Friday, 26 April 2013

How to Make Salt Dough - Basic Salt Dough Recipe

I'm just gonna say it.

Up until 2 weeks ago, I'd never made salt dough before. Hard to believe, right?

I can hear you asking...

"...Surely you had your first experience of salt dough was at pre-school, making jolly Christmas ornaments"
"...Maybe it was a rainy day activity that you tried with your younger brother?"
"...Well then, you must have made heart shaped wedding favours with your girlfriends?"

Nope! Not me.

A week last Sunday I found myself with an empty sewing basket, a tidy(ish) work room and some creative time to kill. I'd found a salt dough tutorial (by The Cheese Thief) that had been pinned on Pinterest (See the original tutorial here) and thought to myself.... I could do that!

And it turns out that salt dough is very easy to make, very cheap to make, and great fun!

So in case there is anyone out there that has never made salt dough ornaments before, here is the very basic salt dough recipe:

1 cup flour | 1/2 cup salt | 1/2 cup warm water

Mix everything together in a bowl

Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes to ensure all ingredients
are well mixed. 

You are aiming to end up with a dough that is soft and pliable, but not sticky. The longer that you work the dough, the easier it is to 
handle and the smoother the end result will be


Try using cookie cutters, stamps, inks... 
Why not try moulding the dough into 3D shapes?

Once you have finished, place your pieces on some greaseproof/waxed paper and allow to air dry for at least 3 days.

BE PATIENT! Try REALLY hard not to keep touching them and picking them up during this time. Salt dough can become brittle, 
and the more that you handle it as it drys, the more likely it is to snap.

Once your pieces are completely dry, (and this may take longer than 3 days....) you can smooth the surface with an emery board or some fine sandpaper, before varnishing them.

That was the basic salt dough recipe.

Perfect if you want simplistic and rustic salt dough ornaments. But what happens if you want something more sophisticated? Or want to add colour or decoration to your salt dough?

According to my extensive research (my thanks to Pinterest and Google!) there are many different ways to vary the colour, texture and decoration of your salt dough ornaments. Oil, lemon juice, wallpaper paste, tea, coffee, paint, lace, stamps, buttons...

There are so many salt dough variations waiting to be explored!

Check out my next blog post to see the results of my adventures with salt dough variations

maybe you might find some inspiration on my Pinterest board:

Friday, 19 April 2013

Feedback Friday

Welcome to my first ever Feedback Friday!

Working for yourself can often be great - you can listen to whatever music you want, stop for a brew whenever you want... and more importantly you can design and make whatever you want!

But although this creative freedom can be very liberating, I still need to make a profit from selling the items that I design and make - so finding out what people want is very important.

However - it's not always easy to second guess what my customers might like to buy. So instead of guessing, I thought it might be a good idea to just ask!

And so here it is. 
'Feedback Friday' 

My chance to ask you what you think of one of my new plans, projects or products
Your chance to feedback what you really think!

Feedback Friday 19/04/2013
Potential New Product: Pin Badges

Based on my most popular designs
Sold in packs of 4 for £3.50
Manufactured in the UK

Do you think they would sell?
Would you buy them?
What designs would you like to see? 
Do you mind that they would not be handmade by me?

I'd really love to know what you think! 
Give me your feedback...

Please leave a comment below 

Thank you!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

What's On in Sheffield this weekend?

Well... since you ask...

...It's Mary's Marvellous Vintage and Craft Market!

This craft and vintage fair, based at St Mary's Church on Bramall Lane, is one of my favorite events to visit, as a seller AND a customer.

There is always a great atmosphere, the food is delicious and the eclectic mix of retro, vintage and quality craft means that it is very hard to leave the building without treating yourself to something!

This particular fair is important to me as it will be made by lolly's first outing of the season -  with the new Spring Collection of felt accesories making their 'real-life' debut.

As you may know I have been busy extending the range to include felt keyring/bag charms, hair accessories and craft kits which will co-ordinate with the badges, brooches and corsages I currently sell.

I am really looking forward to getting feedback from both old and new customers - so if you are in the area on Saturday 6th April pop in and say hello! 

As the poster says - you will see: 
'the very best of local arts and crafts and a jolly jamboree of vintage!'

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