projects,  salt dough,  wasting time

Salt Dough Baby!

I’ve been wanting to do this post for a while and now have a few moments of time. Actually I started back in May with this project and now as I let my four month old oversleep by two hours (yikes!! I hope he sleeps through the night tonight!) I’ve finally finished it – YEAH!

Ever want to capture your baby’s feet and hand prints for a quick prezzy for family? Say for the Grandparent’s Day you forgot about? :0) Or if you’re like me and want to do a project without leaving the house to do it, that’s where salt dough comes in. No doubt, the ingredients are already in your kitchen.

The following is a basic salt dough recipe (Note: I got a ton of ideas from Pinterest before starting but used this Christmas decoration recipe from The Carolina Farmhouse Kitchen Blog as my base):

Salt Dough

2 C. Flour
1 C. Water
1 C. Salt (smaller the granules the better) 

Finishing Supplies
(Note: I found all of this at my local craft store, save for the final glaze)

Acrylic paint (I used Artist’s Loft Silver and Titanium White)
Sealant (Under coat: Grumbacher Final Fixative in gloss; Final coat: Americana Triple Thick Glaze)
Ribbon
Brushes or stiff painting sponges

Preheat the oven to 175-200 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together then turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and kneed. Kneed dough until it becomes slightly stretchy/elastic. Then roll out to about a little over 1/4″ thickness. Using a circular cutter (I used the lid to a juice pitcher. You can also use the lid to an ice cream container) cut out the dough and set on waxed paper. A very thin spatula helps with this part.

Mix then roll out dough to desired thickness. I used 1/4″ as a guide.

Cut dough into desired shape. I used the lid of a juice container. You can also use an ice cream container’s lid.

Using a thin spatula move the dough to waxed paper in prep for impression. Warning: DON’T EAT THE DOUGH! It’s gross.

 Then, make your impressions. Doing this with a two month old by myself was difficult, I’d highly suggest another set of hands to hold the baby aloft while you press the feet and hands in. Once you’ve made the impressions use a straw and cut out ribbon holes at the tops of your medallions. Then transfer – carefully! – the impressions to a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12-15 hours. The long baking time is to prevent cracking, puffing and curling of the dough.

After impressions and adding the ribbon holes bake for 12-15 hours.

My lil’ squirt, tired from all the impression making. :0)

Once dry, remove and let cool. I planned on sending a set of impressions to family back home on Maui so it was important to seal the dough thoroughly. Hawai’i is extremely humid and I know from experience that roaches and small insects LOVE rehydrated salt dough. So, a double spray down of the sealant was in order. I applied two coats of paint to all of them and let them dry in the sun. Then on one I got a little fancy and using the cap of the acrylic paint made circles and painted them silver. Once dry, then apply the glaze nice and thick. If you’re not sending your art to a humid place this final step can be omitted, but they gloss up nice with it though. :0) Finally, I wrote his name, age and date on each one with a sharpie then tied them up with string.

First layer of sealant, front and backs.

Craft area with all the supplies. Be sure to have water for brushes and helpful painting pugs under the table.

Painting first coat, front and back.

Let dry.

Add some creative foolishness to your medallions for spice. ;0) I did dots with the paint cap.
Paint some more…

After final coat of glaze (optional) add the deets.

Add ribbon and hang…

Whallah!

Enjoy!

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