Our first DIY project is something easy and fun to do. You can make Salt Dough magnets and key ring for friends or as an activity with children as young as ten, as long as an adult  handles the oven duties.

Decorative magnets and key rings are handy and multipurpose.  In the past for dinner parties for friends, I have made salt dough key rings to double as napkin holders which turned into great party favors. The key is to sculpt something you know your friend enjoys. You have fun making it and hopefully they get a kick out of taking something home that was made just for them.

Materials needed:

½  cup / 400ml water
1 tablespoon  vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup / 300g all purpose flour
1 ¼ cup / 300g  salt
Large mixing bowl
Mixing spoon
Flat surface to sculpt on
Rolling pin
Knife
Cookie cutters
Baking  Sheet
Cooling rack
Glass of  water
Small Paintbrushes
Poster Paints
Clear Vanish
Ribbons
Key rings
Glue
Small circle magnets

Directions:
First Set the oven to 350 degrees F/ Gas Mark 4.

Mix the water, oil, flour, and salt into a soft dough in the bowl with your mixing spoon.  If you prefer to mix it with your hands go ahead it won’t ruin it.

Sprinkle some flour on the flat surface. Turn the dough out onto the table.  Knead it until it’s smooth and pliable. Then roll out your dough with your rolling pin until it is at least ½ inch thick.

You can use a knife to cut and shape out any figure you like or use a cookie cutter . As an example, with the knife I shaped a  dinosaur , a foot and a  Tar-  (copyright laws being what they are, we will just call it police call box) and with the cookie cutter  I cut out a star.  For the pieces you wish to turn into key rings  remember to make a small hole.

After you have sculpted  your pieces place them on the baking sheet and bake them  for 20 minutes at 350 degrees / Gas Mark 4.

Once baked, let  your sculptures cool on the cooling rack for about another  20 minutes.

Once they have cooled,  paint them with your poster paints.  For easy cleanup layer some newspaper on your work surface.  Use good single strokes to apply the paint   Once the paint dries, brush on a single coat of varnish.

Once the varnish is dry,  run the ribbons through the hole in the sculptures and then tie the ribbon to your key ring. For magnet models, glue the magnets on the back and allow them to bond.   Once dry you can use them or give them to a friend.  Voila! In just a few hours you have made something unique and hopefully had a fun time doing it.