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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Make Valentines with Eco-Friendly DIY Salt Glitter

By Sandy Sandler

Since plastic glitter is a no-no for recycling, let’s make salt glitter, an eco-friendly alternative. Glitter is made from tiny specks of metal or plastic that are too small to be screened out during the recycling process. This makes it a microplastic. When glitter gets into the water system, plankton, fish, and birds consume it, which is a bad thing. Animals die from starvation when microplastics collect in their systems. And there is the potential for those microplastics to make it up the food chain and onto our plates. Yuck! Salt glitter is a 100 percent biodegradable, recyclable alternative—and it’s easy to make and use to decorate craft projects.

Here’s what you’ll need: 

• Course (Kosher) salt

• Food coloring

• Heart card template

• Cardstock

• Recyclable glue (see how-to instructions below)

• Craft paintbrush

Let’s make salt glitter:

1. Add a few drops of food coloring to the salt and stir to mix.

2. Stir the salt until it is evenly colored.

3. Spread the finished salt glitter on a plate to dry completely. Or, if you’re in a rush, spread it on the bottom of an oven-safe container and bake at 350°F for 10–15 minutes. Allow salt to cool before using.

Here’s how to make the recyclable glue:

1. Boil 3 tablespoons water in a saucepan. Add 1 envelope (¼ oz.) unflavored gelatin, and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.

2. Add 1 teaspoon glycerin and 1 teaspoon white vinegar, and stir to mix.

3. Store your glue in a lidded glass container.

Use the glue while it is warm and liquid. As the glue cools it will set up—just like Jell-O.

Rewarm the glue to re-liquefy it. You can do this by placing the container of glue in a hot water bath, microwaving in five-second spurts, or gently reheating with a heat gun. If you opt for the heat gun method, keep the heat gun constantly moving and not too close to the glue.

Now, let’s use the salt glitter and recyclable glue to make a Valentine’s Day card:

1. Print the heart card template, and then cut out the card shapes. The phrase “I love you and the Earth. I used 100% recyclable glitter on this card” is on the back of one of the templates, while the other is blank.

2. Add your sentiment or note to the inside of the card. This is easier to do before you add decoration to the outside.

3. Paint the outside of the card with recyclable glue. You can completely cover the outside, draw a smaller heart, or draw a design of your choice.

4. Cover the wet glue with the salt glitter. Set aside until completely dry.

5. Share your eco-friendly Valentine love!  

For more creative ideas, visit:

For past broadcast segments with Sandy, go to:

Sandy Sandler is the creator of the Bowdabra, a QVC bestseller. Her frugal craft projects and activity ideas are designed to transform the creatively challenged into creative pros. Her focus is on creating easy, creative, green projects that parents can do with their kids and that kids can even do on their own.