Salt Dough

Salt dough is a must for making basic sculptures. It can be used as an all-natural play dough and self-hardening clay alternative that can keep in the fridge for months. Your finished salt dough sculptures can be air-dried or oven-dried to set.
Salt dough

Materials

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine salt
  • ½ to ¾ cup water
  • Spoons or spatulas
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing container
  • 1 to 2 tbsp wall paper paste (optional)
  • Food coloring or tempera paint (optional)

Steps

Step 1 Salt Dough 1. In a basin, mix two cups flour and 1 cup salt.
Step 2 Salt Dough 2. The amount of water needed ranges between ½ to ¾ cup. I usually start out with ½ cup and add a bit more in the next step.
Step 3 Salt Dough 3. Mix and knead, adding a bit more water if the dough is too tough or dry. The resulting dough should be firm but still workable.

For extra cohesiveness, you may add 1 to 2 tablespoons of wall paper paste to your dough.
Step 4 Salt Dough 4. If you want a colored dough, add in several drops of food coloring or poster paint. For an all-natural colored dough, you can use food ingredients like coffee, curry, or annatto as colorants. Continue kneading until dough is uniformly colored.

Storage

  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap. For long storage, place wrapped dough inside ziplock bag and place inside the fridge. Remember to label it properly.
  • Salt dough keeps for a long time if wrapped and stored properly. However, you may need to add a bit of water or flour/salt on next use. If dough becomes too sticky, add some flour and salt. If it becomes too dry, add a bit of water.

Drying Salt Dough

After moulding salt dough into the desired shape, you can either let the salt dough pieces air dry or bake them in the oven.

  • AIR DRYING - This is suitable for thin or small salt dough pieces. Place in a warm, dry place and allow to air dry for 2-7 days. Drying time will depend on the size and thickness of the pieces. Flip the salt dough pieces from time to time to allow even drying.
  • BAKING - Bake uncolored salt dough figures in a conventional oven at 200 F (93 C). The drying time depends on the thickness and size of the pieces. It can be as short as 10 minutes for small and flat pieces to several hours for bigger, thicker ones. To avoid browning, check on the pieces from time to time. You can also cover them loosely with aluminum foil. Once done baking, allow the pieces to cool completely. Paint with tempera or acrylic paint.

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