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How to Make Colored Salt Dough

My kids love to play with dough. They don't care if it's commercial Play-Doh or homemade play dough or salt dough or flour dough or cloud dough or something else. They just love dough. I wanted to make them a different kind of dough since we make salt/flour dough all the time. (I've seen this recipe called Salt Dough and seen it called Flour Dough in different places, but I'm going to call it salt dough for the sake of this blog post.) I decided the different element would be color. Coloring salt dough is a tricky proposition (at least, it is for me). If you color it before mixing, it is all the same color. If you color it after mixing, it can change the consistency. I have found that liquid color (liquid watercolors and liquid food coloring) dilute the dough and require more flour which, in turn, dilutes the color. That is a frustrating cycle for me. I haven't experimented with gel food color, but I think it might work better. This time, I tried powdered tempera paint, and I found that it worked quite well. In this case, it made my dough a little too crumbly, but that was easy to remedy with just a little extra water. (Allie poured in too much water, requiring me to add more flour, leaving my purple a little less purple than intended. It still worked.) colored salt dough balls

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How to Make Colored Salt Dough
How to Make Colored Salt Dough
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix the flour and salt.
  2. Add in the water until the dough is moistened but not sticky. If the dough is sticky, add a bit more flour to get it right. I use my KitchenAid stand mixer with the dough hook attachment for this step.
  3. I always have to go back and forth between adding flour and adding water until I get the right consistency. Since you're going to add powdery paint, it can be a little moist for now.
  4. Separate the dough into 4 fist-sized balls. Return the first small ball of dough to the mixer and pour in the powdered paint. Use the dough hook to knead the color into the dough.
  5. Play with the dough. If you mix the colors right before rolling it out, you'll have a pretty marbled dough similar to the first photo below. If you mix the colors and then play with it a while, you'll have a blended color like the later photos show.
  6. To make shapes, sprinkle work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll out the dough to 1/4"-1/2" and use cookie cutters to cut the shapes.
  7. Bake the dough at 250 for 90 minutes, until it is dried out but not browned.
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When you first mix the colors, it has a pretty marbled appearance like this: Colored salt dough - marbled dough Allie made herself a bracelet using the marbled dough. how to make coloured salt dough - bracelet Grace used her pink and purple to make a cupcake. how to make coloured salt dough - cupcake Then they asked if they could make footprints, which I thought was a terrific idea. They wanted to do it so they could say they stood on the table, which I pretended was okay for a few minutes. How to make colored salt dough - stepping on dough How to make colored salt dough - footprints See in this photo how the colors are starting to blend together, looking more like a single color and less like a marbled dough. Colored salt dough - stretchy ooze After baking, the dough gets hard. We picked out some of the prettiest cooked hearts for special projects. colored salt dough - finished marbled hearts Like this necklace colored salt dough - finished necklace Most of the hearts were solid pink (because of lots of playing and kneading after we mixed the colors). We took a bunch of these hearts and colored them with Sharpie markers to make a garland to pretty up the turtle's tank. How to make colored salt dough - finished colored hearts Nothing is going to make his tank pretty, but the hearts are a festive addition. These are all colored with Sharpies. How to make colored salt dough - finished garland

Do your kids like to play with salt dough? Have you ever colored it?

© 2015 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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