Did you know that you can make coloured salt dough so that you don’t have to paint it? You know I hate messes, and painting usually puts my nerves over the top. So it was my personal mission this week to perfect the recipe for salt dough monster pets using coloured dough – and this recipe works beautifully!
It took a few days and a few tries to figure out how best to colour the salt dough, (food colouring does NOT work), but I figured it out! The method I’m going to show you below works really well and makes the cutest looking monster pets!
These salt dough monster pets are super light weight, and fairly low mess to make. Since the dough is coloured, you don’t have to paint them to make bright and beautiful colours! And because they’re so light weight, it’s really easy for kids to cart around piles of these crazy little monsters!
If you don’t have liquid watercolour paint, you can definitely make a larger batch of salt dough and paint your monster pets!
Or you can even make rock monsters from actual rocks – my kids LOVE bringing home rocks! If you decide to paint rocks, check out the Rock Art Handbook by Samantha Sarles at Color Made Happy. This book is my go-to resource when it comes to painting rocks! It’s a beautiful book, with tons of rock painting ideas and it outlines exactly what supplies you need in order to paint awesome looking rocks!
These salt dough monster pets were inspired by the adorable painted rock monsters made at a blog that doesn’t appear to exist anymore. But you can check out the pin here.
Salt Dough Monster Pets
The full printable recipe is at the end of this post, but here’s what you’ll need. The affiliate links below will take you to products on Amazon that are similar to the ones I used for this craft:
- liquid watercolour paint
- Mod Podge (matte finish, not gloss)
- Googly eyes
- Black and White Paint
My favourite part about this salt dough recipe is that you can make it in a small batch – which is awesome when you want to make a bunch of different colours! I skipped using water all together and used liquid watercolour paint to make the salt dough. They didn’t have it at my local craft store, but you can find it on Amazon here.
I first tried making these using food colouring, but the colours were just blah. But with the liquid watercolour paint, the colours are super bright, even after the dough dries!
In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tablespoons flour, 1 Tablespoon salt, and 1 Tablespoon liquid watercolour paint (the printable recipe is at the bottom of this post).
This small batch recipe is enough to make 3 monster shapes. Feel free to double or triple the recipe if you’d like to make more monsters than that.
The dough will start off looking dry and crumbly, but as you stir it, it will become a soft, dough-like ball.
Repeat the process for all of the different colours.
The only colour that needs to be different is purple – 1 Tablespoon of purple watercolour makes it really dark, so fill a Tablespoon about 1/4 full with purple watercolour paint (maybe even less), then fill the rest of the Tablespoon with water.
If you’re making a bunch of different colours, cover your small bowls with a wet paper towel as you work so that the dough inside doesn’t dry out.
Roll the dough into balls, then flatten them slightly into rock shapes.
Make sure you flatten them a bit because the thicker your shapes are, the longer they’ll take to dry out in the oven.
Set the shapes on a parchment lined baking pan.
Bake them in the oven at 225F for 4 to 5 hours, making sure you flip them after about 2 hours. The thicker they are, the longer they’ll need to bake to get them fully dried out.
When they come out of the oven and they’re all dried out (photo below), they look just like rocks, except they’re way lighter and fully coloured!
To make the salt dough shapes into monsters, start by drawing their faces onto the salt dough shapes with a pencil.
Don’t worry about making mistakes – as long as your pencil isn’t crazy sharp, you should be able to erase the marks from the salt dough shapes.
Start by painting the white parts of the teeth first. I used a white paint pen, but you could also use white paint with a small paint brush.
Once the white paint is dry, paint the eyebrows, mouth and draw the black lines around the teeth. Again, I used a fine black paint pen, but you could also use black paint with a small paint brush. You can even draw on the salt dough with a Sharpie! (But the colours won’t be as bold as if you use paint).
Draw all sorts of faces onto your different monster pets! Smiles, pointy teeth, rectangular teeth, eyebrows, eyelashes – whatever you like!
Paint a layer of Mod Podge onto your monster pets to seal them. I wasn’t happy with the Gloss Finish that I’m showing in the photos, so I ended up painting them again with a Matte Finish and it looked much better! (I’ll show you further down below…)
Paint the back of the googly eyes with a bit of Mod Podge and glue them in place on the monster pets.
If you want, you can easily turn these guys into fridge magnets! Just glue a magnet to the back!
Here are the monster pets with the gloss Mod Podge finish. Wow. That’s just too shiny for my liking!!
So I added another layer of Matte Finish Mod Podge to bring down the shine.
I love all the bright colours and fun faces!
And since they are made from salt dough, they’re really light weight, so you don’t have to worry about the kids dropping them and scratching the furniture or floor.
Small Batch Salt Dough Recipe for Monster Pets
- In a small bowl, mix the salt dough ingredients together until they make a dough-like ball. If the dough is too dry, add a few drops of water until it softens up. Repeat for different colours.
- Split the dough into 3 equal pieces, and roll them into your monster shapes (the shape of rocks works best. Don't make them too thick or they'll take forever to dry out in the oven).
- Place the monster shapes on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake the monster shapes at 225F for 3 to 5 hours. Flip the shapes over after about 2 hours and continue baking until they are completely dried out.
- Once cooled, draw monster faces on the salt dough shapes with a pencil. Paint over the pencil lines with white and black paint.
- Optional - Seal the salt dough shapes with Matte Finish Mod Podge.
- Glue different sizes of googly eyes onto your monster pets. I used Mod Podge to glue the eyes onto the sealed salt dough shapes.
These salt dough monster pets are SO CUTE and really simple to make! You don’t even need to paint them! This is such a fun craft to make with the kids and a great alternative to painted rock monsters!
If you’re looking for more fun monster themed ideas, check out our post for making Rice Krispie Treat Monsters. These are so simple to make and so much fun to eat!
Don’t forget to check out our new book Low-Mess Crafts for Kids for 72 fun and simple craft ideas for kids! It makes a great gift!
Where to buy:
You can purchase Low-Mess Crafts for Kids from Amazon, or wherever books are sold: