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Salt Jars

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 http://tinkeredtreasures.blogspot.com/).

Photo Credit: Elyse Major

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