Fireflies: Humphrey's Blanket Ornament - Mini Monets Create!         

Dec 12, 2012

Humphrey's Blanket Ornament - Mini Monets Create!

Mini Monets Paint Humphrey's Blanket Sculptures

After reading the absolutely adorable book Humphrey's First Christmas by Carol Heyer, the Mini Monets [my First Fridays' Art Workshop students] created Humphrey's most prized possession...  his blanket! And this is not just any ordinary blanket - this is a blanket fit for a King!   As we read about this heart-warming camel with his silly grin and his schemes to obtain a new carpet blanket, the students discussed how they would feel, meeting baby Jesus for the first time.  

 Would they want to give him their most prized possession? What would that be?
Did they have a blanket that brings them comfort and if so, what does it look like? 
What would they feel if they were Humphrey?.
What gift could he/they possibly give to the ONE who truly is:

Most Beauteous
And Exalted King of All.."

Inspired by Humphrey's gift to baby Jesus and using my favorite cornstarch-based homemade clay recipe (see below,) the students, ages 5-9, first sculpted a "blanket".  

The reason I like the cornstarch over the salt dough recipes is because it dries hard, smooth, and white.  That doesn't mean it won't crack or have a problem with breaking.  You still have to be careful with the finished product.  With care, however, it should last for years.

We baked the "blankets" in the oven at 250 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Usually we would air dry overnight, but since this was only a one-day workshop, we needed to get it done within a few hours!  The cornstarch clay baked up nicely and after 10 minutes of cooling we proceeded to paint the dried clay.  

Look at the sampling of Humphrey's blankets!
Molding and shaping simple shapes like the "blanket" and then painting them, was easy to do and so much fun.    From the child who worked diligently to add fringes and details to their blankets, to the one who just plopped an overly-kneaded shape on the baking tray, this activity was enjoyed by all!  Notice one of the students in the larger photo even added baby Jesus laying on the blanket she created.  

Our students shared laughs, love and empathy with Humphrey while making a connection to the birth of Christ and the first Christmas through this loveable camel and delightful story of Humphrey's First Christmas  by Carol Heyer.

Corn Starch Clay Recipe

Materials needed:
1 cup cornstarch
2 cups baking soda
1 1/4 cups water

  1. Combine ingredients in large sauce pan and stir until dough is lumpy and thick and can barely be stirred.
  2. Dump onto parchment paper or flat surface to cool for about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Knead until smooth once dough has cooled.  Keep in a ziplock bag until ready to use.
  4. Paint with watercolors, temperas, or acrylics and seal.  I have used all of these medium with this clay with good results.  I use Americana brand Triple Thick brilliant brush-on gloss glaze to seal the clay for a near kiln-fired shiny glaze appearance.
  5. Hot glue a jump ring to the back and attach a hook or a pretty ribbon to hang Humphrey's Blanket from your tree.
For busy folks who do not wish to take the time to make this clay, Crayola Model Magic will work, but it is more expensive.  Fimo and Sculpy brands are also great and have more weight to them, but not practical cost-wise for large groups. I have quadrupled this batch for 60 students in the past, so one batch would be plenty to make 15 blanket ornaments or serve up to 15 students very nicely.   

Please EMAIL us pictures of your "Humphrey's Blanket"!   Also, consider presenting blanket ornaments to those who attend your Fireflies Presents "C is for Christmas"!  CLICK HERE for more information.

Have a blessed Christmas, and may you enjoy the time spent creating and connecting with your children! 


Laura Bird Miller
Artist/Art Instructor

Mini Monets Monthly Art Workshops
Location: Longwood, FL


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At December 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM , Blogger Carol Heyer said...

It is amazing to see the gorgeous Humphrey blankets that the Mini Monets created!!!! The ones I see are just amazing! There are such rich colors and such wonderful details. Laura, I can tell that you have gathered a talented group of artists to create this project!!! Please tell everyone that I, and Humphrey of course, are excited to have such beautiful ornaments sculpted. Thank you all for liking HUMPHREY'S FIRST CHRISTMAS! Merry Christmas to you all ~ Carol


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