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Sculpting Beads

You can mold various forms of sculpting materials into craft designs. Two of my favorites are store-bought and homemade types of clay or dough that you can roll and cut out or model into shapes. Projects made from both of these dough mediums can be baked in an oven to harden and make them permanent. You can paint the shapes with acrylic paints and varnish them to make a finished product.

Sculpy or Fimo Clay Beads

Make your own jewelry for your next holiday bash using this easy-to-work-with clay medium.

Knead the clay with your fingers to soften it. Roll the clay into snakes and then cut them into beads to make jewelry. Roll two or three colors of clay together to form a twisted color effect. You can also roll several colors of clay together and form a contrasting color of clay into a flat piece to cover the roll. When you cut the beads, there will be an outline color on the outside.

Be sure to make holes in the beads with a toothpick or sharp instrument before baking them. Bake the beads in a 275°F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the clay is hardened. Varnish the cooled beads and allow them to dry.

This clay can also be rolled out onto a flat surface with a rolling pin and cut out with cookie cutters. These clay designs make nice ornaments, gift tags, or dough shapes for decorating craft projects (such as picture frames, wreaths, and plaques).

Holiday Hints

You can make dough ornaments out of an aromatic apple/cinnamon concoction that has a delightful holiday smell. Simply mix 1 cup ground cinnamon, 2/3 cup applesauce, and 1 tablespoon white glue in a mixing bowl. Mix well and roll out onto a flat surface with a rolling pin. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and bake in a 350°F oven for 8 to 15 minutes, or until the dough turns golden brown on the edges.

Homemade Clay or Dough

Save yourself a trip to the craft store and some of your own dough by making this pliable puffy salt dough.

In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, and 1 cup water. Work out any lumps that may occur. If the mixture is too dry, add a small amount of water. If it's too wet (sticky), add more flour.

To make ornaments, roll the dough onto a floured flat surface with a rolling pin. Cut shapes out of the dough with cookie cutters and bake them on a cookie sheet in a 350°F oven for approximately 8 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

You could also sculpt your own shapes out of this dough and bake them as you would the cut-outs. You may need to add to the baking time depending upon the thickness of your project. If desired, paint your sculptures with acrylic paints and coat them with a layer of varnish.

More on: Crafts for Kids

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Holiday Crafts © 2002 by Marilee LeBon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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