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Cooking with Kids
Practical Parenting Today
Make Your Own Plastic
by Belinda Mooney
- 3 Envelopes Unflavored Gelatin
- 9 Tablespoons . Water
- 3-5 Drops of Food Coloring
- flat plastic lid from 24 ounce coffee can, or a lid similar in size with a rim
- cookie cutters
- plastic drinking straw for punching holes
In a small cooking pan mix the water and food coloring over low heat. Add 3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin, stir continuously and cook for 30 seconds until thickened. Pour the mixture into a plastic lid, push the air bubbles to the edge with a spoon and let it set on the counter for 45 minutes. Remove the flexible gelatin disk from the lid. The gelatin will be pliable. Here's when you pull out the cookie cutters to cut shapes. Be sure to keep any odd shaped scraps, too. Or, use a scissors to cut a spiral. Poke a straw in shapes and spiral to punch holes and, if you like, thread the "punched out circles" onto a string as beads. Dry shapes and scraps on a cooling rack. Hang spirals from a clothesline using clothespins. They'll be hard as plastic in 2-3 days. Hang them in your window when dry.
You can also cut out smaller shapes and make them into jewelry. To prevent curling: As they dry, the pieces tend to curl up and bend which is part of the fun. But if you want to keep some pieces nearly flat for a special use like jewelry, here's what to do: take a plastic ice cream bucket, put a paper towel or loosely woven cloth over the top and place your cut-outs and scraps on the cloth. Cut the center out of a lid that fits the bucket, put another wipe over the top of the gelatin shapes, then press the lid tightly over the top to hold the two sheets firmly in place Allow the shapes to dry completely between the sheets.
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