Salt dough is a wonderful, homemade crafting medium that can be used for a variety of projects. The dough is a favorite material used for creating holiday ornaments and children’s projects. Made from inexpensive materials found in most home pantries, salt dough is non-toxic and accessible to even novice home crafters.
To make salt dough, begin with a few simple ingredients from the pantry including one cup of salt, two cups of flour, and one cup of warm water. Traditionally, salt dough is made from whole wheat flour and a fine table salt, however, any variety of basic ingredients will work. Whole wheat flour, for example, will make for a darker dough. Kosher salt salt make for a coarser dough.
Ingredients should be selected based on availability and preferences. Additional ingredients can be added to accommodate a variety of special projects or general preferences. For example, one tablespoon of oil can be added to make kneading easier.
Sensory ingredients can also be added if desired. Dry tempura paint or liquid food coloring can be used to color the dough. Scented oils or extracts can be added one drop at a time. When adding extra ingredients, always mix dry ingredients into the salt and flour or wet ingredients into the water before combining.
Some special ingredients require altering the additional recipe. For example, coffee grounds can be incorporated to make a coarse scented dough, however, the flour measure should be reduced to accommodate the addition of the coffee grounds.
Mix well to be sure that all ingredients have been incorporated evenly before moving on. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The dough should come together into a ball after mixing lightly for approximately one minute. If the dough seems too wet, more flour can be added in small increments. Conversely, if the dough seems too dry, more water can be added.
Once all the ingredients are combined, the dough must be kneaded for five to ten minutes. After kneading, the dough may rest for up to twenty minutes after which it should be used or stored in an airtight container. Prepared dough can be rolled, shaped, and stamped as desired.
Once shaped, the dough must be dried following to one of two methods. Salt dough creations can be air dried or dried in a 200*F oven. The length of drying time will vary depending on the thickness of the finished creation. If drying in the oven, watch for darkening of the dough and cover with foil if necessary to finish drying. When salt dough creations are completely dry, they can be painted with acrylic paints and sealed with polyurethane.
Salt dough is a craft medium that is easy to work with and inexpensive to make. If stored carefully, the resulting salt dough creations will last to be enjoyed for many years to come.