Baked Dough Pins and Magnets

Let the kids make their own dough - and then decide to make jewelry, refrigerator magnets, or their own creations.

By Kathy Oberman


Making dough pins and 'fridge magnets is a fun way to spend a lazy winter afternoon. Set up an mess-free zone for the kids -- they will be working with dough, food coloring, and craft paint so be sure to cover the floor as well as the work surface.

What You Need
The dough is play dough - either homemade or storebought - that once formed into the desired shape, is baked and decorated.

To make dough, the kids will need flour, cream of tartar, vegetable oil, and food coloring.

They'll also need baking sheets, aluminum foil, mixing bowls, a wooden spoon or fork, a rolling pin, and cookie cutters.

Other than the dough and food coloring, they will need craft paints, indelible markers, paint brushes, and a polyurethane product to coat the finished products (available at craft stores).

Craft pins, safety pins, and magnetic strips allow kids to display their treasures. These are sold at craft shops and discount stores.

Homemade Play Dough
It's easy to make play dough. Here's our favorite recipe.

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ to 1 cup water
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Food coloring (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon or fork. Tint it with food coloring now or later.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface. At this point you can divide the dough into pieces and work food coloring into it.

Roll the dough with a rolling pin to a thickness of ½ inch. Sprinkle flour on the work surface and rolling pin to prevent sticking.

Cut the dough into any shape you like - with cookie cutters or freeform. Paint the dough now or later.

Place the cut out dough on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes or until firm. Let the dough cool completely before painting and decorating.

Note: Commercial Playdough works as well if you don't have the time or inclination to make the dough.

Make Pins and Magnets
The kids can attach pins and magnetic strips before or after baking, depending on what they use. All metal safety pins or craft pins should be gently pushed into the back of the cutout before baking.

Adhesive strip pins and magnetic strips should be attached after the baked dough cutouts have cooled.

Kids can also choose to apply strong glue and the attach pins or magnetic strips after the baked dough cools.

Decorating Ideas
Kids can paint the dough anyway they like. Use craft paints to coat a cutout completely, or small brushes to paint faces or designs on the dough. Create stencils using the cookie cutters to outline shapes on the cutouts.

Sparkles, sequins, and glitter can all be added with spray glue or drops of craft glue. Funny wiggly eyes can be attached to make faces come alive. Indelible markers can also be used to decorate the fun pins and shapes.

Once the decorations have been added and the paint and glue have dried, a good layer of a clear polyurethane coat should be applied to extend the life of the pins and give them a shiny sheen. This is a task best left to an adult.