Add a little more love to your home with this darling banner! It's awesome enough to adorn your wall year-round and sturdy enough to last for many Valentine's Days. This project lets kids of all ages creatively explore a variety of media, using simple items kicking around your home. Older kids can work independently and younger kids can work with a grown up.
Salt Dough Banner
Things You Need
You will need: flour; salt; water; a baking sheet; assorted beads, buttons and stones; watercolor paints and paint brush; a sturdy hanging material like twine, string or ribbon.
Combine 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup salt in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Add 3/4 cup warm water and get your hands in there! Squish the mess between your fingers until it is thoroughly mixed.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Little ones can knead by rolling the dough into a thick log, folding the ends into the center, pushing down and repeating.
Divide dough into four pieces and squeeze your love letters into shape, using additional flour if the dough is too sticky.
Score the "O" and "E"
To add strength to the places that need connecting, score and wet the dough to form a strong bond. To score, simply scratch the area that will stick together. Then, dampen the scored area and stick together using your fingers. Scoring and wetting your dough will ensure the "e" and "o" don't crack when baking.
Spiff Up Your Letters
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a rolling pin or the palm of your hand to flatten the letters a bit. It is important that all the letters are a uniform thickness so they bake evenly. Use silverware, chopsticks or other utensils to make marks in the dough. Press beads, stones and buttons into the dough. You can be as minimal or as decorative as you'd like!
Punch Holes for Twine
Make two holes in the top of each letter. You can use a chopstick or nail to make a hole or, as seen here, use a large bead as the hole frame. Press the bead into the dough all the way to the working surface below. Clean out the dough in the center of the bead with a toothpick.
Bake and Paint
Place your dough letters on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. The dough is done when slightly puffed and browned. The letters should look a lot like biscuits. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Paint with watercolor paints and set aside until completely dry.
Cut your twine to length and begin threading the holes, starting on the back side of the first hole in the "L." Go through the hole, across the top surface of the "L" and through the other hole and so on.
Measure the width of your banner and place two nails or hooks in the wall. Tie loops at each end and hang! Share the love. xoxo