DIY Art Materials: Colored Salt

by on January 5, 2013

I love making our own art materials. I can spend a fortune in an art/craft store in the blink of an eye so it is such a relief to make our own materials with inexpensive ingredients at home. Colored salt is a very easy material to make with ingredients I bet you have lying around the house at this very moment. And this project is great for little hands. My daughter couldn’t wait to start mixing!

Colored Salt


  • Salt
  • Liquid Food Coloring
  • Ziploc Bags


  • Step One Add the desired amount of salt to a Ziploc bag.
  • Step Two Add food coloring to the bag. The more food coloring, the more saturated your colors.
  • Step Three The most important step! Press out all the air from the bag and securely close it. The last thing you want is a bag of exploded food coloring and salt all over your house!
  • Step Four Knead the salt and coloring until it is all mixed together. I found that waiting to mix everything a minute or so after adding the food coloring made for less coloring clumps and an easier mixing process.

You’re done! If you’ve added a lot of food coloring you may want to let your salt dry out a little by leaving it exposed to fresh air. Otherwise, you can either store it in the Ziploc bag or another airtight container.

So now that you’ve made colored salt what do you do with it?

  • Water Color Painting with Salt Salt adds a great texture to water color paintings. If you haven’t tried it, have your kids sprinkle some salt on the page the next time they do a watercolor paining.
  • Salt and Glue Paintings  Have your child “paint” a picture using glue, sprinkle salt over the glue to create the color, then shake off the excess salt.
  • Salt Layering  Give your child a clear glass bottle, a spoon, and several colors of salt, then ask them to layer the various colors.
  • Ice Sculptures We made these last year at my children’s preschool and they were a hit! Sprinkle colored salt over large chunks of ice; the colored salt both helps to melt the ice and create colorful patterns.
  • Salt Pendulum This batch of salt was made specifically for this science/art project. Check out the tutorial here.

For more fun projects using colored salt check out the web. Unless the project involves water or a living plant, colored salt can easily be substituted for colored sand in many an art project.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Becki January 7, 2013 at 2:47 am

Thanks for stopping over to my blog! I love this idea, and I want to try it with the glue painting. I’m following, and I can’t wait to read more fun ideas.


Ana Dziengel January 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Thanks so much Becki!


Bella January 8, 2013 at 6:15 pm

I love this idea! The colours are so intense, and I can’t wait to try it out with ice sculptures.


Ana Dziengel January 9, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Thanks Bella! I’m so pleased to hear it. I’m a regular follower of your Art Club Blog! BTW check out what we did with the salt; I think you’ll like it: http://babbledabbledo.com/science-for-kids-salt-pendulum/


Bonny @ thedomesticatedprincess.com January 11, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Who knew it was just that easy! I can’t wait to try this for my daughter. I’m pinning it too!


Ana Dziengel January 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Thanks Bonny! Hope your daughter enjoys creating with the salt!


Diana Rambles January 13, 2013 at 2:52 am

Great idea! Never knew about this!


Ana Dziengel January 13, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Thanks Diana! Super easy and fun!


Tina November 3, 2013 at 11:46 am

How do i get my salt to be a true red? Mine came out orange?


Ana Dziengel November 4, 2013 at 5:37 am

You’ll need to use a LOT of food coloring, but it is hard to get really vibrant colors. I just started working with liquid watercolors, you could try substituting them for the food coloring :)


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