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How Crafting Can Save You Money & Simple Salt Dough Recipe

Updated on April 7, 2018

Are you tired of throwing away money on trips to the mall, movies or arcade? I am a stay at home Mom, with a one-year old son and a 5-year-old daughter. I also spend a lot of time with my nieces and nephews. My family has an extremely tight budget, we simply cannot afford to go to the mall, movies etc. So, I have found countless activities to do at home, that entertain the children. These activities allow me that precious time with my little ones. We all know eventually the teenage years will come and our kids have less interest in ‘quality time’ and crafting.

There are so many items already in your home that you can use. Right now, you probably already have everything you need to make a small batch of Salt Dough. Salt dough is a life saver, it takes a little bit of time to make so it helps to fill a gap in a child’s boredom. Salt dough is a fun way to see what creations your children can come up with too. Sculpting items with Salt Dough is one of the easiest crafts around! Our family enjoys making ornaments and keepsakes with Salt Dough to give as gifts during the holidays.

Nothing makes you rich like family!

Seeing the happiness in my families faces is always priceless!
Seeing the happiness in my families faces is always priceless! | Source

Salt Dough Recipe


  • 1 cup flour - I have used both self rising and all purpose. Self rising seems to need to bake longer and will sometimes be a little puffier depending on how thin you have rolled them out.
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup water (or more if needed)
  • Cinnamon and clove can be added if you want a scented ornament! These are great to add if you are making for your tree at home! They add a wonderful light scent!
  • Food coloring (optional, if you have a little one that wants to decorate this may be better than using paints, ultimately up to you! I recommend wearing gloves if using food coloring)


  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie sheet
  • Drinking straw
  • Holiday shaped cookie cutters, or you can shape like play dough (the kids love squishing it!)
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrush or sponges (we use sponges if we want a textured look!)
  • Glitter
  • Ribbon and trims

1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees, I like to line my pan with parchment paper this makes for easy cleanup later!

2.Add all your dry ingredients and mix together.

3.Then add in your water

4. Mix well until dough ball forms

5. Sprinkle flat surface with four, parchment paper is great to use so you do not have to clean up the counter or table. If you don't have any parchment paper just take a flat spatula and scrape up any remnants!

6. Lightly flour your rolling pin, and roll out dough into 1/4 inc thick.

7. Let the kids use the cookie cutters to cut out shapes!

8. Peel away and place on your cookie sheet, (or on parchment) do not grease the cookie sheet!

9. Use the straw to poke holes in the ornaments for hanging, if you miss this step no worries you can also drill holes once they have baked!

10.Ornaments will take 2-3 hours to completely bake, you may flip halfway through if you like. I do not personally flip mine they seem to work out just as well without setting the timer to flip!

11. Once your ornaments have completely cooled you can begin decorating!

During the time while they bake we organize all our paints, glitter and any other items we will be using to decorate. Allowing the kids to help with measurements of the ingredients also helps with math skills.

We also like to cut some out in small rectangles, these make great gift tags for gifts during the holidays! Grandmothers and Grandfathers love these little personal touches from the kids!

You have just spent some wonderful time with your kids and saved money, going to build a bear or doing pottery painting can be expensive! You have just created some beautiful decorations and saved money doing it!

A great way to commemorate your the milestones of growth is through making a dough ornament of your little ones feet or hands!

Using Everyday Items for Crafts

Toilet paper rolls can easily be used for a wealth of crafts. Let’s face it, who is not using this! You can even ask family and friends to save them for you too. Other great items to use are egg cartons, cereal boxes, and even that pesky junk mail we all get.

Using these items also reduces your impact on the environment. If you up-cycle everyday items that would normally head to the landfill you are helping your family go green.

Cut them in half and paint with holiday colors! Use a glue gun and attach one of the ornaments, you have just made a one of a kind napkin holder! You can also use cotton balls and Elmer's Glue to make the base for a super cute snowman! Then find some twigs in the yard for the arms. Put a few baby carrots in the oven at 250 degrees (you can do this with your ornaments) until completely dry and you have a nose for the snowman!

The possibilities are endless once you get started finding everyday items to craft with. Let the kids run wild, I do, and they love it. It is a great way to foster some early learning for children as well. We may not always love the things they create but they enjoy creating it. Spending time with your children and saving the money is wonderful.


You Can Save Money

Let’s break this down in simple budget costs:

  • $50 a week taking the kids out (in many cases more)
  • 3-4 weeks a month (depending on the month)
  • $150-$200 a month could be saved by doing fun activities at home

That could mean a savings of $2400.00 a year just from doing in home activities with the kids. If you deposit that money into an interest-bearing account, you will accumulate even more. Imagine what you can do with the money you have saved! This money can continue to build interest and go towards college savings or use it for holiday shopping without hitting your monthly budget.

Living on a budget can be hard, I will be the first to admit that it took me a while to get used to budgeting. I admit at times it’s frustrating, but it is worth it to be strict and stick to any budget you have planned out. It also helps maintain a bond of family that I find is lacking with people these days. Perhaps we live a little like its 1950 something, it is totally worth it though! I find a sense of relief knowing what's going on in the kids’ lives. I find that they tend to talk and open more about things at school when we are crafting. Almost as if there is no feeling of pressure, it is a relaxing activity and they seem to naturally open more.

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Handmade items stand the test of time!


It is Better Handmade

Crafting really is nothing new. I remember growing up, we made our own blankets, clothing, and sometimes household items. It is a long remembered past time for many to make and create things in lieu of purchasing them. It has been a way of life for many people and still is for some today.

Granted not all ‘crafts’ are created equal and sometimes the items we try to make just do not work out. Guess what, even scraps from a failed attempt at a quilt or blanket can be used for other crafts. Try to try again, you will improve and hone your skills over time. As well as saving money on purchasing machine made products in the store.

Until I reached adulthood I have never had a blanket from the store, my Grandmother always made us blankets and quilts and I still use some today. Now as I got a little older I have realized that the handmade items my grandmother would make stand the test of time. I am 33 years old now and many quilts I have are from my early childhood, still in great shape and I love to curl up with them. I have purchased bed sets from the store and they tend to not last a year through washing and use, often the seams coming loose and the stuffing coming out. Start small if you think you may want to try your hand at making a quilt. A simple 9 patch is very easy to make, the better you get the more patterns and styles you can try.

Crafting for the future

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Salt Dough Recipe

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