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School Craft Ideas: Salt Dough Buddy Pens 
by David H. Urmann

Craft ideas are very helpful for the kids. They may discover their talents in creativeness once they try this out.

Craft projects are one of the most fun and enjoyable activities that kids look forward to in school. Crafts boost a child's creativity and inventiveness. It is also a good way to improve their motor skills while having fun at the same time. It also promotes a sense of discipline, teamwork, patience, cooperation and ingenuity.

One of the popular craft project in school is making Salt Dough Buddy Pens. These are simple and easy to make. It requires only a bit of imagination and patience because the dough should be dried overnight.

The basic materials needed to make salt dough buddy pens are the following: 1 cup water, 1 cup salt, bowl, toothpick, 2 cups flour, waxed paper, paintbrushes, acrylic craft paint, plastic wrap, ballpoint pen, cookie sheet or cutting board, Acrylic sealer spray (matte or gloss), and modeling clay.

As you go along the project, you could inject your own modifications to make it more beautiful and interesting. As the ideas come pouring in, you might need additional materials and you can procure it along the way. It is a good thing when you deviate a bit from the set procedure and give it a personal touch. It showcases uniqueness and a sense of individuality.

The first thing to do is to mix the flour, salt, and water together in a bowl. Add more flour if dough is too gluey and blend until it becomes better. It should not dry that much or else it will break.

Roll the pens in two layers of plastic wraps. Start just below the tip of the pen and work your way downwards. Jab the point of the pen into some modeling clay where the plastic wrap starts. The hole will serve as the base where the pen will stand once the project is finished.

Next, roll the dough with your palms until it becomes flexible and fully covered. Wrap the pen in plastic wrapper. Mold the salt dough and shape it like a carrot. Basically use your palms, fingers and a hard surface for molding. As you go along, you will discover your own technique in shaping the doughs.

Complete the face of the characters by making small molds to the take the form of eyes, nose, ears, hair and other accessories. Continue this by rolling the small amounts of dough into circles or lines and push them on the body. Use a small amount of water to stick them to the dough in case problem occurs. Molding small shapes can be a bit trickier. You can use pencils, barbecue sticks or the like to help give shape to your dough.

You could also use a toothpick to form freckles, eyelashes and eyebrows. It can also be used to dig small holes in the middle of the eyes to form irises. Next, attach 3 bits of chenille stems to put hairs. Just jab feathers into salt dough at any place. Be creative. You can also bundle up some strings or cotton to form the hair.

Place the finished character on a waxing paper. Then put it on a cookie sheet or cutting board. Leave it overnight to dry. Next, paint them with acrylic craft paint. Dry up one side before turning it over and painting the other side.

Next, scatter the area with two coats of acrylic sealer spray. Spraying will desiccate the two coats. Lastly, take out the pen from the modeling clay and clean the tip.

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