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For Valentine's Day: Play Clay Hearts

Play Clay Hearts

Total Time Needed: 1 Hour

You'll love this two-in-one project: a highly original valentine that moonlights as a usable ball of clay.


  • 3 Cups of white flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups of salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 3 1/4 Cups of water
  • 6 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Red food coloring
  • Rolling pin
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • Small cellophane bags
  • Scissors
  • White paper
  • Markers
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon


  1. Mix the flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a medium saucepan.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the liquids, adding drops of food coloring until you reach your desired shade.
  3. Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and stir. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture holds together and gets too stiff to stir (it will stiffen even more as it cools), about 5 to 10 minutes. Let it cool.
  4. Knead the clay briefly, then roll or pat it to a 3/4-inch thickness and cut with the cookie cutter.
  5. For each valentine, place a clay heart in a cellophane bag. Cut a tag out of white paper, decorate it with markers, and punch a hole in one end. Thread a length of ribbon through the tag´s hole and tie the bag shut with a bow.


An older child can make the play clay (with adult supervision) while a younger one makes the tags. Then both children can roll and cut the clay hearts and bag their own valentines.