We’ve been quiet this past week or so at View From a Daddy as we enjoy time together before the big N begins (nursery). I can’t say I’m looking forward to losing my wing girl every weekday morning, but I know that she is very ready to start her journey. Anyway, while we have been having some quiet time, we have been trying out all sorts of crafty things (in the arty sense not the cunning sense). One of the easiest was making salt dough crafts. I was surprised at just how easy this was and you can create it from what you have in your cupboards rather than having to make a dash for the shops. A quick ‘Google’ will find you a recipe. Somehow, I managed to get myself an American based manual and had to fathom what cups meant but I soon got the hang of it… blagged it! With 1 ‘cup’ of flour, 1/2 ‘cup’ of water and 1/2 ‘cup’ of salt, you can create a dough that is akin to a paste in texture initially.

I had to do some jiggery pokery by adding a bit more flour to get the consistency of a dough as it was quite gloopy to start but you’ll pretty much know what you are looking for once you’ve got it. It took minutes to get to the right consistency and then we were set. I popped a bit of flour on the work surface and then grabbed the play dough kit and cookie cutters to start rolling and cutting out shapes. We had collected some shells from the beach and so we placed some of these in the rolled out dough too, We had collected a crab shell which was grey in colour so we added that to one shelly creation. I wasn’t sure what the end product would be but in the spirit of experimenting (and with a small fear that the kitchen would start to smell like a fish shop) it went in the oven with all of the others to bake.

Once the Little Lady was happy with her shapes and creations, we placed them on a baking tray (I used baking parchment as a liner for the baking tray) and in the oven they went on a low heat for about 3 hours. Cue impatience and continued queries of ‘are my shapes done now?’ (over and over). My advice: have something planned for this stage. Rumour has it that you can use the microwave and get the dough to set in a much shorter amount of time. I am talking minutes here but I opted for the oven in try traditional activity style (fool).

If you have enough time, you could paint them the same day, or you could (like me) spread it over into the next rainy day and spend the morning mixing colours and glitter and paint them when they are ‘definitely cool enough’.

If you want to use the creations as hanging decorations, make sure you pinch out a small hole, I used the end of a straw, to make hole for string to hang them once they are finished. The optimist in me believed that it was all going to work out ok and indeed it did. The grey shell was restored to its crabby orange (I’ll have to do some research as to why this happened but for now an explanation about it warming up will suffice) and the final products were actually quite good even if the Little Lady and I do say so ourselves. We have given a couple away and we have used some of the others to decorate the wendy house. We will definitely make some more with a christmas theme or maybe Halloween but for now we’ll work with the sun and seaside in hope that the summer returns

This is an easy and cheap go to on a wet day but my top tip has got to be make sure you have something planned for the cooking time if you aren’t microwaving even if it is just to save your sanity!

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