Salt Jars

[ 3 ] September 15, 2008 |

Thanks to Elyse Major, one of our Kidoinfo readers, for contributing this craft project. Great for children ages 3 and up.

Salt jars on kid o info

Making salt jars has been an enduring favorite craft for my sons and me for years. It is a fun craft to do outside at a picnic table in the summer but can be done easily inside all year long. As the mother of boys, I seldom discard jars. You never know when someone will want to catch a bug, begin a pebble collection, or ask, “Can we make salt jars today?”

Glass jars with lids (labels removed, clean, and completely dry)
Container(s) of salt
Colored chalk
Paper plates


First you may want to cover your work area with newspaper as things could get salty! Next, pour a small pile of salt (about a palm-full) onto a paper plate. Choose a chalk color and begin to rub it into your salt pile. The more you rub the chalk, the darker the salt will become. Once the salt is the shade you like, carefully pour it into your jar. This can be done easily by rolling your plate into a taco shape. Continue this process using different colors and it will create layers of colored salt. This is very similar to working with colored sand but so (so!) much cheaper and hands-on. Once you have worked your way to the top of your jar, carefully screw on the lid. Jars must be kept level to maintain the design.

Other tips
– Tip your jar between filling layers to create sloping lines.
– Slide a toothpick up and down along the inner glass to create scalloped lines.
– Use colored beads, shells, dry beans, or whatever you can find between layers to create a “parfait” effect.
– Decorate the top of your jar by gluing items, like those listed above, to the lid’s surface.

Favorite jars
Some jars are more fun to work with because of their interesting design. Some personal faves: Bonne Maman preserves (great shape, gingham lids); Smuckers products (gingham lids); Vlasic pickles (cute border); LaChoy soy sauce and Old El Paso taco sauce (interesting designs).

Elyse Major lives in northern Rhode Island with her husband and 2 sons (almost 6 and almost 8 years old). A “mostly” stay-at-home mom, Elyse works as a communications consultant for Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island. Hobbies include doing crafts with her boys; eating popcorn with her husband; writing; creating home dècor; and most recently blogging (visit Elyse’s blog at

Photo Credit: Elyse Major

Category: activities: indoor, activities: outdoor, crafts, free / cheap

Elyse Major

about the author ()

Elyse (Press) Major has been creative since childhood. In addition to being a longtime contributor to Kidoinfo, Elyse has authored craft and DIY home décor books, and been featured in, produced projects and written for many home décor publications. She lives in her beloved Rhode Island with her awesome boys and husband. Follow Elyse / tinkered treasures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and her blog

Comments (3)

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  1. FranMoff says:

    Those look great! Reminds me of the Painted Desert! Nice job!

  2. Jessica says:

    I’m doing this for my classroom.. kids love it. I use food coloring instead of chalk.. you have to let it dry overnight, but it works great

  3. Bethany says:

    These are so fun and cool looking. You’re such a fun mom.

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