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Cozy knitting
This week’s Math4Knitters: Crafty Living project is a quick knit that could work either for Valentine’s Day or Singles Awareness Day. The Bitter Knitter Black Hearts Coffee Cozy is a sleeve to keep your coffee warm and your hands cool. To get the pattern and hear more about the origin of its name, check out Math4Knitters: Crafty Living Show 58 at
Make hearts in varying sizes, but don’t let the dough get too thin.

Fall in love with dough hearts

Lara Neel | The Journal Gazette
Photos by Joyce McCartney | The Journal Gazette
Salt dough makes a great air-dry clay. Use cookie cutters to create Valentine’s Day ornaments.

Valentine’s Day is eight days away, and what better way for the kiddies out there to tell their parents “I love you” than with a salt dough ornament?

This super-simple, air-dry clay is so easy to make and play with that just about anyone can do it with their kids – regardless of how crafty you think you are or are not.

Here’s the basic recipe:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup water

Mix dry ingredients. Add water, slowly. If you want to color dough, add food coloring to the water.

Form into balls and roll out to about 1/8 inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes (in this case, hearts and you can get heart-shaped cookie cutters in a variety of sizes).

Once you have cut out the shapes, leave them to dry for a day or two (or bake at about 225 degrees until they are hard) making sure to flip them every few hours so both sides have a chance to air-dry.

Then, decorate however you see fit.

Before going ahead and telling you how to make this craft, I decided to give it a try myself. I used neon food coloring and made my dough what was supposed to be a raspberry color. I cut the recipe in half ( 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup salt and water). Then, I cut out a variety of heart sizes.

Since I did this all on my kitchen counter, I had to move the ornaments to a table in my craft room to dry.

I don’t know whether I added too much water to my dough (if you do this, you can always add a bit more flour to soak up the extra water), but the largest heart I made broke in half.

I can honestly say that I believe this project would’ve been a lot of fun with a group of children, but I didn’t have any handy at the time I did it.

And, one suggestion I have is to make different colors of dough and write messages on the ornaments like those on conversation heart candies.

Joyce McCartney is not a craft expert. She is, however, interested in crafting of all types. She shares her experiences and those of area crafters. To reach her, call 461-8364 or e-mail Also, visit her blog at