In the latest issue there were a bunch of crafts that featured using sticks and stones. The one that caught my attention was the Pebble Plaque (Family Fun Aug 2012, pg 63). This looked so cool and easy that I couldn't *not* try it! Basically it's a mosaic using simple dough for the base and pebbles for the design.
With nail polish.
I don't have any other paint in the house, ok? Yeah, I could've left them unspoiled, but my creative side was waking up, and I couldn't leave them plain. Except for little turtle-y over there. I don't have green nail polish. ;)
The next step was to make the dough, so here's the recipe and instructions for that:
3 cups of flour
1 cup salt
1 1/4 cups water (plus up to an additional 1/4 cup as needed)
Heat the oven to 275.
Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the ingredients together until a ball forms. If the mixture is still crumbly, add more water.
Knead the dough until it's smooth. Divide the dough into three balls (I got a little creative again in this part. After dividing the dough, I added food coloring, and kneaded it in.). Place each ball on a piece of foil and flatten it into a disk. Press pebbles into the dough to create a design.
Transfer the foil and dough onto a baking sheet. Bake the plaques for two hours, then let them cool completely. Check to see if any pebbles are loose; if so, remove them, add a drop of tacky glue, and replace them.
Here's our end result:
I think they came out great, and they were super easy and fun to make, not to mention free! I would definitely recommend trying it yourself.