The microwave oven is an amazing invention. Not only does it reduce meal preparation time and give us a quick way to reheat a cold cup of coffee, it can also make crafting easier and faster. No, your microwave can’t knit or help you with scrapbooking, but it can help you complete some traditional craft projects in less time, as well as make a few new ones possible. Using the microwave for crafting is especially smart when creating with children who, let’s face it, aren’t known for their long attention spans. With the microwave on your side, some projects that once required hours of waiting can now be finished in minutes.
This idea couldn’t be easier or more delightful. If you’ve collected shells your children can’t bear to throw away, this craft is an imaginative way to use them. All you need is a shell deep enough to hold a tea light candle, some salt or a dab of crafting clay and a microwave. Place an unwrapped tea light inside a shell, nestle the shell in a small pile of salt or bit of clay so it stands level and zap it on a microwave-safe plate for one minute. Voila – the wax melts and you have a seashell candle. This craft is appropriate for kids of all ages but an adult should be on hand to remove the candles after they’ve cooled for a few minutes.
Almost every parent is familiar with homemade salt dough ornaments. They’re easy to make, but after you’ve mixed the dough, rolled it and cut out the shapes, it can take days of air drying before you can get down to decorating. By then, both kids and parents might lose interest in the project. Use the microwave to quicken the drying time and keep everyone’s enthusiasm high. Place cut ornaments in the microwave for short increments of a minute or two, let them cool and you’ll be on to painting by the time everyone finishes their cocoa break.
Microwave Puffy Paint
What’s part science project, part math lesson, part art and crafts and total fun? Homemade puffy paint! The medium is made out of five simple household ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, water and food coloring. The magic of this project happens in the microwave. Kids can paint a picture on paper just as they normally would, but when the paper is placed in the microwave for a few seconds, a chemical reaction occurs and the paint puffs up, making an awesome 3D design. Kids of all ages will enjoy this craft. No doubt some innovative adult artists can figure out how to incorporate this medium into headier projects. Make sure to experiment with food coloring blends to create amazing looks.
Any number of crafts can be completed in the microwave, providing entertainment for an afternoon full of creative fun with your kids, friends or family members. Try your hand at some of these projects and enjoy making crafts for your Christmas tree, kids’ rooms or fridge door!
Danielle blogs on behalf of Sears and other brands she uses.