Marbled Salt Dough Hearts

When I saw this clever tutorial for marbled clay ring dishes on A Beautiful Mess I wondered if a similar marbled technique would work using salt dough. 

And as I found out yesterday, it does! 

I love bake clay, but whenever I buy some, the kids convince me that they need it to make fairy garden furniture. I always give in, which means I never have enough laying around to use for my own projects. 

That's why I turned to salt dough for this year's annual Valentine craft project. 
What's not to love about salt dough? It costs a few cents to make a bunch of ornament (or garland in this case) and all your ingredients are just waiting for you in the kitchen. 


1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup warm water
red and blue food coloring

Heart shaped cookie cutter (about 3")
Gold metallic craft paint
Decoupage glue sealer in gloss finish
Paint brush
Parchment paper

Combine the flour, salt and water in a bowl and knead for 5 minutes. In the past, I've tried to speed up the process by kneading for a minute or so, but the results are dry and cracked salt dough ornaments. So take your time during the kneading phase. 

 Separate the dough into 3 balls plus 1 much smaller ball. Leave one ball white. Add about 3 drops of red food coloring to the 2nd ball and work it in with your hands until it is fully blended. Add about 15 crops of red coloring to the 3rd ball and work until blended. Add about 5 drops blue and 3 drops red coloring to the small ball and work until blended.

Your hands are going to get stained. Nothing that a several washes with soap won't fix, but if you want to keep your hands skin-colored, then put on some latex gloves before you start coloring the dough. 

Roll into strips as you see below. 
 Now twist the white, pink and red together to form a large log. 
 Then twist in the dark blue dough. 
 Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about a quarter inch thickness. 
 Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out 7 hearts. Roll out dough scraps a second time and cut additional heart shapes from that if necessary. 
Using a straw, punch out 2 holes on either side of each heart. 
 Now bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet at 220 degrees for about 40 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. Make sure the hearts are completely flat on the tray. 
 Using a gold metallic craft paint, paint the sides of the hearts and let dry. Nice nails, huh? 
 Now paint over the entire heart with decoupage glue sealer and let dry. 
Now you can string the hearts with twine and hang.


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