and I’ve always been drawn to typography).  Last year, I took a hand lettering class on Skillshare, but that was more how to make signs using various fonts.  I wanted to learn how to actually make the font myself, so I sat down to find the best guide I could to teach myself the art of brush lettering.

What is brush lettering? It is a style of font, with thicks and thins, made by using either a watercolor brush, or a marker that has a brush-like tip (anything that will allow you to make thick and thin lines just depending on the amount of pressure you put onto the tip).

After much research, I decided on learning how to brush letter using Random Olive’s Brush Lettering Practice Guide .  Her guides were by far the most comprehensive I found – not only does it include both upper and lowercase as well as numbers, she also includes two sizes – large to start off with, and then smaller once you gain more control.  All in all, for $27, you get nearly 300 pages of traceable practice sheets as well as a 45 day guide to get it all done in!
You can buy yours by clicking the ‘buy now’ button below: (affiliate link)
Buy Now!
I sent mine off to Office Depot to print, and put it all in a binder for easy organization.  The great thing is that you can print off as many sheets as you want, so if in a few months you decide you need to brush up on your lettering (get it? brush up?), you can print off more; or if you’re having trouble with a certain letter (I’m looking at you lowercase k!), you can print off extra sheets of just that one letter.

The supplies needed to get started are minimal (but, once you become obsessed like me, you’ll see that there’s so much out there that you’ll want errr… need!

I started with a set of Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush and Artist’s Loft Watercolors.  You could use any watercolor brush, but the Pentel Aquash brushes hold water in the barrel so you’re not constantly dipping into a cup of water – definitely a time saver when you’re trying to concentrate on forming your letters!

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When I started lettering, I started a second Instagram user account so I could track my progress (and you can follow along at TheLeftyLetterer !) I recommend this so that you can see just how far you’ve come – and there’s tons of other letterers out there with dedicated accounts so you can follow them to gain inspiration. Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 10.27.49 AM

Once you get into it, you’ll find there’s so many wonderful supplies to assist you in your lettering.  I got into gold leafing (another post on that soon – I was trying to find a way to mimic the Minc Foil Applicator that I couldn’t justify buying….just yet 😉 )

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Hopefully soon I will be confident enough to start offering hand lettered signs in my Etsy shop!Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 10.28.16 AM Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 10.28.29 AM

How about you? Have you started in hand lettering? If not, why? What’s holding you back? Anything you’d like me to cover in a future blog post?

*This post contains affiliate links. It does not cost you any extra to shop via my link, but I get a small percent back to help keep my blog going. Thank you!

The Ultimate “I’m Going to Disney” Gift Set

Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE Disney! I haven’t featured too many Disney crafts on my blog recently and that’s because I haven’t been to Walt Disney World in FOUR years! Four! (We did go to Disneyland twice in there, but they were both real quick trips. Disneyland is still amazing but it’s no Disney World 😉 )

A few months ago, my husband and I were in the car and out of the blue he said those magical words “hey- do you want to plan a trip to Disney this summer?” Is he new around here? Of course I do!  We booked our trip, picked out our restaurants to make ADR’s (Disney-speak for ‘reservations’), carefully chose our Fastpass + selections and more.  Our Magic Bands just came in the mail the other day and now it’s starting to become real!

I’ve been crafting like crazy these days – mostly with my embroidery machine, and I want to share this ultimate “I’m Going To Disney” gift set.  This set would be great for helping get your kids ready for Disney, or to give as a gift for someone you know who’s making the trip, or just  for the Disney fanatic in your life!  I’m a 30-something year old with no kids and I love everything on this list, so its not just for kids! The best part about this list is that it features all small businesses, so instead of supporting large corporations, you’ll be supporting a small business.

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1. Yay! You booked your trip!  Now your kids are asking “How many days until we go to Disney?” on a daily (hourly?) basis!  Enter the countdown calendar – make enough paper chains to count down and let them remove one chain a day until it’s time to leave.

Purchase here: Countdown Calendar

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2.  You’re spending hours on My Disney Experience planning your perfect trip when it suddenly hits you how many tens of thousands of people will be in the park with you. What if your little one wanders away and gets separated from you?  Enter this hand stamped necklace.  On the front, it looks like an ordinary necklace, the sturdy washer means it can be worn by both boys and girls, and can be customized with whatever you want – several Disney-like phrases are suggested; hakuna matata, to infinity and beyond, let it go, etc. But the bag is where the magic is – on the back side your phone number is stamped.  Just teach your kids if they get lost to go up to the nearest Disney Cast Member and show them the back of their necklace. You’ll be reunited in no time!

Purchase here: Child Safety Necklace

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3. Time to start thinking about how you’ll get to Disney. Will you be traveling by car or plane? Either way, you’ll need some things to keep those little ones occupied! These are also perfect for some quiet time in your hotel room.
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For the younger crowd (1-5), this busy book will keep little fingers busy for hours. You can mix and match/ customize the pages to meet the needs of your child.
Read more here: Busy Book
Purchase here: Busy Book

For older children, these crayon holders and covered notepads are great for drawing, playing games, keeping a trip diary and can double as an autograph book once in the Disney parks!

Purchase here: Big Hero :: Elsa
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For kids of all ages, these felt ‘non-paper’ dolls will keep you entertained for hours! Perfect for playing dress up, telling stories, etc.
Read more about them here: Non Paper Dolls
Purchase here: Non Paper Dolls
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4. Your Magic Bands arrived in the mail today! Vacation must be right around the corner! Don’t want your Magic Bands to look like anyone else’s? Fear not, the company Magic Your Band is here to help. This company makes ‘skins’ that can be applied to your Magic Band- choose from many of their pre-existing designs or if you’re artistically inclined, design your own! They offer discounts when you purchase more than one, and offer free shipping to boot! I had mine in less than a week from ordering.  I cannot say enough about their awesome personalized customer service.  If you are designing your own band, they can even send you a photoshop template to use to help you with your design.  I may have even received a fun surprise or two in my package, but I will leave that for you to find when you order yours 😉
Purchase here: Magic Your Band
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5. Woo! Your vacation is almost here! Time to start packing! Every girl (little or full grown) needs a Minnie Bow to complete their outfit, and with all of these designs, you can have one that corresponds to every theme park!
Purchase here: Embroidered Minnie Ears
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Also perfect for wearing in the parks – these embroidered crowns and wands will complete any princess outfit and are much more durable than the plastic ones that are sold in stores.
Purchase here: Princess Wands and Crowns

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For adults, these hand stamped necklaces and bracelets are a subtle way of showing your love for Disney. Several sayings are available and are suitable for both men and women (request a longer length for men when ordering).

Purchase here:
Hakuna Matata Bracelet
Just Keep Swimming Bracelet
Faith, Trust, Pixie Dust Bracelet
Dream it, Do it Bracelet
Let It Go Necklace
Just Keep Swimming Necklace
A Dream Is A Wish Your
Faith, Trust, Pixie Dust Necklace
Hakuna Matata Necklace
To Infinity and Beyond Necklace
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6. You’re home from your magical Disney vacation and you want a way to remember the fun times you had on all of those attractions. Hang up this Disney themed subway art in your house as a reminder of the memories you created on vacation.
Purchase here: Disney Subway Art

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Which item on the list is your favorite? (Mine has to be those Minnie Mouse hair clips!). Can you think of anything else you’d add to this list? Let me know in the comments!

Easy, Portable Non Paper Doll Storage

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So you’ve been buying up all those ridiculously adorable Non Paper Dolls for your kiddos (or yourself 😉 I won’t judge!) and you need an quick and inexpensive storage solution that doubles as a felt play mat – I’ve got the easiest solution for you – paper doll storage!  This paper doll storage also doubles as a felt board or flannel board. 

I found this plastic project case at my local Michaels craft store – it is meant for storing scrapbooking supplies, so it is in their paper crafting section (close up of the label below).  If you don’t have a craft store nearby or just prefer to shop on Amazon, they have a similar one here: Slim Scrapbook Case
The best part of this case is that it is about 1.5 inches thick and has a carrying handle. Takes up next to no space and easy to grab for fun on the run!

The price is the same at both – about $10, but at Michaels you can always use that 40% coupon!
You will also need some felt – if you go with the smaller 8×11 case like I did, two felt sheets will suffice – if you go with the larger 12×12 case, you’ll need approximately 1/3 of a yard of felt. Also grab some plastic-safe glue – I love silicone glue or a heavy duty spray adhesive.

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Here’s a close up of the label:DSC_2841

The project couldn’t be simpler – trim or cut the felt to fit on the inside of the case, glue down with your glue or spray adhesive and allow to dry.  When dry, your felt dolls and accessories will stick to the felt for easy playing, and when you’re done playing, just close up the case and everything will be stored neatly inside!DSC_2844

Viola! Instant play on the go- great for grabbing on the way to a doctors appointment, a long trip in the car or airplane, or even when you’re visiting a friend’s house who may not have many toys for your kids to play with!

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Non Paper Dolls – Use and Care

 

 

 

Welcome to the adorable world of felt ‘non paper’ dolls!  I started stitching these little guys (and gals) up just after Christmas and I’ve become obsessed with them!

Remember the paper dolls of your childhood? These are basically the same thing, but with today’s fashions and icons – and far more durable because they are made out of several layers of felt!

Read on to find out how to use them and how to best care for them.DSC_1809 While today’s electronics and high tech toys have become increasingly popular, I still love the simple pleasures of open-ended play.  As a teacher in the past, I have found that the toys that spark imagination are the ones that kids keep coming back to.  In my classroom the most popular toys were always the felt boards, blocks (and Lego), pretend play (kitchen/dress-up/etc), and race cars.  These paper dolls fit right into those categories- their possibilities for use are endless and are only limited by your little one’s imagination!

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These felt paper dolls are made of several layers of felt, and are great for quiet play – car trips, waiting rooms, church, and more. Works best with your felt board or can be used on their own. The inherent nature of felt means the outfits gently “stick” to the dolls without the need for velcro or adhesives (see below regarding adhesives), and the felt makes the dolls far more durable than traditional paper dolls.

The paper dolls are great for open-ended play and your little ones will love using their imagination to mix and match the outfits to create their own unique style! The dolls can be used to tell stories, practice life skills such as color recognition, and are just a blast to play with!

If you don’t have a felt or flannel board, there are tons of tutorials out there, including this easy one that uses a painters canvas and a yard of felt or flannel. 1DSC_2602

Adhesives and Care:

When I ship my paper dolls from my Etsy Shop, I ship them plain, with the option to add a gentle adhesive to the back.  I leave the option of the glue up to the buyer as some people would rather not have any chemicals added to the dolls.  If it is chosen at checkout, the adhesive I use is Aleene’s Tack-It Over & Over . It is a re-positional glue that will help the clothes and accessories ‘stick’ to the doll.  If you pick this option from my shop, please follow the following guidelines to keep your dolls and clothes looking great:
-Wipe the back of the clothes with a slightly damp cloth to remove any debris after play
-The adhesive may wear off over time, and will need to be re-applied. You can purchase this glue at many craft stores or by following the link above. Use a small brush to apply a thin coat to the back of the clothing and allow to dry. Full directions for use come with the glue.

General Care for Dolls:
-Store the dolls and accessories flat. If they become wrinkled, you can lightly iron them with an iron on a low to medium heat setting.
-Dolls can be spot cleaned. I do not recommend putting them in a washing machine.
-A lint roller can be used to remove any pet fur or particles that may ‘stick’ to the felt.

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If you have any questions regarding the use and care of your dolls, do not hesitate to contact me through my Etsy shop (use the blue “contact the shop owner” button in my shop ).

With proper care and storage these dolls and outfits can truly become an heirloom piece that gets passed on for generations to come! DSC_1841

These are just some of the many designs I currently offer! NPD3

Craft Show Displays : Part 2 – Refinishing Picture Frames

Part 2 of my 3 part Craft Show tips series!  If you haven’t read Part 1, go ahead and do so now, so you can see why I’m doing this!  In part 1, I showed you how I turned two thrift store frames into jewelry stands, and in this part, I’m going to show you how I refinished a bunch of funky frames so that they all matched and had a cohesive look.

But first, let me show you the “before” shot. In part 1, I mentioned that I bought $29 worth of items to refinish, repurpose and reuse in my booth, and here’s everything I scored (at Goodwill) for less than $30!

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The Texas shaped basket was the most expensive item at $4, but since we now live in Texas, I’ve learned the people here are fiercely proud of their state!  I intend on making a few Texas themed metal stamped items and displaying them in this basket, and I really thought it would be appropriate.  The two beige frames in the top row are from Part 1 of this series where I turned them into burlap jewelry stands.  The wooden board on the right will be turned into a chalkboard sign (in part 3!), and I’ll also discuss what I’m using the basket and 2 vases for on the middle right in part 3.

Right now, lets focus on all these frames!  I wanted uniquely shaped and decorated frames to showcase some of my photography work, and I knew I’d refinish them, so I didn’t care so much what color they were, but rather their shape and matter of ornate-ness.  Here’s the ones we’re going to refinish:IMG_3650.JPG

To prepare the frames, begin by dismantling them to remove the glass, innards and backing.  You’ll also want to wipe them down with a damp towel, allow them to dry, and lightly sand them with 220 grit sand paper to rough up their surface.  Lay them outside on a tarp or newspaper in a well-ventilated area.  If you have some wooden blocks, you might want to prop them up so you can easily spray the sides, but if not, laying them on your tarp will work just fine.

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To get the frames ready for their paint, I highly suggest priming them.  This will help whatever paint you are using better adhere to the frame.  My favorite is Krylon All-Purpose Gray Interior and Exterior Decorator Primer , but if you have a lot of plastic frames, Krylon Plastic Primer might work better for you.  Whatever you go with, read and follow all directions for that product.  For me, it included spraying them and waiting 10 minutes before moving on to the color.

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Like I mentioned, I wanted a cohesive look, so I picked two colors to paint all of my frames – I wanted to match the teal in my photography logo, so I went with Krylon Catalina Mist for half of the frames, and plain white for the other half.  Check out how pretty it looks (on my favorite frame of the bunch!)

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I ended up needing two coats of spray paint to fully coat the frames.  Make sure you follow the directions for drying time between coats.

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I can’t wait to pick out my favorite prints from my sessions to fill these frames with!  The long rectangular one in the front is a mirror so that customers purchasing jewelry can see what it looks like while wearing it.

Stay tuned for part 3!

Happy Veterans Day!

Thank you to all the service men and women who are serving or who have served this great country of ours!
Check out my Free Printables to help celebrate this great day!

As a thank you to all (veteran or not!) I am offering 20% off your purchase in my Etsy Shop for today only! Expires at midnight (central time zone) on 11/11/14. Use code ThankYouVets at checkout to save!

While you’re there, check out some of the new items I listed this week!

This is my favorite – anyone in the military will understand what ‘lima oscar victor echo’ means!
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This necklace can be customized with whatever word you’d like (faith, hope, love, or your choice!)DSC_9276

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Another one of my favorites! DSC_9362

Easy DIY Craft Show Displays

I am going to do a 3 part series on setting up a craft show booth on the cheap.  Craft shows can be quite the investment – not only in your supplies and time, but in all of the little odds and ends it takes to make your booth/table look warm and inviting so customers want to stop and look at (and buy!) your items.  This is part 1 –  easy DIY Craft Show Displays.

Surprisingly, I haven’t done many craft shows in my day – in fact, I’ve only ever done one and it was pretty much a flop, so I’ve steered clear of them ever since.  But since moving to a new area, I want to get my name out there, both with my metal stamping (Etsy shop) and my Photography business, so I’ve decided to try out some local craft shows.  I really don’t plan on selling much since my metal stamping consists mainly of custom, personalized, work, and I really just want to show some samples of my photography and hand out business cards for both.  However, I will need a way of displaying my work, and I really didn’t want to break the bank because you never know what kind of return a craft show investment will yield!

My solution? Goodwill (or your favorite thrift shop of choice!).  I went in with the intent of spending no more than $25 to find some unique display ideas.  I was very open to refinishing or repurposing items, so I spent nearly an hour in there combing through the housewares department.  I ended up spending $29, which is pretty darn close!  I’ll share more of what I purchased in the next two installments of my series, but these displays were so easy and so quick, I decided to start with them!

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For this display, I purchased two of these Anne Geddes style photographs (for just $1.99 each!). What’s inside the frame doesn’t matter – the frame itself is what matters, and I loved the vintage, classic style of this cream colored frame.  The opening is 8×10, which is a perfect size for my jewelry.  You can go larger, but I wouldn’t recommend any smaller than 8×10.

In addition to your frame, you’ll also need some 1/2 foam, burlap (or fabric of your choice) and a hot glue gun.  The amount of foam and fabric will depend on how many frames you are making, and their size, but figure on about just less than 1/2 yard of fabric for every 2 frames, and 8 inches of foam for every 8×10 frame.IMG_3686.JPG

To begin, clean your frame (or repaint if desired!), and dismantle it.  You can discard the glass and photo (or if you’re like me, hold on to the glass, because you never know when you’ll need it!). You will need the backing, or a piece of cardboard the size of your opening.

Cut the foam slightly smaller than the backing (so for my 8×10 frame, I cut my foam 7 3/4 x 9 3/4) and cut the fabric 3 inches wider and longer (mine was 11×13).  Glue the foam to the backing.  Lay your fabric or burlap onto a flat surface, right side down.  Lay the backing on top of the fabric, foam side down.  Begin wrapping the fabric around the foam and backing like you would re-upholster a piece of furniture – I start in the opposite corners, placing a blob of hot glue, wrapping the fabric down and holding until cool.  Complete with the other two corners, making sure you pull taut.

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When all four corners are secure, begin wrapping and gluing the edges in the same manner.

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When all of the glue is dry, re-assemble the frame, and use straight pins to hold your jewelry at your next craft show!

 

A Few Of My Favorite Things: Chalkboard Fonts

I’m still around! I promise!  My husband and I just moved, and then after we moved, I jet-setted off to the Click Away Photography Conference sponsored by Clickin’ Moms (click the ad in my sidebar to learn more info), followed by a trip back home to visit family, and then back up to Colorado to attend a friend’s wedding.  It has been a whirlwind few months, but I’m ready to settle in and get back to crafting and blogging!

I’ve decided I’m going to do a new series called “A Few Of My Favorite Things” where I list some things I enjoy- the topic can be anything- crafty, photography, technology, style, etc. Today, I’m going to start with my favorite Chalkboard Fonts. I finally installed “Pinterest Analytics” so I could track what pins are trending, most popular, least popular, etc, and one thing I started to notice was that my Chalkboard signs I made for our wedding (seen here and here) as well as my Chalkboard freebies (seen here)) were very popular, so I decided to put together a post highlighting my favorite Chalkboard fonts.

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Each font listed was downloaded for free (the font itself is written in it’s name, so you can just do a search to find them).
The other decorations or dingbats are as follows:
The two swirls in the top corners is from a Dingbat font called “Bergamot Ornaments”
The banner behind the word “Chalkboard Font” is from a font called “Adhesive Nr Seven”
The bunting below the title and the swirls at the bottom of the image is from a font called “KG Flavor and Frames”
The little swirly dingbat next to the word Budmo is from the font “KG Flavor and Frames Four”
(You should pretty much download anything from the KG line- they’re all so adorable!)

While not necessarily chalkboard fonts, just to be thorough, the font for the “Chalkboard Fonts” lettering is “Penelope Anne” and the font for my website is called “Primer Print”.

My favorite places to download fonts are DaFont, Font Squirrel, and 1001 Free Fonts. Most sites have an area with instructions on how to download and install fonts.

Please note- while all of these fonts are free, it is up to you to read the privacy policy on each fond to find out if the creator allows them for personal use only or if they can be used for commercial use. Do not sell anything made with fonts that are listed for personal use only.

I hope you enjoy and please share with me anything you may design with these fonts! Feel free to link up in my comments or leave me a message on facebook. If you use Instagram, follow me @ SewIn2Disney and feel free to tag me and use the hashtag #handmadeisbetter so I can see it!

DIY Cupcake Picks

I love “crafting for the heck of it” – no purpose, no reason, just having fun and watching the creative process unfold before you. Today, I had the pleasure of doing just that.
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I have a Cricut Electronic Cutting Machine, and while I don’t use it as much as I’d want to, when I do break it out, I’m always amazed at how well it works, and how nice the results come out. I have very few cartridges, but I make the best of the ones I do have, so the other day, when I decided I needed a cartridge with an anchor on it (I think it’ll come in handy to decorate our new house with the nautical theme I have in mind), I set out to find their Life is a Beach Cartridge, I knew I wanted to make the most of it.
I started by gathering a few scraps of paper and trying out all the fun little beach shapes. Pretty soon, I had an adorable, but essentially useless pile of 2″ shapes. The color scheme worked so well, and combined with the fun beachy shapes, I couldn’t resist turning them into little cupcake picks. Seriously, there is no need for a full on tutorial here other than “cut out and glue toothpicks onto the back”, but I just love coming across different ways to use my cricut machine other than scrapbooking, so file this under “Ways to use the Life Is A Beach cartridge”. I can’t wait to find out other ways to make this cartridge worth it!
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I didn’t have any cupcakes around, so some cut up watermelon was the prop of the day, which got me thinking- how cute would a fruit tray decorated with these little babies look? Maybe it would help get the kiddos to eat their fruits and veggies!
It would also be great for a beach themed wedding or beach themed birthday party!
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This is just some of the adorable shapes that come with the Life Is A Beach Cricut cartridge!
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*This post contains affiliate links- every time you purchase something from Amazon through my link, a little bit comes back to me to help keep my blog running– thank you!

All Natural Play Doh

Last week I mentioned that we were moving and needed to clean out the refrigerator. While cleaning out the fridge, I found a jar of beets waaaay in the back that I had forgotten I had! I was unsure of the age of the beets, so I threw the last two out, but I was left with a cup of beet juice. I have seen how well it stains my clothes in the past, so I wanted to try to use it as a dye. Looking over the rest of the ingredients I had in my kitchen to use up before we moved, I spotted flour, salt, sugar and other pantry staples and was immediately taken back to my childhood to when we used to make our own homemade play doh. I did a quick google search for some recipes, but most took cream of tartar – something I (surprisingly) do not have in my baking cabinet. Another quick google search revealed that I could use vinegar (at 3 times the amount) in it’s place. So I decided to make my own all natural play doh recipe – no cream of tartar and no artificial coloring. Instead, I would use the beet juice to make it a gorgeous shade of purple.
All Natural Play Doh Recipe

The recipe couldn’t be easier – you will need the following:

1 cup of flour
1 cup of colored liquid (I used beet juice, but experiment with other fruit/veggie juices for different colors)
1/4 cup of salt
3 T. white vinegar
1 T. vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients into a small saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat. After a few minutes it will begin to lump together- Keep stirring! When it has combined into one ball, remove from pan and knead on a hard surface until smooth.

Store dough in an airtight container (I put mine in a Mason jar, but I’m sure if you have kids you’ll want something plastic!). From what I remember as a child, the dough lasted months if kept airtight, and I’m sure the same will hold true for this all natural version, even with the beet juice.
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What do you think of this easy recipe? I’m a 30 year old woman (with no kids!) and I still had a blast making/playing with this! If you experiment with other juices to get different colors, let me know in the comments- I’d love to hear your results!

Do you know a mother or teacher in your life who would love this recipe for their kids or students? Feel free to share it with them or pin it on Pinterest! I appreciate all “shares” and “pins”!

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