Mixed Media Salt Dough Nests

We made mixed media nests several weeks ago and my girls REALLY enjoyed making them.  It was a perfect nature prompt for the spring season. My oldest kept saying how much fun she was having. Some of my projects are big flops with her so this was an art win!!

This art invitation is a fun tactile activity using salt dough and a few simple materials. This project would be a fun one to accompany your bird lessons or for just a simple nature project at any time of the year.

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Tie this activity in with the lovely book, Mama Built a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward, a sweet book about different nests that birds make in a variety of environments.

See our simple materials and steps below for these Mixed Media Salt Dough Nests.


I gathered the materials that I already had on hand and a few natural items from outside. Don’t they look pretty in this chip and dip bowl??

Some of the items we used include:

  • Feathers
  • Yarn scraps ( I always save bits and pieces left over from projects to use for collage, etc…)
  • Paper scraps (from packaging, brown paper bags, newspaper, etc…)
  • Sticks
  • Flowers/dandelions
  • Leaves
  • Moss

I whipped up a batch of salt dough for the main star (and “glue”) for this project. We used this dough recipe. Nice and soft and perfect for molding with our materials.

We started by making a simple pinch pot…just push your thumb into a ball of dough and gently pinch around the sides to form walls.

The natural items and other materials can then be squished into the dough around the sides and inside.

We originally worked on a cardboard base but ended up putting some moss and other items underneath (see above image) for support and to keep the dough from sticking to the base.


Salt dough is typically dried out for many hours in a low temp oven. We had to do a different method since we were working with items that couldn’t be baked! We simply just let it air dry for several days and it hardened perfect!

These beauties joined our Easter decor and are currently still sitting on our mantle. They turned out beautiful and are just too lovely to take down!

Pin for later!


You might also be interested in our Bird Softies, Paper Plate Flower Collage, and Coffee Filter Butterflies!