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Christmas in August Part 2 – Bottle cap Snowmen

Not my craft, but it’s so cute I had to make a record of it for Christmas!!

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Dream Catchers

How this took them an hour and a half I do not know, but this is the craft we did to finish off their craft badge. 

It required a paper plate which I cut the insides out of and hole punched beforehand (it took me quite a while so the brownies would’ve taken ages) and the girls then decorated it, some took 45 minutes on this and I wish I was exaggerating. Nevertheless we ploughed on, attaching the feathers with simple knots in 3x 15-20cm lengths of wool. Another length of wool that size was used to make a hanging loop. 

Then the fun began. I cut 150cm (approximately, I was using my arm as a measuring device), lengths of wool and told them to weave it through, adding beads if they wanted to. This is apparently impossible and none of them could do it because they were all bored and gave up, but eventually we got there and, once they had tasted the food the girls doing the cooks badge had made, we were ready to leave, only 15 minutes late! (I didn’t get home until 8.50 that night, oops) 

Overall, the craft was super cute, and it looked really good, the brownies were so excited until I told them that I wouldn’t be doing it for them. They still enjoyed it though and it was good fun had by all. 

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Salt Dough Part II

After a week of air drying the Salt Dough in my student bedroom, resulting in zero space for me and limited drying due to the position of my window, I put some in the oven on Tuesday night when I realised they wouldn’t be done in time. THIS WAS A DREADFUL IDEA. Idiot owl (what I should actually be called) used SR flour and forgot that the wet bits of the beads would rise but the dry bits wouldn’t, causing a very strange shape and colour. Even better, some of the holes sealed over.

Nevertheless, I powered on and after several “I can’t do it”s and a very frustrated leader later, we had a vague approximation of bracelets and necklaces. All that was left to do then was to try to clear up and get them sat down ready for a miracle – achieving a craft in half an hour.

Now, this week I had great plans. Luckily (in hindsight with regards to fitting everything into a meeting, not at the time), I had an absolutely hideous exam on Monday, so decided to do my time consuming prep work next week to maximise revision time and came up with a quick solution, sun catchers. My inspiration for this filled me with hope, and I thought about making a simple version that took half of the effort. I whipped up a prototype in five minutes, which definitely looks like a prototype, but it was good enough to give the girls an idea of what to do. In my defence, I had lost my glue and tape so had to use washi tape, and literally threw the paper on in any random pattern. Its exam season, okay?

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So. After telling the girls to draw a shape on folded in half black card with a smaller shape inside it, I then got them to cut it out. Letter openers are the best way to stab a hole in the middle bit so they can cut it out. I was given one by my old Owlet after finding they were a great way to punch holes in yogurt pots, card, anything, and it was the first item in my guiding arsenal.

When half of them had successfully made 2 outlines, I let them loose with the tissue paper and tried to fix the others. Eventually (after telling them to hurry up, there’s only 5 mins left, shut up, if you don’t finish this you wont get your badge, shush, get a move on, please listen), we glued the second black outline on to the first, sandwiching the tissue paper between them and added a handle out of tissue paper. At 25 to 8 we finished Brownie Bells and they all left, only 5 minutes late.

Overall verdict: It’s my fault that the salt dough was such a time consuming disaster because I well and truly ruined it, but the girls did a great job considering, I just wish they would have more confidence and not say they can’t do it before they even start. The sun catchers only took half an hour which is amazing and I’m very happy with how well it went. They are definitely a good filler craft and are very cheap and easy to do, but the girls liked it and were happy with how they turned out.

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Successful Salt Dough?????

Yes, you heard right. This salt dough was not actually too painful. For week two of the craft badge, I decided to attempt the clause ‘Make two matching items of jewellery from home-made beads or pendants.’ and my stupid brain decided that the messiest craft ever would be fab.

Fast forward two weeks, and I’m posting on the brownie support facebook group asking for advice because it is the day of salt dough and I’m scared. Having bought the salt and the flour, but forgetting the food colouring, bowls, baking paper and straws, I had to make another shopping trip (instead of revising for next week’s exams, what a shame), and then I spent the rest of the afternoon weighing out ingredients. I gave each group of four two bowls with 200g SR flour and 100g salt in each. once they’d got the bags open and mixed the powders, I added the water to prevent any disasters and also the food colouring (saves having to paint them if they’re pre-coloured.)

Pro-tip here: use liquid food colouring here not the gel tube things, it doesn’t stretch as far and the colours are a lot less bright.

They then shaped the dough into beads, and after being bored of making beads, many just made random shapes. at 7.35 after telling them to pack up for about 20 minutes and them making ‘just one more bead’, we finally got to brownie bells and once they’d gone the sweeping began. I would definitely recommend keeping it as far away from carpet as possible, but eventually we got there. The beads are now air drying on my desk because I’m too tired to cook them, but I can’t complain at all seeing as the evening went a lot better than I expected.

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If you decide to try salt dough, then I have some advice. Measure out quantities beforehand because it takes too long, DON’T use gel food colour, definitely DON’T use poster paint to colour the dough (I experimented before brownies, the colour was rubbish and the dough too liquidy), and have a hand washing bowl in the hall, bonus points if there is a towel as well so they can dry their hands. (Yes I forgot all about this.) Also make sure you have some way of transporting them home, a baking tray or ten is ideal for this purpose.

Overall, mess factor was lower than expected, stress was lower than expected and I think the girls really liked it! I’m still undecided on if I will cook it or not, but I’ll see how it goes over the next day or so.

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Bookworm bookmarks!

This is a nice easy craft to start off the craft badge. Or so you would think. On the whole, it worked really well and was easy for the girls to do, but not so much for the chatty table. 

It took from about 20 minutes for the quick ones to an hour for the really chatty girls to do, but they didn’t find any of it particularly difficult, although I had to do the ribbons. They had different choices of background card and they all did the stripes differently so each one was unique. 

The girls that were finished quickly played Fishes, and also the game where you sit on eachother, which for some reason, they seem to love. Overall it was a good meeting despite my paranoia that it’d be a disaster and everyone would know how incompetent a leader I am. 7/10 would do again but would factor in timings a bit better. 

Template can be obtained here: Bookworm bookmark