The other experiment I tried was to make a baking soda and cornstarch dough (which I wrote about here), which was supposed to be good to roll out and use cookie cutters on. These are supposed to result in a bright white final product, that was also quite hard and durable, which would take paint or other embellishments well. The dough ended up way too soft and sticky, so my daughters used it to make more sculptural stuff, though one did try and do some cookie cutter ones when the dough seemed to have dried up enough for it.
After leaving them to dry for a while, we ended up having to put them in a cool oven (they were supposed to dry slowly, to avoid cracking), because… cats.
Cats who leave paw prints behind, as they do dastardly things!
All of the cookie cutter ones have had to be thrown out. They just crumbled.
Plus, the cats seem to be desperate to get at them! I had to take them out of the oven to put the decorated orange slices in, and had to get really creative in covering them, while still giving them air flow to dry. There is still some hope for the more sculptural pieces, but they will need at least a few more days to fully dry.
If we can keep the cats out.
As for the orange slices, the cats have been after them, too! They ended up knocking over the tray on the table they were laid out on.
I’m happy to say that the glue worked very well.
Several of the decorations were scattered on the floor and, while the glue was not yet completely dry, it held! This was a bottle of WeldBond that came with a case of crafting materials given to us. I have no idea how many years it was there, but it was long enough that the plastic and cardboard pieces of the original packaging came apart.
Clearly, the cats are not put off by the orange slices and cinnamon sticks.
Today, I decided to add ground spices to 7 of the 13 slices.
First, I rigged up a cardboard box that I could use to spray them with adhesive.
I also decided to use a combination of ground cloves, allspice and nutmeg, with a tiny sieve to apply them evenly.
After crowding the decorations close together, I tried to spray just the orange slices, not the strings, then dusted them with the ground spice mix.
They are now set aside for the spray adhesive to set. The box set up allowed me to put something over them in case a cat decided to jump into it.
Since I started writing this, I’ve had to go put the cover back and add weight to it, because the cats had already knocked it off.
The main thing about doing this craft was that citrus and all these spices that smell so good to humans are supposed to deter cats.
Our cats apparently did not get that memo.
I’m still holding out hope to having a tree, somehow, but these spicy, fragrant decorations are definitely not going to keep them away. If anything, it seems to be attracting them, instead!
At least they look pretty!