Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a box of iconic conversation hearts. These conversation hearts aren’t candy though, they’re made from salt dough! These salt dough conversation heart magnets are easy to make with materials you probably have in your pantry right now.
Keep reading for instructions and lots of inspiration for making these fun and colorful salt dough conversation heart magnets. Create a set for yourself or personalize for a unique Valentine gift!
GATHER YOUR MATERIALS
- Warm water
- Rolling pin
- Heart shaped cookie cutter
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheet
- Small scissors
- Thrifted books or old magazines
- Mod Podge sealer
- E6000 glue
- Small ceramic magnets
HOW TO MAKE SALT DOUGH CONVERSATION HEARTS
First, make the salt dough. This recipe is for a fairly small batch but it will make about 20 hearts, depending on the size of your cookie cutter. The cookie cutter I used is about 2 inches high and about 1 inch across. The recipe can easily be doubled or quadrupled for larger projects.
Salt Dough Recipe:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cup salt
1/2 cup warm water
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. The warm water helps the dough come together quicker and makes for a softer dough that I find easier to work with.
Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of flour on your rolling surface and knead the dough a few times. If the dough is sticky, go ahead and incorporate a bit of flour as you knead the dough.
Roll out the salt dough on the floured surface to your desired thickness. About 1/4 inch works well for this project. Using your cookie cutter, cut out heart shapes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for about 2 hours in a 250 degree oven, carefully turning over your hearts about halfway through the baking time. They will puff up and continue to harden after coming out of the oven.
I like to let the salt dough shapes dry for an additional 24 hours or more just to ensure they are thoroughly dry and hard.
Once the salt dough hearts are dry, you can brush off any excess flour and use a small piece of sandpaper to smooth any rough edges.
Paint Your Salt Dough Hearts
Using acrylic paints, brush on 1-2 layers of your favorite colors letting dry between coats. I paint the top and sides and leave the back unpainted.
For color inspiration, you can choose to mimic the colors of candy conversation hearts (yellow, peach, mint, pale purple, pink, white), use different shades of traditional Valentine’s Day colors like pink and red, or even make your own rainbow of salt dough hearts.
Add Glitter (Optional)
Once your hearts are painted and dry, you can choose to add some sparkle with glitter.
I perused my (arguably oversized) glitter inventory and chose glitter that coordinated with the painted color of the salt clay heart.
Brush on a generous coat of Mod Podge to the the top of the painted heart. You can glitter the sides as well, it just requires a bit more patience and drying time. Shake a generous coat of glitter onto the wet Mod Podge.
Let dry for several hours or overnight.
Shake off the excess glitter and seal with an overcoat of Mod Podge. This top coat seals in the glitter so it doesn’t come off or spread when you glue on the words.
Add Your Conversation Words
Next, cut words, phrases, or individual letters from old books and/or magazines to create the words for your “conversation”. I like to cut out a bunch of words and phrases and then play around to come up with unique and/or fun sentiments.
Glue words onto the salt dough hearts with Mod Podge and let dry.
Using a strong glue such as E6000, attach a small magnet to the back of the salt dough heart. Let the E6000 dry for several hours or overnight.
Finally, add a top coat of Mod Podge over the entire heart, including the top, sides, and back. Tip: if you hold the magnet, you can easily coat the entire heart without getting Mod Podge on your fingers. I prefer Matte or Satin Mod Podge for most of my projects but any finish will work.
Package your hearts in a small box or clear bag and they’re ready for gifting!
Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Creating!
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