Nature Impressions in Salt Dough

Nature Impressions in Salt Dough

Capture the imprint of local plants in this fun clay activity! Using salt dough or air dry clay and leaves, create fossil-like impressions by pushing the plant material into the clay or dough. The imprint of the plant is revealed as you gently remove the plant from the dough. After the dough has dried overnight, use acrylic paint to add color to your impression!

Materials for Nature Impressions:
Homemade salt dough or any air dry clay
Assorted Fresh/Green Leaves

Ingredients for Salt Dough:
1 Cup Flour
½ Cup Salt
½ Cup Water

Step 1: Mix your salt dough!
Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. Slowly add the water until the dough forms. You may not need to use the entire ½ cup of water.

Step 2: Arrange your leaves.

Step 3: Roll a small ball of dough in your hand. Press the dough onto your arrangment, then flip it over and peel away the leaf. Tip: the dough works best if it is not too wet. Tweezers work well to help remove smaller parts.

Step 4: Allow your impression to dry. Drying overnight is best!

Step 5: Apply the paint. Remove extra paint with a cotton ball or tissue.

Step 6: Let paint dry and then put your impression on display!

Learning and Discussion Questions:

1. What do these impressions resemble? We think they look like plant fossils! Watch these videos to learn how fossils are created.


2. Plants are used as human adornment in many cultures. How does the culture you identify with use plants as adornments?

Thank you to our sponsor, PNC Arts Alive!, for helping to make this video possible!

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