Sometimes we get so hung up on new cool stuff we forget the simple things; like homemade dough crafts. Dough crafting is hands down one of the least expensive eco-crafts you can try with the kids, and best of all, you probably have everything you need for this craft in your kitchen right now!
DIY organic craft dough
- All you need is 2 cups organic flour, 1 cup salt and 1 cup water. Really.
- Mix the flour and salt together. Add the water a bit at a time until fully mixed. If it’s humid where you are you may need to add a little more water.
- Knead the dough for about 7 minutes or until it’s firm, not sticky and smooth.
You’re done! Start crafting! I’m hoping to make some dough crafts with the kids this weekend. Then I’ll post their creations. However, until then here are some ideas…
- Pluffy bug collection – from the folks at Polyform BUT most of their project ideas can easily be adapted from clay to dough.
- Garden Diorama craft – uses other recycled goodies along with the dough.
- Autumn dough wreath – I know, it’s summer, but one, this is awesome idea to store away for fall and two, you could make a summer wreath with different colors and little flowers.
- Nature tokens – the how-to says to use polymer but I’ve done leaf pressings with salt dough too. This is a fun way to play with dough and get outside.
- Napping House mama, Sarah, not only has a really sweet blog but made cool (and chunky) salt dough beads with her kiddos.
- A great how-to for all sorts of dough critters.
You can also make…
- Play food for a play kitchen.
- Dollhouse furniture, dollhouse dolls and more cool gear for your eco-friendly dollhouse.
- Magnets for the fridge.
- Letters – spell out your entire name. Keep the letters thick!
- A hanging mobile.
- Christmas tree ornaments – it’s early, but why not?
- Stacking blocks – small or they take forever to dry.
- And more; be creative!
Basic tools for crafting dough
Kids need some tools to make cool dough art but that’s easy, just look through your kitchen. Good tools for dough crafting include…
- Cookie cutters
- Melon ball shaper
- Nails – for an older kid
- Butter knife
- Spoon and fork
- Candy or other food molds
- Pizza cutter
- And so on.
Tips for making awesome eco-dough creations
- You can make organic dough up to five days ahead of time. Store dough in a plastic container in the fridge so it doesn’t dry out.
- If dough dries out or gets too sticky just knead in more water or flour as needed.
- Keep hands floured while sculpting dough to avoid sticking.
- When using molds, coat with a light oil to prevent sticking.
- To join dough pieces forget the glue, just moisten each piece with water, then stick together.
Hardening your organic dough
- Kids will find it easiest to air dry – it takes about 48 hours.
- You can also bake pieces. Set your oven to 350 degrees at most, place on a cookie sheet and bake. Dough should bake for 1/2 hour per 1/4 inch thickness or until the sides turn a little bit golden. IF you bake in the oven do it fast, after you make your design to avoid crumbling.
- Try baking creations in your solar cooker to save energy.
- Eco-friendly paint.
- Add food coloring to the dough before shaping. Try to use eco-friendly food coloring.
- Milk or egg yolk – after pieces cook in the oven for 15 minutes, brush with milk or egg for a darker, glossy finish.
- Brush with non-toxic glue then sprinkle with glitter.
- Before drying press natural items like tiny flowers, herbs and other found items into the dough. In fact, you can knead bits of flower petals into your dough before shaping it.
- Glue on beads, sequins, buttons and anything else cool you can think of.
- Brush with glue, then sprinkle sand on for a cool sand castle look.
Easy as organic pie – only cheaper!
PS – I hope I don’t need to remind you, but dough crafts aren’t for eating. With this in mind, little ones can safely play with this dough, but just keep an eye on them.