Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Craft Time – Father’s Day Salt Ceramic Paperweight

may  2010 027
Father’s Day is less than a week away, and so today we got ourselves in gear and made little mosaic paperweights for Daddy, Papa, and Grandpa.  Who doesn’t need a paperweight, right??  So – they are not only cute, they are useful too! ;)

I found the recipe for this salt ceramic mixture in MaryAnn Kohl’s book Preschool Art.  She didn’t mention using it to make a paperweight, but she did say it will dry “rock hard” without baking.  Perfect.

Mix 1 cup of salt, 1/2 cup of cornstarch, and 2/3 cup of water together in a saucepan.  Cook and stir over medium heat until it looks like this:may  2010 015

Take it out and plop it onto some foil.  Let it cool.  It’s very hot, so to reduce cooling time I flattened it out:may  2010 021

After it’s cool, knead it several times until it’s pliable and soft.  It will be a tiny bit sticky,  but that’s ok.  This recipe made a ball about the size of a large grapefruit.  I separated it into 3 parts and rolled each part into a ball. 

At this point, M decided he wanted lunch first, so I placed the dough in a baggie to keep it from starting to dry out.  Here’s how I had the project set up for him (I put everything on wax paper so the dough wouldn’t stick to the table):   may  2010 022

I gave him a variety of items to press into the paperweights – buttons, sea glass (from a stepping stone kit we did a long time ago), seashells, flat glass pebbles,  and colored macaroni.

We took the balls of dough out of the baggie, then slightly flattened each one.
M had a great time choosing things to press into the dough.  He got a bit more elaborate with each one.may  2010 025 
Here’s the one for Daddy (done first):may  2010 030
Papa’s:may  2010 027

And Grandpa’s:may  2010 029 Let’s hope Grandpa really, really likes seashells. ;)

These really turned out nicely.  You can’t tell in the photos, but the salt gives a bit of a sparkle.  The sparkle, along with the whiteness of the dough, makes it look kind of “beachy”, so the shells and sea glass really look nice in it.  They are like mini beach-scapes.

The men in M’s life are really going to love these… but not as much as we love them. :)

I think this “salt ceramic” would work nicely for handprints too, and could even be painted after it dries.

Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. I think M's paperweights look great! That recipe is new to me, we'll have to try it out.

  2. wow salt ceramic, will have to give tha one a try!

    He did a gret job and I am sure they will be well loved gifts. :)

  3. I have been trying to figure out what do do with Sammy for Father's Day I think we will make these!

  4. interesting........ I wonder what I could use it for.

  5. I wish I saw this post before we made a lame Father's Day card - what a wonderful project!

  6. I'm the author of Preschool ARt, the book where you found the "rock hard" dough recipe. I got such a kick out of seeing the paper weights you and your family made for Father's Day. DELIGHtFUL!! Glad the dough worked out. Thank you so much!

    I hope you will visit my blog too. Go here:

    There are lots of art ideas and surprises.

    MaryAnn Kohl

  7. Adorable...and fits this years budget:)

  8. Love it! Will have to pop down to the shops and try this out tomorrow :)

  9. This is a nice/unique preschool lesson. Thanks for the idea. Jan


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