Dad Rocks Paperweight: Father’s Day Craft

Dad Rocks Paperweight by Amanda Formaro

If you are looking for a last minute Father’s Day gift your kids can make, this is it! It’s fun to make, uses very few supplies, and there’s a very high probability you already have everything on hand to make this.

Send the kids out in the yard to gather some small pebbles, or if you have pea gravel that’s perfect! Pull out some salt, flour and water and you are ready to make this great Father’s Day gift dad will cherish.

Get the printable version at the end of this post.

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If you want to try another dough project, this tutorial from my friend Suzy’s site shows you how to make plaster castings with sand!

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This adorable Father’s Day pencil holder comes from my friend Pauline’s blog, isn’t it darling??

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My friend Maggy made these awesome Crayon Rock Paperweights with her kids!

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From other sites:
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Dad Rocks Paperweight: Father’s Day Craft


  • ¼ cup salt
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup water
  • bowl
  • cookie sheet
  • ½ cup pea gravel
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Mix flour, salt and water together in a bowl. If dough is too sticky add small amounts of flour until it is doughy and pliable. Be careful not to add too much as the dough will dry out and your creation will crack.
  3. Shape a piece of the dough into a ball in your hands. Place the ball on the cookie sheet and flatten to about ½″ thickness.
  4. Carefully select pieces of pea gravel to spell out “DAD ROCKS”. Press them firmly but gently into the salt dough.
  5. Bake your paperweight for 2-2.5 hours until completely dry.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool before handling or removing from cookie sheet.
  7. Optional: You can spray your creation with acrylic sealer or paint it with a clear coat sealer.
ANOTHER CRAFTY IDEA >>  Paint Stick Snowmen


  1. Diane says

    What a cute, cute idea for any kid to make for his dad and feel so proud when he presented it :o) Thanks for the recipe for making this.

  2. mother★lode says

    This is AWESOME! We just might whip one of these up today for our Dad that ROCKS! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Tiffiny Felix says

    I love this–and I just happen to need a last minute thing for my kids to give their dad. Perfect!! :)

  4. Mary says

    I made your project today for my husband ;) It's so cute. I put some blue food coloring in the dough and shaped it like a heart. Thanks for for the darling idea. Visiting from Show and Tell Friday~

  5. Threeundertwo says

    So cute. I love crafts that can be made from materials I already have around the house. Thanks for linking up to Finished for Friday!

  6. Annemarie's Breiblog says

    Oh this is sooooo cute! If you like you can add a link to your blog and a picture of something you've made yourself on my blog. Just check my latest blog post, it's really simple. Hope to see you there!

  7. Jolene says

    WOW! What an awesome idea! We are def doing this! Ill have pics up on my blog by tonite if u are interested!!!

  8. Beth says

    Stopping by from Sunday Showcase! What a great idea, so cute! Saving for next year (or maybe his birthday) Thanks for sharing!

  9. Shugee @ Blue Heron Cottage says

    Oh la la, Amanda. I love this, it has given me lots of ideas! Thanks for the inspiration! And your blog is FANTASTIC!

  10. Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! says

    This is just fun! Thanks for showing it to us on Modern Craftswoman Monday! Rory

  11. creativejewishmom/Sara says

    This is great Amanda, I can see so many possibilites that I hadn't thought of for baker's clay projects! Thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday! all the best, Sara

  12. Anonymous says

    Oh Amanda….I am so happy to have been introduced to your site from Shutterfly on Facebook! I love your craft ideas! They are all absolutely AWESOME!! I just wish I had found your site earlier so I could have kept my 8 yr old and her friends busier during the summer!! Looking forward to look at more!
    Joan Lorenzo

  13. bizzyshan says

    this turned out super cute :) A tip that works with almost any salt dough recipe- is to color the dough w/ a packet of Koolaid :D i imprinted my daughter's hand, and then did a heart in rocks.

  14. Cady says

    Hey I just wanted to let you know that I've actually put some of your ideas into my lesson plan at my summer camp–so don't be surprised if they show up on my blog.

    You have a really nice blog. Your tutorials are very helpful. I'm hoping my campers will love this one especially!

    • Amanda Formaro says

      I’m sorry you had trouble. All the details are in the instructions. I’ve had several people make this without a problem. Make sure you measure your ingredients properly, salt dough can easily be dried out.

  15. Michelle says

    This is such a cute craft for the kids in my home daycare to do for father’s day next week. Thanks.

  16. Keri says

    How many paperweights does this recipe make? We are looking to do this for our two classes – a total of 46 students. Great idea!

  17. Miss E says

    I was thinking of having my class make these for their dad’s on father’s day. Two quick questions – 1) Would I be able to make the dough a night in advance, or will it dry out fast? If it dries out fast, is it easy to make in the morning? 2) How many paperweights can I make out of your recipe provided above?

    Thanks for your assistance and fun project!

    • says

      Hi Miss E! I would say that you could get 2 decent sized paperweights from a combo of 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup water, and 1/2 cup flour. So multiply that out for the amount of kids that you have :) Oh and I wouldn’t suggested making it the day ahead as it might dry out some, even if wrapped.

  18. Melissa says

    I would like to have my class of 3rd graders make these for their dads. They would love this craft. However, how long can they sit until I get them in the oven?

    • says

      You can actually air dry them, so it doesn’t matter how long they sit before going into the oven. Just make sure that the rocks go into the dough right away while it’s still fresh and soft :)

  19. Michelle says

    I used the recipe on the post to make a model for my students, and the only problem was that it stuck to the cookie sheet! Do you think parchment paper would solve this problem?

    • says

      Yes, try parchment. I have never had them stick, but I use insulated cookie sheets most of the time. Also, if the dough is really sticky, you can add small amounts of flour until you get a cookie dough type consistency :)

      • Lauren says

        Mine stuck too. I used a plain aluminum cookie sheet. Would greasing the sheet cause any problems to the dough?

        • says

          Hi lauren, so sorry to hear that! Makes me wonder now how many others had theirs stick. You two are the only ones to ever tell me that. The only thing I can think of is that the dough needed to bake longer. If the object is too thick, just like anything you bake, it will take longer in the middle. Sorry you had trouble!

        • says

          Sorry, forgot to answer your question. I don’t know if greasing the sheet would cause any problems with the dough. I’ve never had to do it. I would suggest using parchment paper instead. At least then if it sticks to the parchment, you can get it off the sheet and peel the paper off the back.

  20. Cassy says

    Hi Amanda, I was wondering if this idea would work for an outdoor garden decor?? Do you think it would withstand weather or do you have any other houehold item ideas? Thank you, I love your work!

    • says

      Hi Cassy! This particular dough (salt dough) will turn soft if it gets wet and it’s quite fragile. However, if you use plaster of Paris that would withstand the weather and work quite well!

  21. Deb Mullen says


    I love this idea I want to make it with my class. Do they have to bake or will they dry enough by air if we leave them?

    Thank you,

    • says

      Hi Deb! They are pretty thick, so if you want to air dry them it will take a while. I would say to make them far enough ahead that you could allow for a week of air drying, and that’s just a guess!

  22. Jasmine says

    Are the measurements above for just one of these. I’m a preschool teacher and I wanted to do this with my class for father’s day.

  23. Terry says

    This is great I’m going to help my 4 year old grandson make this for his dad my grandson loves rocks and his dad is in a band !! Murphy will love making this he loves to do crafts !!

  24. Tess says

    This came out so cute, but no one said “spray” the pan, or put the dough on foil, then on cookie sheet… so the paperweight & 8″pan are ONE :(

    • says

      Oh no! So sorry that happened! That’s never happened to me before and I don’t use foil or baking spray. I just put the dough directly on the cookie sheet and bake. And you had the oven set at 250?

  25. Ms Bradshaw says

    Hi. I just love this idea. I am a teacher n wanted to do this for Mother’s Day. Question: do they have to be baked or can they air dry??? I wouldn’t have access to a oven at school. Could I bring them home n bake them? Or modify the recipe with sand and maybe glue?

    • says

      hi there! These can air dry but will take a lot longer. If you have several days, or even a week ahead, that would be best! Not sure I would trust bringing them home and baking them, only because the pebbles may fall out before they get them home.

  26. Isa says

    What a great idea! I’m gonna do it with my daughter. Can we acrylic color the pea gravel before baking?

  27. Amanda says

    This is a fabulous father’s day craft and I have begun making with my preschool class. Any tricks with getting the rocks to stay? I am finding that I have pushed them into the dough a significant amount but some are falling out. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  28. susan says

    I have followed the instructions and it has now been in the oven for 3 hours and still nowhere near all dry – any suggestions for what to do please?

    • says

      if you paperweight is thicker then it will take more time. It worn’t hurt it to cook it longer as long as the temperature is low. Just FYI – the baking instructions reference FERENHEIT, not celcius. Just in case…

  29. Brenda says

    I made footprints instead of putting the rocks on. They turned out good. Thanks for the salt dough recipes.


  1. […] If the dad you’re buying for spends a ton of time at a desk he likely needs this ridiculously cute paperweight! Whether he spends his days at the home office or away, this rock will be sure to bring a smile to his face every time he looks at it. You can’t give anything better than a gift that is made with love and this paper weight definitely delivers! Find out how to help your little ones make it HERE. […]

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