Craft and Gift Projectsgifts


recycleCraft Projects Using Recycled Materials


Homemade Gak/Slime gak

So what is it? Gak seems to have a mind of its own. It pours and flows like a liquid. It bounces and holds its shape like a solid. Is it a liquid or is it a solid? Fun for kids and adults. We have made gak several times using different recipes. I think this one is the best.

Supplies: Elmers glue (or any white glue), water, borax (20 Mule Team Borax laundry booster), food coloring, measuring spoons, cups, mixing bowl, and spoon.

Procedure: per person

1. Mix 1/2 cup water with 2 tablespoons of Borax, mix well

2. Add a few drops of food coloring and stir.

3. Mix 1/2 cup of glue into this and it will congeal into a blob quickly.

4. Mix to smooth out and distribute the color.

5. Have fun with it.

cautionStore in an airtight container ( 1 week+). It could ooze out of a plastic bag that wasn't secured properly and get onto something like a carpet and make a mess.

* We used this activity for a Halloween Party activity and it was a big hit.


Making pomanders is a fun activity to do around the holidays or anytime. They are especially appreciated by people with allergies that can't tolerate "flowery" scents. The citrus scent is soothing to the sinuses.

Spicy Fruit Pomanders

Originally small filigree balls of gold, silver, or ivory filled with fragrant spices and an ambergris fixative, pomanders were used as early as the Middle Ages, when they were worn to ward off unpleasant odors. Today's version of the pomander is made by studding a piece of fruit with cloves and curing it in a mixture of ground spices with orrisroot as a fixative. You will need

6-8 thin skinned oranges, lemons, or limes
1/2 lb. whole, large headed cloves
1/4 cup ground cinnamon
1/4 cup ground cloves
2 Tbls. ground nutmeg
2 Tbls. ground allspice
1/4 cup of powdered orrisroot*

( I found the orrisroot at a health food store that sells bulk spices) nut pick or slender knitting needle for piercing fruit (optional) ribbon (optional) - small paintbrush


1. Insert the cloves at 1/8 to 1/4 inch intervals in rows ( or random) over the surface: the fruit will shrink as it dries, closing up the spaces. If you have difficulty inserting the cloves you can pierce the fruit with the point of a nut pick or knitting needle.

2. Blend the spices and orrisroot in a small bowl. One at a time, roll each piece of fruit in the mixture, coating it generously to keep air out. (Any pomander you start should be completed at this point within 24 hours to eliminate the possibility of mold forming).

3. Place the spice-coated fruit in a large bowl, cover with a spice mixture, and set in a warm, dry place to dry. Turn the fruit daily, making sure the spices are evenly distributed. Drying can take from two weeks to a month, depending on the size of the fruit. The pomanders will be hard when they are completely dry.

4. Remove the pomanders from the spice mixture and dust off the excess with the brush. Tie with a ribbon.

A pomander scent usually lasts for several years, but can be refreshed by dipping the pomander in warm water, then rolling it in fresh spices to which a drop or two of cinnamon or clove oil has been added. Leave the pomander in the mixture for a few days then use as before. Pomanders make lovely gifts and fragrant decorations that can be hung from ribbons or arranged in bowls.


Cinnamon Ornaments

1 cup of cinnamon
3/4- 1 cup of water
4 Tbls. white glue (Elmers school glue)
Mix all 3 ingredients until you can form it into a ball, then knead it a few times until it is smooth. Chill for an hour or more. Roll out to about 1/4" and cut with cookie cutters. Dry on a flat surface and turn occasionally to dry evenly. When drying, the ornaments will shrink about 25%. Something to keep in mind when you are choosing the size of your cutters. Paint and hang when dry.

These can be made for Christmas ornaments using Christmas cookie cutters and strung with Christmas ribbons. Another idea that lasts year round is to use heart (or other) shaped cutters and string several together to form words "joy", " peace" etc. These look nice in any part of your home.

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