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:

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