Delightful garden stones will liven up any pathway! Use collage materials such as letters, beads or natural foliage to decorate these garden stones. Our special Salt-Clay recipe is perfect for this activity!
Duration: 30 minutes for mixing/decorating. Leave overnight to dry.
• Potato starch
• Mixing bowl
• Shallow pan or tray
• Popsicle stick for mixing
Our Salt-Clay recipe was crafted from a few experimental attempts to make fridge magnets! We ended up with a great recipe for moldable clay that could be used for tons of projects. We decided to use the clay to make the garden stones, but you are welcome to use your own recipes if they are better suited. We tried to use ingredients that are easily found in your nearby stores and pantry closets!
SALT CLAY RECIPE
2 Cups Potato Starch
1 Cup Salt
1 Cup Water
Always follow this ratio of 2:1:1 to get the same consistency of clay!
Blend materials together with your students to introduce science concepts. You can talk about how starches are used as thickening ingredients because they bond to warm water and this causes the cells in the starch to grow bigger. Once the mixture is made and you leave it to dry, you allow all the water to evaporate from the material. Explain what evaporating is and how this helps to create a solid from what was once a very pliable material.
Before you start, WEAR GLOVES! You must wear gloves to help minimize mess and prevent hands from drying out when working with the starch and salt.
Drop all the water in the center of the starch mixture.
Break off bits of the clay and press into the shallow tray. Make sure to fill in all the corners with the clay. Smooth out the top of the clay shape with your knuckles and palms. Press lightly to spread the clay over any rough edges, and keep working away until the tray is filled completely.
For the colored plaque, we wrote a name into the clay using the Letter Beads. Press the beads partway into the clay, then lift them out to make an imprint! Repeat this step with your favorite beads or buttons to decorate the clay.
Fill in the imprints with paint. Use a fine-point paintbrush to keep the paint within the lines. Leave the paint to dry overnight.
Finalize your garden stone with a layer of heavy-duty spray sealant to preserve the look away from rain and other natural elements. It’s best to do this outside so that there’s less chance of inhaling any of the spray. Alternatively, you could use Mod Podge® to seal in the garden stone and add a nice finish.
Place garden stones outside in the garden or to make a pathway through a backyard! NOTE: Dig out a small layer of soil, about the size of your garden stone and about 1/2″ deep. Press the garden stone into the soil as far as it will go. If it sticks a bit out from the top of the soil, press all sides gently with your foot to settle the stone into the ground.
What kind of personalized salt clay garden stones did your students make? Send us photos of what they’ve made! Contact us through the contact form.