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Craft with Resene from Woman magazine

With three basic ingredients and a bit of creativity, you can give old containers new life.

Make a salt dough trinket tray and bubble vase

Wall is painted in Resene Bismark and Resene Bali Hai.
Vase colours, from left: Resene Half Opal and Resene Sea Nymph, Resene Longitude, Resene Stinger. Trinket tray in Resene Lemon Twist and Resene Stinger.

You will need

Step by step instructions

How to make a salt dough trinket tray and bubble vase:

Step one:  Gather some old vessels that you would like to upcycle. Clean them, then paint with a coat of Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer and set aside to dry. If covering darker colours, you can paint a base coat of Resene White as well.

Step two:  Mix, flour, salt and water into a bowl (A) until combined. You don’t want your dough to be too dry or too wet, so adjust if necessary. Knead for 10 minutes, or until your dough is smooth and holds its shape well (B).

Step three:  To make a trinket tray, take a handful of dough and roll it between two sheets of baking paper (C). You’re after an organic shape – it doesn’t have to be perfect. Once you’re happy with your dish, roll another piece of dough into a long sausage about 1cm thick, and knead it around the edge of the dish to make a lip. Use your fingers to pinch and smooth out the join (D).

Step four:  Roll out some more pieces of dough to create a face (E) and place on top of the dish. Press down lightly so they stick. Place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and set aside while you make more objects (F).

Step five:  To create a fun bubble vase, roll out a piece of dough into thick sausage, then cut it into even-sized pieces (E). Roll pieces between your palms to make balls, then place them onto your baking paper, flattening the underside. Make enough to cover your entire vessel. Experiment with shapes and sizes, but make sure your dough isn’t too thick or it will take longer to dry. We also made some arches and small handles.

Step six:  Set your creations aside to air dry for a day (this prevents puffing), then place in the oven at 120°C for 2-3 hours, or until your dough is nice and hard. NOTE: If your oven is too hot, your dough will puff. Low and slow is best.

Step seven:  Once cool, super glue all your pieces to your chosen vessels and let set (G). You can use some sandpaper to lightly sand any rough edges.

Step eight:  Paint each piece in your favourite Resene colour. We love the soft calming hues of Resene Longitude (I) and Resene Lemon Twist (J). Give each piece two to three coats of paint. Leave enough time between coats for paint to dry properly. This will stop the salt dough from becoming too wet, and will also reduce the risk of paint lifting. For the face of our trinket tray we highlighted the features using Resene Stinger (K).

Step nine:  To finish – and to make your pieces last longer – seal with a coat of Resene Concrete Clear.

Resene Colour Tip

For a little extra glam, use Resene FX Metallic testpot colours for an effect that will shimmer in the light.

Craft editor and stylist Marsha Smith. April 2022.

Download a PDF of this article

Craft with Resene from Woman magazine
View more craft ideas from Woman magazine in the Resene weekend DIY projects section.

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.