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I had no idea that window clings were a thing until a few years into parenthood. These simple gel like stickers are a simple and easy way to keep kids entertained for hours on end. Seriously…. All 5 of my kids just spent a good hour playing with the herbal window clings that I just made!
Now of course you could go out and buy window clings but while they might say they are non-toxic… they are still made out of plastic (thermoplastic polymer to be exact) and obviously artificial dyes are used. Personally, I’m all for going plastic free as much as possible, the same goes for dye free too!
If you don’t want to buy those plastic window clings, the good news is that there is a DIY version! It should be pretty obviously but gel clings can be made with gelatin! Score! I’ve got tons of gelatin because we love using it for homemade gelatin, gel eye pads, and just supplementing our diets with it. Plus, on top of your kids having fun playing with their window clings, you also can involve them in making them and of course the whole thing is perfect for a little color science experiment.
So I figured out how to make gel window clings but I didn’t want to use artificial dyes to color them and I didn’t really want to break out the natural food dyes (although you totally could!) I decided to use herbs like some of my favorite teas to make herbal window clings, in pretty shades of red, yellow, and blue. I haven’t tried it yet but you could get lots of colors from many other herbs… I imagine that spirulina should result in a pretty green for instance! You could also just mix those primary colors to get any desired secondary colors.
DIY Herbal Window Clings
1/2 cup just boiled water
1 tbs herb *see note
2 tbs gelatin
Pour 1/2 cup hot water over 1 tbs herb.
Let steep for at least 5 minutes before straining.
While water is still hot, add gelatin and stir until dissolved (this will take a few minutes).
Let cool for 10 minutes.
Pour gelatin mixture onto a parchment sheet covered rimmed baking sheet. 1/4 cm thick. (you can see I pinched my parchment to separate the colors).
Let cool 3-4 hours.
Once firm, use cookie cutters to create desired shapes.
Very carefully remove shapes from gelatin (They might be fragile. As they continue to dry out, they will be more durable.)
Slap on a window and enjoy.