Crafty Fun Recipes
Crafty Fun How-to Create Your Own Homemade Recipes Instructions
By Chris Dunmire | Updated October 15, 2018
Making your own homemade salt dough is easy and fun! Get out your rolling pin, cookie cutters, and creative imagination to create one-of-a-kind salt dough ornaments and novelty gifts for Christmas or any occasion. Alternatively, you can learn how to make cinnamon dough here, perfect for scented projects and ornaments.
Know there are many variations on the theme to making your own salt dough for craft projects. Some liken it to making a pie crust, so find a recipe you like that works well for your needs, or use it to adapt your own recipe. To get you started, here's a basic salt dough recipe I like, followed by recipes for clay play dough, finger paint, and paper mache.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup salt
1 cup cold water
In a large bowl, mix table salt and flour together. Gradually add 1/2 cup of water and mix to desired consistency. Knead the dough on a flat surface, adding a few more drops of water as needed (but not making it too moist).
Once the dough is made, you can divide it up into small portions to roll into 1/8" thick pieces with a rolling pin. Use cookie cutters to cut out a variety of shapes, and place the shapes on wax paper or other surface to dry. If you want to make hanging ornaments, pierce the dough through with a toothpick while it's wet.
Allow the shapes to dry for a day or two, turning them over periodically to speed up the drying process. You may need to re-pierce the hole several times during the drying process. After the shapes dry, you can use a fine grit sandpaper to gently smooth any rough edges.
Instead of allowing the dough shapes to air dry, you can bake them in the oven at 200 degrees F until hard. Baking times varies depending on oven and dough thickness. Make sure the dough is completely baked. You can cover the dough with aluminum foil if it starts to darken before completely baked through.
Clay dough makes great modeling material for all kinds of arts and craft projects. It can be formed into sculptures just like real clay, dried, and painted.
Making your own clay dough is easy and fun! Here are a couple of recipes you can use to make your own clay dough and imaginative creations.
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1 tsp. oil
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup warm water
Mix all ingredients together, adding the food coloring last.
Stir ingredients over medium heat until smooth.
Remove from pan and knead dough until it's blended and smooth.
When cool, store dough in airtight container or sealed plastic bag.
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbs. powdered alum
1 tsp. oil
1 cup boiling water
Combine flour, sugar, and alum. Add oil and water.
Stir the mixture until it's cool and then knead in the food coloring.
When cooled, store dough in airtight container or sealed plastic bag.
Feel like painting with your fingers? Or painting with your feelers? Whatever the case, if you're a kid or a kid at heart, you can enjoy making your own expressive art with finger paints and saving money while you're at it by making your own paints at home. Simply use cornstarch, water, and food coloring and follow the recipe below.
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups cold water
food coloring (red, blue, yellow)
airtight storage container (bowl or jar)
Mix the cornstarch, water, and food coloring in a saucepan and boil until the mixture thickens. Allow paint to cool before storing in airtight container.
Mixing Tips: For color variety, mix up a batch of the primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. Other colors can be created from these as needed (see project prompts below).
Optional: Add the food coloring directly to the cornstarch mixture in the storage container instead of while boiling.
Kids and adults alike can enjoy funnin' around with fingerpaints. Plus, dabbling with this simple medium can entice you to try other kinds of painting techniques and canvases such as watercolor, acrylics, painting on furniture and objects, and even on rocks! (See more fun how-to painting topics here.) Here's some ideas and encouragement to get you going:
Paper mache makes great modeling material for all kinds of arts and craft projects. It can be formed into sculptures, used for mask-making, and painted.
Several variations for making paper mache (or paper pulp) exist that employ the use of common ingredients such as glue, wallpaper paste, newspaper, and flour. Two common methods are described below.
white glue or liquid starch
Mix two parts of glue to one part water.
Stir well and the paste is ready to use.
Dip newspaper strips into mixture and saturate before using on project.
Combine newspaper sheds and hot water in a bowl and let them soak thoroughly. Next, squeeze excess water out of the newspaper and mix it with the wallpaper paste. Add enough to thicken the paper mache to the consistency of modeling clay. Knead until smooth.
IMPORTANT: Paper mache shrinks as it dries, so make your sculptures accordingly.
©2006, 2018 Chris Dunmire. All rights reserved.
Creativity Portal™ founder Chris Dunmire inspires artists, writers, teachers and children with her creative prompts and writing activities. She's trained as a creativity coach with both Eric Maisel, PhD, and Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching™ founder Jill Badonsky, MeD. Her sense of humor and witty wordplay is woven throughout the corridors of Creativity Portal where she encourages others towards engaging in deeper, more meaningful levels of artistic expression and playful creativity, sustained in part through the support of Creativity Portal Patrons. Please sign up if you enjoy and benefit from the content on this page — your support counts and is appreciated!