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You are here: Home > Art And Craft Ideas > THE CRAFT OF SALT DOUGH


Hi, here’s another craft that can involve the kids  – it’s Easy-Peasy to do, does not cost much and starting with simple shapes no special expertise needed. The children just love the fun of getting all ‘floury’ thumping, pummelling and rolling the dough – the fun of the mess they may make is worth the cleaning up!!! With Christmas fast approaching what about making shapes to hang on the Christmas tree … bet you can think of lots. Later on you can progress to more advanced projects, but with simple shapes to start everyone can join in


  1. PLAIN FLOUR the cheapest you can find
  2. PLAIN KITCHEN SALT again the cheapest you can find
  3. TEPID WATER  and a little plain cooking OIL
  5. BLUNT KNIVES for the kids (sharper ones for you)
  6. SHAPERS – anything that that will make shapes – end of a fork, end of a straw, garlic press, cookie cutters, anything around.
  7. TRAY FOR BAKING and  WIRE CAKE RACK fo cooling
  8. PAINT and BRUSHES – Water based even from the kid’s paint box
  9. VARNISH – water based is easier to use – it does not smell is easy to clean with just soap and water.
  10. RIBBON or CORD for hanging the items

A POLYTHENE BAG is needed to keep the dough in at all times when made

  2. 3 CUPS of FLOUR
  3. 1 x SAME SIZE CUP of WATER with one or two drips of oil
  4. 1 x CUP of  SALT same size cup as the flour

Put the flour and salt into your mixing bowl mix them together and make a well in the centre and add approx 2/3 of the the tepid water with the oil in and make it as you would pastry add more water gradually as it needs it (too much and the dough will not hold it’s shape – too dry and the dough will crumble and be hard to handle) tip it out onto a lightly floured table and knead it till it is nice and smooth to feel, keeping it in ball shape put it in the polythen bag and close the bag, leave it to rest for about 20 minutes as this makes it easier to handle and the salt dissolves into the flour This is the hardest part for the kids who want to do it now! – so let them draw some shapes on paper or card (which they can cut round if they wish) and it keeps them busy with ideas.  GETTING STARTED: Cut off a lump dough (keeping the dough not being used in the closed polythene bag) give it another knead to make it smooth, sprinkle lightly the table or board with flour and roll out about biscuit thickness for small items  give a piece to each ‘helper’ to make their own masterpiece Note: if making an item that needs joining parts together, they are stuck together with a finger dipped in a dish of water and smoothed out, also if many joins it is best to either make it on a square of foil with a minimum swipe of oil to prevent sticking, which is easier to lift onto the baking sheet  or else made directly onto the baking sheet itself. … For your first items make flat shapes that are simple so that you get the feel of the dough, using your tools make eyes with the end of a straw or ‘cloves’ work well, toothpicks, garlic press for hair etc – if the item is to be hung up as the Christmas tree ornaments then push the end of a straw through at the hanging point for the ribbon, if making a wall plaque  you can push a paperclip or make a wire hook to push into the back of the piece to hang up instead of making a hole with straw. TO BAKE YOUR PIECES For smaller flat pieces have the oven at 100c – 150c – 300f and it should take about 1 hour – 2 hours at a lower temperature if thick but you have to check from time to time to see that the dough is not getting brown and overdone. I prefer to use the lower setting and cook longer – the dough must be completely dried out in the oven. When done the dough should still look pale and dry. Let them cool on a wire cake rack, they must be completely cool before you can start to paint PAINTING AND VARNISHING Some pieces look best left unpainted , as the pies in the picture but generally most will be painted, the chicldren can use any of their paint boxes or poster paints or acrylics work very well, even emulsion paint (tester pots from a DIY store) all can be used. Once finished they MUST be varnished or the dough will go soft again and will not keep,  so varnish the backs first and let them dry – then the fronts making sure you get into all the nooks and crannies or your work will be ruined, if making larger items I usually apply two coats, but it’s. up to you When all done tie ribbons through the holes ready to hang and when Grandma comes for Christmas how proud the children will be to say  “I made these myself” Bet you are wanting to make bigger and better things now, so get going. Have fun – it’s Easy-Peasy Barbara .

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