The Stars are brightly shining

o Holy night, the stars are brightly shining

This is the night of our dear saviour's birth 

Love a good Christmas hymn!

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This is one of my favourite Christmas Salt Dough crafts we have done this year. We have created stained glass stars. Though it looks like it could be tricky to do it really isn't. Again, we have used our Festive Salt Dough recipe. Link below for that. 

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Christmas in most houses wouldn't be the same without fairy lights would it? We don't usually have them up all year round so when Christmas time comes round the emergence of the fairy lights always brings that sprinkling of magic to the house. So it came without saying that we were going to match our stained glass stars with the fairy lights. I found the lights you can see in the pictures on Amazon, but I know you can also get them in Hobbycraft. I had never seen these particular type of fairy lights before I spotted them. They are so neat as they are pegs that light up. So as well as being pretty and sparkling you can attach things to them too. There are about seven or eight different light settings to them ranging from solid light to various flickering ones. Ours will be mostly used for hanging any Christmas cards we get this year. However in the meantime is looks great with these decorations hanging from it as the light catches the middle and shines through when the lights are dimmed. 

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What you need:

  • One batch of Festive Salt Dough

  • Oven

  • Rolling pin

  • Star cookie cutter - two sizes, a bigger and smaller one

  • Baking tray and spatula

  • Pony beads (we used glow in the dark ones but any colour will do)

  • Paintbrush or toothpick 

  • Ribbon

  • Needle (to thread the ribbon through the hole)

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Instructions:

  1. Turn your oven onto 160 degrees. 
  2. Take your Festive Salt dough and roll it out to about 2 cm. With your big star cookie cutter cut out as many as you can. Extract them from the rest of the dough carefully and place on your baking tray with the spatula. 
  3. Once they are on the baking tray with your small star cookie cutter cut out a small star from the middle of the big star. Carefully place the small stars on the same baking tray or on another one. We used these to create some small star decorations, though it is not necessary if you don't want to use them. 
  4. With the end of your paint brush make a hole in the corner of your star in one of the points. We will be threading the ribbon through this hole once hard. 
  5. Now open your pony beads and fill the hole in your big star with them. There needs to be enough so when they melt it covers the whole hole. 
  6. Put them into the oven and leave them in there for an hour. Please do check them throughout that hour though, it really depends on your oven to how quickly the salt dough bakes and the pony beads melt. 
  7. You will know when they are ready as the pony beads will have melted and stuck to the sides of the salt dough. You may need to slightly press some of the pony beads flat. HEALTH AND SAFETY NOTE: If you are not happy with your kids being in the kitchen while the plastic melts in the oven then make sure they are out of the kitchen. I opened the kitchen window and just kept them out of the room while they were in the oven. Equally, I wouldn't advise your kids to press the pony beads down as stated in this point as they will be hot. Please do this bit yourself. 
  8. When ready take out of the oven and leave to cool. Make sure they aren't stuck to the bottom of the baking tray. 
  9. When cool thread your ribbon into your needle and thread through the hole in your star. Tie. 
  10. And you are done! Hang on your Christmas tree or on your windows and enjoy. 
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As well as doing some in yellow salt dough, we also tried some in green. 

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Patronus A really enjoyed this activity. I know i've put it into the Primary age section and Patronus A is technically still a toddler but I must admit it's getting more and more tricky to know which crafts to put into which category as she starts school in September. Sob. I can't believe it.  Patronus B is going to miss her so much. Anyway, you guys know your children and their abilities so I don't need to say more then that. 

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