Salt Dough

Here’s the recipe for old-fashioned salt dough, which is an easy crafting material you can make in your kitchen.

If you’ll be doing some holiday baking and want to keep the kids busy in the kitchen, make a quick batch of salt dough. All you need is flour, water and salt.The kids can make ornaments for the tree, or just mess around with it while you get your baking done. But be warned, you might be tempted to sit down and play with them.

Here’s the recipe:
1 cup salt
1 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour

Stir the salt into the water in a large bowl until it dissolves (just about a minute). Add the flour and stir. When it becomes too stiff, dump it out onto a floured surface and knead it. Keep kneading until the dough is smooth. It should feel soft, but not sticky. Knead in a little more flour if the dough is sticky.

Give the kids a few simple tools like a butter knife, toothpicks, cookie cutters, a garlic press and rolling pin and set them loose.

Store the extra dough in an airtight container or zip-style plastic bag so it doesn’t dry out. It will last in your refrigerator at least a week if stored properly.

Bake finished pieces on a cookie sheet at 200 degrees for an hour or more. Bake them until they are completely dry and hard.

When projects are baked and cooled, you can paint them with acrylic paint. After the paint is dry, it’s a good idea to seal with Mod Podge or an acrylic sealer.

Tips:

– To make thick things (thicker than about an inch), ball up some foil and form the dough around it.

– To stick parts together dip your finger in water and wet the parts that need to stick together. You can also smooth seams with a little water.

– Roll the dough out flat and make cookie-cutter shapes.

– Press dough through a garlic press to make terrific hair or fur.

– For an ornament, cut a U-shape from a paper clip (adult job!) and stick in top of creation to make a hanger. Bake the paper clip with the salt dough.