Thursday, December 5, 2013

Simple & Easy Salt Dough Gift Tags


The Holidays are coming upon us and for many of us that means that our busy schedules are about to get much busier. It's important to try to schedule some time for yourself. Here is a simple, quick and easy craft idea that is not only practical but very therapeutic. Make these unique green gift tags that can become very personalized tree ornaments or decorations. You probably have the two main ingredients in your kitchen right now...flour and salt.
 
Salt Dough Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon oil

Optional
 glitter
food coloring

The oil is optional, but we have found that it adds a nice sheen to the dough.
You can get creative and add glitter or use food coloring to make different colored batches of dough.












Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. Knead with your hands until it forms a dough ball.

TIP: If your dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour until it is the right consistency. If your dough is too dry, add a few drops of water.
 









Roll out the dough about a 1/4 inch thick. Depending on the design you choose you may want to stamp or imprint the dough first before you cut out your shapes.

TIP: If you use parchment paper underneath you can move the finished item easily onto a baking sheet. The dough here was stamped with a rubber stamp and silver ink.
Stamps with different inks can be used as well as imprints from bark, leaves or anything with texture. You could embed beads into the dough and you can also paint them after baking with any water based paint, or even silver spray paint for a faux metallic finish. Use permanent markers to write or draw for even more endless possibilities.
Drying Options
If you leave the dough out to dry for a few days it will harden. That gives you the ability to embed items that may melt or crack if you bake them to dry. If you prefer to bake them to harden, it will take only  1 hour at 325 degrees. Place them on a cookie sheet.
TIP: After they harden or cool from baking, sand the edges for a smoother look. If you have delicate items embedded but don't want to wait for them to air dry, bake them for 2 hours at 250 degrees.

We would love to see your finished works of art! Please post a picture of your DIY Gift Tags for us! 
Wishing you and your family a fun and happy Holiday season!





Monday, November 18, 2013

5 Tips on How Not To Be Burglarized While You're on Holiday

http://www.myfirstapartment.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/photo11.jpg Many of us are planning to go out of town for the Holidays, making next weekend the perfect opportunity for thieves to target your apartment. Here are some easy steps you can take to keep your valuables safe. 
1) Do not post anything on social media like Facebook and Twitter that indicates that you will be out of town and your apartment will be vacant. 
2) Take any items of value that you can with you. If your apartment is targeted you only stand to loose what's in it.
3) Buy renters insurance. It's not that expensive and protects you from more than burglary...policies usually cover your items that may be destroyed by fires or flooding. 
4) Put a light on a timer to make it appear that someone is at home.
5) Check that your doors and windows are locked. Double hung style windows can appear to be locked when in fact the latch is not lined up properly. It would be an uncommon thief that doesn't check to see if a window is simply open to gain easy entry...
Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!