I’ve been making fun things out of salt dough since I was a kid. It’s one of the least expensive hobbies around, what you make is entirely up to you, and I love how it absolutely puts me in my “Zen Zone”.
The photo above shows some of my latest pieces: a cute little ladybug, a leaf (both of which I’m going to hot-glue onto magnets so I can use them to hold notes up on our fridge), seals for our wedding invitations, and a gold-tipped rosebud (I have no idea how I’m going to use the rosebud, but I ended up with it while watching an episode of ‘Ace Of Cakes’ where they were sculpting flowers out of fondant – artistic osmosis via cable TV!).
The most basic recipe for salt dough is 1 cup of fine salt, 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup water. You mix it all together in a bowl until it forms a ball, and you knead it on a well-floured board or flat surface until it’s smooth and elastic. Your salt dough is now ready to use!
Whatever you can’t use up, simply put plastic wrap around it and store in a cool place and it’ll keep for at least a week or so.
I’ve found that air-drying my sculptures for a few days before I paint and varnish them is best, but since Corey got a dehydrator from his sister a couple Christmases back, I’ve been using it to speed up the process. I’ve also tried brushing them with egg wash and drying them in the oven for a golden brown effect.
Over the years, I’ve played with variations to the basic salt dough recipe (more salt makes for a grainier texture, more flour makes it softer, adding coloring and interesting stuff like coffee powder or glitter to the dough, etc.) so feel free to experiment. It’s part of the fun!