Monday, September 27, 2010

Pretty Sun Catchers

Hi Everyone!  I hope your weekend was wonderful.

Scooter had to stay home from school on Friday, so we attempted another craft from Disney Family Fun.  If you're counting, this would be the third Family Fun project in about 2 weeks.  We're on a roll. 

This time we attempted "Pretty Plastic Light Catchers."  This one was a little more complicated than the cornstarch clay creatures or the glittery hair gel.  It's not bad though, it just didn't quite work out like I thought it would.  I'll give you the Family Fun directions and put my own comments in italics.  Just so you know.  No snide comments, I promise.  Maybe.  Just call this a review.  Kind of.

Here's what you need:
  • Small saucepan
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Small spouted measuring cup
  • 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin, I only used 3 because that's what I had.
  • Food coloring
  • 4 disposable plastic plates (we used 9-inch) Ah, I used plastic plates that Chewy uses to play "kitchen" and they weren't disposable.
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Parchment paper
  • Heavy books for weighting
  • Markers (optional)
  • String, ribbon, or fishing line

Here's what you do:
Boil 3 tablespoons of the water and pour it into the measuring cup. (Boiling water is not for the kiddos.  Not that I need to remind you.) Add 1 envelope of gelatin and a few drops of food coloring. Stir the mixture slowly until it's combined. Let it sit for about a minute, then stir it again to minimize air bubbles.

Pour the mixture onto a plastic plate. If you like, sprinkle glitter on top of the gelatin, or add one or two drops of different-colored food coloring and swirl with a toothpick to make a marbled pattern.

Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the remaining envelopes of gelatin, varying the shades of food coloring each time. Okay, the gelatin gets gelatiny or goopy pretty quickly.  Or maybe that's because I live in a dry environment.  The kids plates got blobby really quickly.  I learned by the time we did mine.  Pour quickly and stir stuff in quickly. 

Let the gelatins dry until hardened, at least overnight. Peel them off the plates. They're easy to peel off, though a little brittle.  Use a spatula or flipper thing if you need to.

Then cut them into shapes with scissors. Using a hole punch, make holes at the top of them. They're difficult to cut because they chip.  I managed to get some stars cut out and Scooter just cut whatever he could.  They were too hard for Chewy to cut, so she just didn't. 

If your light catchers start to curl, wrap them in a sheet of parchment paper, then place them between two heavy books. When they're flat, use markers to draw on them, if you like.  Ah, we just left them with their curls.  It's called "character." 

Suspend each from a string, ribbon, or fishing line and hang in a sunny window.  We tied one of my stars, one of Scooter's shapes, and a tag together.  The tag says "You're a Star" on one side and "Thank You" on the other.  Scooter signed his name and took a few to school today.  He's going to give one to his teacher, one to his assistant teacher, and one to the school nurse.  We're fairly well acquainted with the nurse now.  I've gotten three calls since the beginning of the school year.  THREE!  I don't think I ever had that many in all my years of school.  Maybe my mom and dad remember better. 

These light catchers would make great homemade ornaments or just pretty things to put in the window.  They take time to dry and are a little difficult to cut out.  Work fast and you could get a pretty design.  You've got to be prepared with mixing the gelatin, pouring, and mixing in your glitter and other colors.  Have everything handy and work fast.  Kids don't always like that.  Prep and prepare them.  Mine seemed to enjoy the glitter part and mixing in the other colors to make "spider webs." 

So......what crafty things have you attempted that don't seem to work the way you anticipate, but still turned out fairly well?  Or didn't turn out?

Come back later this week when I give you a little lesson I learned about buying and finishing furniture off of Craiglist.  I'm also planning a little Halloween costume plan, an oops article, and whatever else I can pull out of my hard drive.  That is if all works out this week.  Cause my weeks never goes as planned.  Kinda like last Thursday.  Whew.  That was a doozey of a day.   It involved a broken down car, a call from the nurse, a kid with a fever, and a bike ride with a trailer.  Good times.  Good times.

Here's hoping you have good times this week.  And I mean "good" as in GOOD!

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