Category Archives: Manualidades


A pot of fairy dust

Since I heard that Tinker Bell was described by Barrie as a fairy who mended pots and kettles, like an actual tinker, I have more sympathy for her and I admit I’ve seen all his movies almost in one day.

As we all know, Tinker Bell and other fairies need “fairy dust” to fly.

The craft that I propose today is done in a few minutes, the idea came up to me yesterday when I saw a toy of my nieces Angela and Julia (nieces of Miguel) and today I could not resist the temptation to try it.

The toy is a black light flashlight, I think it came with a doll who changes her hair color. In any case, if you don’t find something like that you can buy a black light bulb in a hardware store.

“A black light, also referred to as a UV-A lightWood’s lamp, or simply ultraviolet light, is a lamp which emits long wave (UV-A) ultraviolet light and not much visible light”  (Wikipedia)

We will also need a highlighter pen, I have used a yellow one because it seemed closer to the color of fairy dust, baby oil (really any oil, but baby oil is usually transparent) and of course a clear jar that we like . (It is important that it closes tightly to prevent catastrophes).


The fluorescent highlighter ink glows when illuminated with black light, so we will take advantage on that and that water and oil do not mix, so that the ink inside the jar will make very small balls but not just dissolve.

rotuThe only complication we have with this is to extract the ink. As far as I know there are two types of markers. Those with liquid ink in a cartridge which is what I used because it was more concentrated (one Pilot in my case) have difficulty drilling into the cartridge without spilling. I did it with a screwdriver after removing all detachable.

manoThe other case is that of the normal markers, which have an impregnated cotton inside. In that case, all we have to do is put it under the faucet with a bowl underneath to catch the stained water . We can also is to put the cotton directly into the water and squeeze… but I warn you that it’s going to happen something like this in your hands. Well, whatever you do, it will surely occur. As mentioned, water and oil do not mix, so by putting the ink into the jar full of oil will get something like this:


Shake and ready. We have a jar with floating fairy dust.




I made a mini video but, in the dark, the effect does not look too good.
I like it better in live.


P.S. A side effect that I had not calculated that … Maybe one of our little fairies (or pixies) want to sprinkle a little to fly ….

Leonardo’s freestanding bridge

Here’s a quick craft to spend the afternoon and if you Seize children to enjoy learning, there is no question of giving them a kind of strength of materials …. but something remains.

Browsing as usual on the internet, and as usual, looking for something else, I went to give this blog a technology teacher:

Our compliments to the author of this blog, I wish all teachers (thankfully we know many cases) cared so much for making children understand the concepts of such an interesting way.

The bridge in question designed by Leonardo da Vinci, appears in Codex Atlanticus, Volume 1. pages 69r and 71v. (1483 – 1518  Ambrosian library in Milan). It is a bridge designed for war, lightweight, whose main characteristic is that it holds only for the charge distribution sleepers enter ingeniously fitted together, without ties or nails.

This is the picture that has come down to us:pl (Large)

Here’s a drawing with the necessary parts:

piezas (Large)

sierra (Large)I used two strips of circular section 12 and 6 mm in diameter. To make the holes I used the circular saw blade placing 6 mm space that it might be necessary for the “rungs” without cutting the whole piece.



palitos (Large)Although it’s relatively simple, in the case of using all the slats cylindrical We must be careful to cut at diametrically opposite points, because if we deviate, the pieces will not fit, so it would be easier to start with the pieces that make of “legs” are of square section. They can be cut with hacksaw and retouch them with a file.
In my case I used the circular machine, to make it faster


Here a sketch of the assembly:

montaje (Large)

I have to apologize for the quality of the photos, at first I did this as a personal entertainment and not properly documented.

And the bridge assembled:

pl4 (Large)

Later I decided to make it with all the pieces of the same diameter because it seemed a more elegant solution. In this case we can not make the cuts deep enough to fit the whole cross parts, only a half, so that besides being a clever example of load distribution becomes a fun pastime when mounting, as a house of cards.

puente leonardo con palitos (Large)

Leonardo designed the bridge for war, as it was easy to assemble and take advantage of the surprise element. For us it is a toy that helps us to exercise our manual skills and our patience.

A friend who wanted to do it with her toddler that is too young to use saws (apart from that we don’t have wooden sticks at home every day), She wondered if we could make it with soda straws. So here you see that its possible, so there is no excuse for making it and have a fun time. (I made Cuts to fit the “steps” with scissors and V-shaped).

.puente leonardo con pajitas (Large)

How to make a face mold (Alginate and plaster)

Many of us have ever done at school or at home a mask using plaster bandages.

This time we will go a little further. Without actually using professional methods and materials such as latex or silicone, we can make a pretty faithful reproduction of a face (we could have done the whole head, but what interested us at this time was a part of the face and hands).

To do this we are going to use is “dental alginate” used to make dentures negative. It is a powder that mixed with water becomes a paste in minutes and will allow us to make a single copy,( it bcomes breakable when dryes)

Looking for information on the alginate, I read everywhere: “you can find in any dental material store”, but it looks that we were the only ones who do not have dental deposits around the corner … (Really, we asked in several places and it was not that simple, at least here in Sevilla). By chance we met a prosthetic that gave us a bit, and eventually over time we found our supplier that also sells online, so here it is:

This provider for spanish buyers.

For those of you who live out of here I recommend:
The mold making is simple, but I recommend to have the material for pouring (which is going to make the copy) ready, because the alginate will crumble when just dry.

1. – Prepare the model:

Alginate is not dangerous, but in the case of face molds must take into account that the model is going to be a while with his face completely covered and will not be able to move. It is possible that for some people this represents a problem. Nor will be able to talk, so you should agree in some sign just in case he feels the need we remove the mask.

With a clean face, we must collect hair and cover eyebrows and lashes with vaseline to keep from sticking to the mold.

So he can breathe well we can put a couple of tubes in the nostrils. We didn’t, just took care not to obstruct the air intake, but I insist that it is advisable.

2. – The alginate:

There are different types, with more or less working time and some of them change color when they dry (chromatic alginate). If the work surface is large (as in this case) would help some extra hands, because we should cover everything at once. If done in several batches, the alginate will not stick well on himself and wrinkles and imperfections appear.

Mix the powder with cold water (the colder more time we have to work) in the proportions indicated by the manufacturer.

Cover the entire surface uniformly while the alginate paste is still fairly fluid. Once it starts hardening we can let accidentally uncovered areas and remain unfilled spaces (in the following photos will see what happens in these areas).

Let it dry a few minutes until it has completely changed color in the case of chromatic alginate (when you mix is ??pink and turns white when dries) or until you touch and not leave any trace (although still flexible).

We must be attentive at all times the welfare of our model.

3 – Bands:

The mask is not strong enough by itself, so we need something that makes a box or container. This is achieved using plaster bandages (we can buy at any pharmacy)

To set in the strips we just have to cut them in a manageable size and put them in water to go sticking.

We try to cover the entire surface, preferably in different directions to make it stronger, and extend the plaster with the hand.

At this point a warning: Bands take longer to dry and when they do, theycompletely prevent movement, so you have to ensure that the model is in a comfortable position. Miguel, who was the model in this case, threw her head back to help us in the placement of bands and then was uncomfortable.

4. – Demolding:

Once the plaster dries, very carefully we began to unmold. Better if the model can cooperate to make sure you do not harm him.

Once in our hands we can observe every detail printed in the mold. In the picture there is an optical effect by which it seems that we are seeing the positive, but this is the mold (negative)

5. – Casting the mold:

Make molds and reproductions is an art, but in this case as we have reproduced only the face, and also the mold is for a single copy, there is no complication. The only thing we have to remember is to plug the nostrils, so that the material does not slip.

In our case, we filled the mold with plaster (you can buy at any hardware store or warehouse building) and let dry.

6. – Getting the final piece:

When the copy is hard we can go “peeling” the layer of plaster and alginate.

As you can see in the photos, in the eyebrows has appeared excess material, that’s because there we didn’t applied well the alginate, the plaster is very easy to sand so we can fix those flaws with sandpaper.

For the project we undertook wich I’m not going to tell until we finish (currently parked) we also needed both hands. The process is the same and here is a summary.

We have to thank our friends Gloria and Juanda who lent us their hands that afternoon, we would not have done it alone, and take pictures at a time.

If you want to spend an entertaining afternoon try this. You can make hands and feet of your children, if they are older enough to be quiet for a while. You can also use these pieces as a prelude to prosthetic special effects, we have not gotten that far yet but hopefully soon we can investigate and tell you about it here.