Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Bead and Clay Crosses
This is a project I do at Easter time with the students. These are done by Grade 1. I also did this with Grade 4 this year using smaller beads and more complicated patterns.
Click on picture to see larger.
4 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 cups to 2 and 1/2 cups warm water (varies depending on flour and humidity, enough for a soft dough)
Knead into a soft dough
Store in a ziploc bag. If not using right away you can store in the refrigerator for like forever. Just pull it out ahead of time to come to room tempertaure before using.
I like to color the dough. Using liquid tempera or acrylic paint squirt some on the dough.
Fold over the dough.
and then knead like crazy....don't worry if it looks marbled like this it just means you have to keep kneading.
It will eventually look like this. Even color throughout.
Roll it out and then using a cookie cutter cut out the shape.
Place a paper clip 1/2 way in at the top for hanging.
I get the kids to put a bit of water on the surface of the cross using their finger and then they can start forming their design with beads. We use pony beads in different sizes as well as wood beads and large decorative beads.
I asked them to try and make a pattern using color or shape.
They need to push the beads in fairly firmly.
I then place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I write the name of the student on the paper in sharpie and then place their creation either on top or next to their name. This allows me to keep them straight until they are baked when I can then write their names on the back in sharpie.
Bake in a 250 - 300 degree oven for about 2 - 3 hours until hard. You don't want to overbake and have them get a brownish tinge.
When cool add a coat or 2 of Mod podge. This will help "glue" into place any loose beads as well as add a nice shiny finish.
Keep in mind that salt dough responds to the humidity in the air. It can sometimes feel soft even after baking and sealing. Just let it be and it will dry out again.
That's it. I add a ribbon thru the paper clip at the top and the kids have a great creation to take home for Easter.
See you next time.