Recipes for Handicrafts

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We are often stuck in the mindset that we must buy everything we need; run out to RONA, Canadian Tire or Walmart for your cleaners, Loomis and Toles for your art supplies, the garden centre for your fertilizers, and a host of other specialty stores for everything from clay to glue to varnish. Well, its not necessarily necessary! Here are some recipes for mixtures, concoctions and projects you may be interested in. Some are good for keeping the kids entertained, some will keep the adults busy!

Paper Mache

Great fun on a rainy day, have the kids blow up balloons, paper mache them, and then draw on each others faces for life size sculpted portraits.

Tear up a pile of scrap paper, newspaper works very well. Then soak until it is pulp. To this mixture, add the following until it is nice and tacky.

Dry paper – 1 oz (30g)

Water – 3 fluid oz (185 ml)

Plaster of paris – 8 oz (225g)

Glue – 4 1/2 tablespoonsful


Modelling Wax

Keep them busy sculpting dinosaurs, wax fruit or your very own version of Madam Tussuad’s!

Heres the recipe:

White Beeswax – 2 oz. (55g)

Turpentine – 1/2 fl oz (15ml)

Sesame oil – 1 teaspoonful

The main thing is that the wax must be malleable at hand temperature – the oil helps with this. Break up the beeswax into small bits and mix it in with the oil and turps. Heating it up a small bit in the microwave can help with this, and you may add a bit of food colouring as you go, to create different colours.

Drawing Fixative

A gorgeous masterpiece drawing with charcoal or conte can easily be reduced to a giant smudge with a swipe of your hand. This recipe for fixative will essentially dry varnish the drawing so you wont ruin it accidentally.

Shellac – 2 teaspoonsful

Sandarac – 1 teaspoonful

Industrial methylated spirit – 4 1/2 fluid ox. (130 ml)


Invisible Ink

Hours of fun on a rainy day, invisible ink is the perfect aid to games of games of espionage, secret messages in bottles, and any other thing their imaginations can come up with. Here is a recipe to start with:

Cobalt chloride – 2 oz. (55g)

Glycerine – 1/2 fl.oz. (15ml)

Water to make – 1 pt. (570ml)

Use a brush or an old-fashioned dip pen, write your messages on plain white paper and they will be invisible to the naked eye. When its time to reveal the secret, hold the paper over a gentle heat source, such as a heater or a stove burner on low. The test will be revealed, as if by magic!

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