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Christmas Craft Projects For Children
by Tyler Powers

This Christmas, get into the spirit of the season by making some wonderful Christmas decorations with Baker's Clay.

The Baker's Clay is not difficult to make. What you need is:

1. 4 cups flour 2. 1 cup salt 3. 1 - 1 cup water

Mix the ingredients in a large bowl, and knead until smooth. Now, you're ready to surprise your Mom.

1. Christmas Tree Ornaments

These two are easy and fun to make:

A Snowman...

Use the Baker's Clay to roll three balls. These should be of three sizes. A small one to make the head, a medium one to make the belly and a large one to make the bottom. Now, gently "score" (make scratches) the belly top, moisten it with water and attach the head to it by pressing it gently. Similarly, join the belly to the bottom.

The Teddy Bear...

Roll one small and one medium sized ball. Score and attach together, as in the snowman. For arms and legs, make four small cylinder shapes with flattened ends. Attach tem to bear body. Use your thumbnail to pinch ears into the head. For ornament hook, take a 2" piece of wire and, with pliers, bend one end into a hook. Put the straight end of the wire into the ornament top, leaving the hook showing.

Now bake at 300 degrees, for about -1 hours, until the clay gets set, and turns a nice golden hue. If any cracks appear midway, cure them with moist clay and continue baking.

Paint the ornaments with egg when they are almost baked, and look dry. This will give them a deep golden color. For an even richer gold, apply 2-3 coats of egg.

2. Napkin Rings

Take a paper towel or toilet paper cardboard tube. Cover it completely with aluminum foil. Roll pieces of Baker's Clay into ropes, each " thick and 12" long. Fold each in half and twist the strands together. Wind them around the tube, moisten ends with water and press together to seal. Bake at 300 degrees, for -1 hour, until set and golden. For a deeper gold, paint with an egg, when almost done baking. When done, take off tube and cool.

Here's another idea:

Roll out flat strips of Baker's Clay, 6" long, 2" wide and " thick. Wrap around cardboard tube and seal ends as above.

Decorate with clay "fruit", e.g., small clay balls can become a bunch of grapes. To attach, score napkin ring, moisten with water and press "fruit" down gently.

You can also make roses, stars, etc., but bake them separately and then glue them to the baked napkin rings.

Tips to note: For a brighter look, add some food coloring to the clay. Alternatively, after baking and cooling, paint ornaments and rings with acrylic, and seal with shellac. Or, top up with gold or silver spray paint to make them sparkle. This way, they will keep for years. All that you need to do is to store them in a dry, cool place.

Baker's Clay can be used for making a variety of creative gifts and decorations. So, let your imagination roam free this Christmas.

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