Heart-Shaped Necklace Craft
In the past I’ve tried to make clay gifts with my kids, and many of the recipes I tried didn’t turn out very well. I liked this craft for a couple reasons. First, it called for ingredients that I already had in my kitchen. I love when I can do a project with my kids without having to go to the store to pick up materials! Second, it was very fast and easy to make! Another quality I love in a craft! The cleanup was a piece of cake!
My 7-year-old is at the age where she likes to do everything herself, but she doesn’t always listen very well. Not a great combination when you’re doing crafts like this, but I like to let her learn from her experiences. I can remember some of the best artwork I did in my younger years was when I made mistakes and learned from them. I try to remember that and have patience with her. I’ll soon get to why this is important.
We decided to make these heart necklaces as part of her Valentine goody bags that she’s going to give away at school. Once we started making them, the first cutter we used was so small that we decided to make some for her Girl Scout troop also. As you’ll see, we changed sizes halfway through to make them more durable.
1 c Baking soda
1/2 c corn starch
2/3 c water
Pot to cook on the stove
- Rolling pin and cookie cutter. Honestly, I should list these under required since it’ll be very hard to make without them. But since you could technically flatten the dough and shape it with your hands, I’ll leave it up to you.
- Paint. Again, you’ll get a much better product if you include this. Might also want to do some sort of metallic variation.
- Something to poke a hole. This is necessary if you’re going to make necklaces. If you just want to make a charm, you could opt out.We used a bamboo skewer.
- Ribbon or string to hang it on.
- Instead of baking soda clay, you could follow a different clay recipe. There are some with salt & flour that might require baking after, or some that are more like porcelain. I liked this recipe because it was easy to make, and you just have to let them sit to dry. It also seems to be a bit easier to imprint on than the salt dough that I’ve tried in the past.
- Mix the baking soda, corn starch, and water in a pot over medium heat. Stir constantly until it reaches the consistency of mashed potatoes.
2. Pour it out onto the counter (or whatever surface you’ll use to roll it out and shape it). I let it sit a few minutes to cool before beginning to work with it.
3. Knead the dough for a few minutes.
4. Roll it out. At first, we did about 1/8″+ thick but those seemed to be very delicate and easy to break. We ended up switching to about 1/4″+ and they felt more durable.
5. Cut out your shapes with a cookie cutter. We used some heart shaped cutters because we were making them for Valentine’s Day. Customize them to fit your needs and the current season!
6. If you’re wanting a necklace (or if you want to hang your finished product on the wall), poke a hole near the top center. Make sure it’s close to the top, but not so close that it will be too brittle and break. We used a bamboo skewer. This is the part where my daughter didn’t really listen well. I kept reminding her to be sure she was poking the skewer all the way through. I showed her how to hold the heart in her hand and let the skewer come through between her fingers. Most of the hearts she did were sitting on the counter as she poked with the pointy end, so they didn’t have much of a hole at all. Oh well, I guess they’ll have to be charms instead of necklaces!
7. If you’d like a heart-shaped imprint on it, press your thumb down twice at different angles to make it into a heart shape.
8. Let dry for 2 days. They technically seemed dry enough after one day, but we still let them sit the extra day.
9. Paint them. Use your own creativity for this! We like things colorful, so that’s what we did. You may want to paint the tops & sides first and let them dry before painting the backs. We only did one layer of paint, but you could paint them white and then paint your thumbprint hearts a different color like Amy at The Idea Room did with her heart necklaces.
10. If you’re making a necklace, cut some pieces of ribbon about 24″ long. String them through the hold in the heart. You may have to fold the ribbon tightly, then pull it through by just a few threads on the other side. Smaller string like hemp is probably a bit easier, but we like colorful. 🙂
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