If your kids love crafts, they will love making jewels and gems using rock salt. Rock salt jewels and gems will sparkle just like real jewels and gems after they dry (okay, you must use your imagination a bit). The only supplies you need to make rock salt jewels and gems are rock salt, white glue and food coloring. It’s amazing what you can create with just three simple supplies! This is a fun craft for kids of all ages. Mom and dad will have just as much fun crafting rock salt jewels and gems as the kids. Let’s get started!
To make rock salt jewels and gems you will need rock salt. You can buy rock salt year round in most grocery stores like Super Walmart or in any hardware store like Home Depot or Lowe’s. You can also buy rock salt online. Rock salt is cheap and you can use it for other crafts, so it’s good to have a 5 pound bag on hand. Some people think you can substitute road salt for rock salt, but you should not do that. Salt that is used to melt ice on a road is treated and you do not want little hands playing with that type of salt. You want plain old rock salt, like the kind you use to make ice cream.
To make rock salt jewels and gems, the only other supplies you need are white glue and food coloring. As for the white glue, any white glue like Elmer’s glue will work. If you happen to have a white tacky glue on hand, that will work also. Tacky glue is usually a bit more expensive but it tends to dry more quickly. So if you want to invest in a tacky glue, that’s fine. But any cheap white glue will work. For food coloring, the little bottles of food coloring drops is perfect. You will find food coloring in the grocery store in the cake mix or baking aisle.
To make your first batch of rock salt putty put 1 cup of rock salt in a small bowl. Then add 3 or 4 drops of the food color of your choice and mix it well. After the food coloring is mixed in, add 1/4 cup of white glue to the salt and mix for at least two minutes. You can use a plastic spoon to do the mixing or a craft stick. Then you can just toss it and you don’t have to worry about washing a spoon with glue on it.
After your rock salt putty is mixed, just take little pieces of it and sculpt it into jewels and gems using your hands. When your creations are done, just lay them on a piece of cardboard and let them air dry until they feel hard. You can make a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but remember, the thicker the piece, the longer it will take to fully dry. If you make beads, you need to stick a toothpick or skewer into the bead then remove it before you let the bead dry. This will make a hole in the bead so you can pass a cord or jewelry thread through it later. To make flat gems, simply create the gem then flatten it a bit on one side by pushing the gem on a piece of cardboard. After the gem is dry, you can glue the flat side of the gem to any surface like a jar, picture frame, scrapbook cover, etc.
Rock salt putty is also great to make holiday ornaments. If you want, you can stick a hook in the ornament before it is dry then your ornament will be ready to hang in your Christmas tree or Easter Egg tree after it is dry. You can also just make a loop out of cord or ribbon and mold the ornament around the ends of the loop leaving a loop sticking out. Then you can hang the ornament using the loop.
Rock salt jewels and gems make great gifts that your kids can give to friends and relatives. These homemade jewels and gems also make fun party favors. Making rock salt jewels and gems is also a fun activity to do at any party or during a slumber party. Then you can let your guests take home all the jewels and gems they made.
If you need more easy craft ideas, please check out some of my other articles. Here are just a few of my favorites:
Crafts for Kids – Homemade Plastic Play Dough
Arts and Crafts for Kids – Homemade Lava Bottle
Crafts for Kids – Edible Candy Jewelry
Crafts for Kids – Toothpaste Putty
Crafts for Kids – Homemade Surprise Soap