If you’re like me, you’re already thinking of fun Valentine Crafts to do with the kids. We like to give a special Valentine vs. the traditional paper card that usually gets thrown away rather quickly. These Salt Dough Conversation Hearts are a fun craft to make and a fun Valentine to give! Attach them to a key chain, a book mark, or a treat bag for a class Valentine’s Day Party, for the kids to take to school, or to give to someone special. First, I will share a salt dough recipe that works great every time. Then I will share how you can turn your salt dough into an adorable conversation heart craft. Salt dough Valentines are great keepsakes too!
This post was first published January 8, 2015. I have added a printable salt dough recipe card and updated the post so I republished it here for my new readers to enjoy.
Easy Salt Dough Recipe
What is salt dough? Well, salt dough is a simple and versatile modeling material that can be easily made at home using common kitchen ingredients. Salt dough is often used for creating decorative items, ornaments, and crafts. Manipulating this clay like substance is great for developing motor skills. It is much like play dough, only the salt acts as a preservative. So when you bake it, you get a nice hard material that lasts. Perfect for keepsake crafts! (Be aware that salt dough creations are not waterproof, so avoid exposing them to moisture.)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup table salt (the granulated white salt seen in most saltshakers)
- 3/4 to 1 cup water (warm water)
How To Make Salt Dough
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.
- Gradually add water while stirring the mixture. Start with 3/4 cup of water and add more if needed until you achieve a smooth and pliable dough.
- Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes elastic and smooth.
- Roll out the dough to your desired thickness. You can do this between two sheets of parchment paper to prevent sticking. Keep in mind that thinner dough may dry faster. I like my salt dough to be about 1/4 inch thick.
- Cutting and Shaping:
- Use cookie cutters to make salt dough ornaments or shape the dough by hand to create your desired forms.
- Place the shaped dough on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 200°F (93°C) for 3 hours. The low temperature helps prevent the dough from puffing up.
- Allow the creations to cool completely. Once cooled, you can paint or decorate them as desired using acrylic paints, markers, or other crafting materials.
- Sealing (Optional):
- To preserve your salt dough creations, you may choose to apply a clear sealant or varnish after painting and decorating.
Printable recipe card at bottom of post. Salt dough is a fun and affordable way to engage in various creative projects, especially for seasonal decorations and personalized gifts. This recipe can be used to make salt dough ornaments of any kind. But, now we will proceed with a tutorial specifically for making salt dough hearts.
Valentine Salt Dough Conversation Heart Crafts
How do you make salt dough decorations for Valentine’s Day? This cute and easy salt dough craft will answer that question with step by step instructions for adorable salt dough conversation hearts that can be used as ornaments, paper weights, or key chains.
- unbaked, prepared salt dough rolled to 1/4 of inch (see recipe above)
- non-toxic acrylic paint (various colors such as pink, red, and white)
- paint brush
- paint pens (gold and/or silver)
- Mod Podge sealer if you choose
- parchment paper
- heart shape cookie cutter
- wooden skewer or chopstick for carving letters
How To Make Salt Dough Valentine Crafts:
Roll the salt dough out on a piece of parchment paper to approximately 1/4″ thick.
The next step is to use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut hearts from the salt dough.
Use a tool to carve letters into the hearts – words you would normally find on conversation heart candies.
Punch a hole in the corner of each heart (with the tip of a chop stick), if you plan to tie them to a gift as a gift tag, hang them on a string as a necklace, or use them as ornaments.
Place the heart shaped salt dough decorations in the oven to bake at 200 degrees F. Bake them for 2 hours, turn and bake for an additional hour. Use a timer, you don’t want to forget them! They be firm to touch when you remove them.
Remove salt dough ornaments from the oven and let cool completely. You may even want to wait till the next day to make sure they are completely cool and dry.
When shapes are totally dry, paint them in several different colors. Apply 2 coats of paint and let the hearts dry completely.
Use a fine tip paint pen to trace the letters that were carved in the dough.
Let the salt dough conversation hearts dry fully.
At this point, you can coat them with a mod podge sealant if you want them to be shinier and last longer. Otherwise, they are fine just like they are. Give these conversation heart crafts as is, or add a length of thin ribbon or twine through the hole. The salt dough hearts can then be used as gift tags or ornaments.
I hope you enjoy this simple salt dough recipe and salt dough ideas. Although salt dough crafts are a process to make, kids really enjoy getting to make things and bake things. The process makes it even more special and memorable and they will have so much fun! These Conversation Heart Crafts are ready to give to your Valentines and they make great keepsakes for friends and family as well. Don’t forget to keep a keepsake ornament for yourself too! Will you make these homemade salt dough ornaments with your child? Share your pictures on social media @familyfocusblog.
Get more ideas for Valentine’s Day on my Valentine Pinterest board!
Printable Recipe Card