You can make salt dough by mixing 375g (3 cups) flour with 273 g (1 cup) salt and 237 ml (1 cup) water, adjusting the quantities depending on how large a batch of dough you would like. It's easy to mould or cut with dough cutters and makes an ideal sculpting material for both adults and children. The dough can be baked to a hard finish by putting it into a low oven, around 37.8 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) for a long period of time, like 12 hours. The dough is nontoxic but inedible, so supervise small children when using salt dough.
Make seasonal decorations for events such as Easter, Christmas, Valentine's Day or any other celebration out of salt dough. One way is to roll out the dough to a 6 mm (1/4 inch) thickness and use cookie cutters to press out seasonal shapes. Make a hole at the top of the shape before baking it so you can attach a cord for hanging when it is finished. Decorate the baked shapes with acrylic paints or glitter, then hang them individually or make simple mobiles by tying them with fishing line to a metal coat hanger.
Bowls and dishes
Small, decorative bowls and dishes are useful objects to have around the house. Use them to stash keys, loose change or to hold trinkets or candies. To make a salt dough bowl, first roll out the dough to 1 cm (3/8 inch) thickness, then use an ovenproof bowl as a mould. Cover the upturned bowl with the dough to shape your new bowl, and bake it with the mould in place. Remove the baked dough from the mould once it's cool and decorate it any way you like. If you'd like a natural look, leave the salt dough bowl unpainted and give it a coat of varnish to seal it.
All kinds of jewellery items can be made from salt dough by cutting out shapes with dough cutters or moulding the dough by hand. You can make small beads by rolling the dough into balls and using a needle to pierce a hole through the dough before baking. Turn flat shapes that you've cut with a cookie cutter into jewellery by gluing on a pin to make a brooch or badge. For earrings you can add ear wires or glue an earring post onto the back of the shape. Make pendants by making a hole in the dough before baking. Thread a jump ring through the hole.
Get the kids involved in sculpting by making a family of faces. Start with a ball of dough about the size of a golf ball and flatten it into a disk shape. Make eyes and noses, hair and lips with extra pieces of dough and stick them on the face with a little water. Try to make them look like family members for extra entertainment. Use a toothpick or skewer to pierce a hole about 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) from the top of the face, then bake in the oven for 2 hours at 135 degrees Celsius (275 degrees Fahrenheit). Paint them when they've cooled and add thread cord through the hole.
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