For this mom, decorating salt dough Easter eggs is a new family tradition.

By Sarah Martens
April 09, 2020
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Courtesy of Sarah Martens

Working from home with two children under the age of four has taught me a few parenting lessons: It's fine if that pile of laundry never gets folded. Sometimes a bribe of brownies for breakfast is a must. Video meetings can be dicey. And keeping things normal for my kids means taking time to craft and create together.

With Easter right around the corner (and fresh eggs in short supply), I've been looking for creative alternatives to dyeing eggs this year. These salt dough Easter eggs, which are made with items you most likely have in the house already, were a total homerun with my girls. They spent hours giggling, painting, and showing off their finished designs. It was just what we needed to carve out a few moments of joy in these uncertain times.

  • Difficulty Easy
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What you need

Tools
Materials
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How to do it

Step 1

Prep The Dough

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and water. Stir or knead the dough until smooth and not sticky. It should have a play-dough-like consistency. I added a few pinches of flour as I was stirring to get there. Let the dough sit for 20 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. (It doesn't need to be exact!)

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Step 2

Cut Shapes

Using desired cookie cutters, cut dough into various shapes. These plastic Easter Cookie Cutters, $0.79, Michaels, are great for little hands. I found it was easiest to dip the cookie cutter in flour and then cut out the dough. (If you want, you can turn these into salt dough Easter egg ornaments to hang on an Easter tree. To do that, poke a hole at the top of each cutout using a bamboo skewer.) Place the cut shapes about 1/2 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. They don't spread much during baking so you can place them pretty close together.

Editor's Tip: If you don't have an egg-shape cookie cutter, use a glass or round cookie cutter to create a circle. Then gently use your fingers to form it into an egg shape.

Step 3

Bake The Cutouts

Bake the ornament at 250 degrees for 90 minutes; flip, then bake another 90 minutes. It seems like a long time, but it's very hands-off. If your shapes are on the thicker side, they may take a little longer. You're looking for them to be firm and dry. Remove the pan from the oven, and let the cutouts cool completely before moving on to the next step of this salt dough Easter craft. 

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Step 4

Decorate

Once completely cooled, decorate your salt dough Easter eggs with acrylic paint. You could also glue on glitter or other embellishments like sequins. Let your designs dry completely. If you opted for ornaments, string a ribbon through the hole and hang on your Easter egg tree. Add a name and date to the back and give them as handmade gifts. I'm planning on delivering a few to nearby grandparents this weekend.

Editor's Tip: If you're decorating these with young kids, try using washable tempera paint such as Crayola Artista II, $6.99, Oriental Trading. I found it worked just as well as acrylic and I didn't stress when my 2-year-old dropped her paintbrush on the floor. 

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