Salted dough is a homemade clay made from a mix of several household ingredients, including salt. The salt gives this dough a little toughness and adds sparkle to finished projects. The high salt content also gives the dough an unpleasant taste, discouraging little ones from eating their art. Though usually used for child's art, older children and adults can also use salted dough to create a number of projects.
Salted Dough Recipe
Salted dough comes from a mix of two parts flour and one part each of salt and water. The mix creates a dense dough similar to bread dough. A wooden spoon or bread hooks work well for mixing the ingredients together. Waxed paper not only keeps the dough moist while you work it, it also prevents the dough from becoming too sticky and keeps your work surface clean.
Handprint casts feature an imprint of your hand in clay. You can use these prints as wall decorations in a child's room, add them to keepsake boxes or create a handprint cast for each family member. You could even take a cast of your child's hand each year to help her see how much she's grown.
Pat some salted dough into a disk shape or use a cookie cutter to cut it out. Press your hand into the dough and let the disk air dry, or bake it at 93.3 degrees Celsius for about 3 hours. If you paint the cast, coat it in polyurethane to protect the colour and prevent mould.
Your child can have a pretty tea set, even if you don't have the budget for a commercial version. Mix up some salted dough and help your child mould it into cups, plates, small bowls and saucers. You can even make a simple tea pot.
For bowls, cups and saucers, roll out a long snake of dough. Coil it into a spiral, gently smoothing the coils together to create a porcelain-like surface. For cups and bowls, stack the coils on top of each other. To create a teapot, stack your coils in a very large cup shape. When finished, pinch a spout into one side of the cup. Paint the set as you like and seal it with nontoxic waterproofing glaze.
Salt Dough Variations
The styles of salted dough you can make are only limited by your imagination and what you have in your cupboards. For festive Christmas dough decorations, add about a tablespoon of cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves to your dough before mixing it. You can also add essential oils and other fragrant herbs like rosemary, patchouli, mint or vanilla. Colourful sprinkles and seed beads add colour and glitter, while mica powder gives the dough shine.
To make coloured dough, add 1 tsp of powdered tempera paint or several teaspoons of food colouring to your dough. Dried flower petals will also give your dough colour, though it will be marbled.
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