Friday, January 17, 2014

DIY Gift That Brings Smiles

I mentioned in my last post that it was a very DIY-ish Christmas.  Not only did my hubby create the mother of all Barbie houses for our daughter but I got on the bandwagon too and decided to go all homemade for the grandparents' gifts.

I found a fast and easy little project on Pinterest that seemed to be gaining popularity as I had seen a gazillion posts on it.  Decorating cheap ceramic ware with Sharpies and baking the pieces to set the ink.  The possibilities are endless!  I knew that I wanted to try this project with my 3-year-old and create some special keepsakes for the grandparents.

Before diving right in I decided to do more research on the effectiveness of using just plain ol' Sharpies.  I'm so glad I delved further into the topic because I read quite a bit of disappointed responses that included, "This didn't work for me!" or "I followed your directions exactly and when I washed my plates, the ink came right off."  I decided right then that I would not be using regular Sharpies.  The only way to ensure a stay-put image is to use the more expensive oil-based Sharpie or the equivalent.  Works great!

First we made plates.  I colored my daughter's thumb and pointer finger with the black marker and pressed onto the plates to make the bellies.  I added arms and legs and let her take over with the heads.  A polka dot border kept things simple.

Next, we made matching bowls.  Again, my daughter was in full control of making the faces (it's her specialty) and I covered the rest.

Materials Used:
matching plates and bowls from the Dollar Tree
Sharpie Oil Based Paint markers in black, light blue, and red
(Warningthe red ink turns magenta after baking but still looks pretty)
rubbing alcohol and Q-tips (for erasing mistakes)

How We Did It:
  1. First I removed all stickers from the plates and bowls and rinsed any dust/dirt off.
  2. Colored my daughter's thumb and pointer finger and pressed onto plates to create the "bellies."  She added the heads and I finished the rest. (Warning - the marker dried VERY fast on my daughter's skin so I had to work quickly in order to get a decent print onto the plate.  Some turned out better than others but I'm one who prefers slight imperfections on homemade items.  Endearing.)
  3. Made the matching bowls but with no thumbprints.
  4. Placed dishes on baking sheets and put into a cold oven (not turned on).
  5. Set oven to 350 degrees.  When heated, bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Turn oven off and let cool without removing dishes.  Remove dishes after oven has cooled.
  7. I let our dishes sit overnight before hand washing them.
These would make great candy dishes if you didn't feel comfortable eating off of them.  Although my mom called me the next day to proudly announce that she and my dad had already enjoyed their breakfast on the dishes and loved every minute.