Keeping the kids occupied with crafts and activities can often be an expensive process, so having a few budget-friendly options in mind is essential. If you’ve never made salt dough you’re definitely missing out! Here’s our recipe to make salt dough for quick, easy and fun crafts with kids – let their imagination run wild!
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Salt dough is the most versatile activity – whip up a batch and watch your kids transform it into anything from trinkets and keepsakes to gifts and Christmas ornaments. Once baked and cooled, the dough is ready to paint and keep.
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Salt Dough Recipe
To make your own batch of homemade salt dough, all you need are three ingredients that you’re sure to have at home:
- 250g flour
- 125g table salt
- 125-150ml water (approx)
Mix together the flour and salt, then gradually add enough water to create a dough consistency.
Sprinkle a little flour on your counter and tip out the dough. Knead the dough with your hands until there is no longer any trace of flour and the dough is pliable.
Your salt dough is now ready to create with – roll it out, cut, shape and get creative! Simple is usually better as it has more chance of staying together before you bake it. Also, the thicker the dough is, the longer it will take to harden.
When ready, put the salt dough creations on a lined baking sheet and into an oven preheated to 140C/280F to dry out. The length of time will depend on the thickness and size of the dough, so give it about three hours and then check to see if it needs more time.
That’s it – it’s that simple!
Any unused dough can be kept in an airtight container for a few days until your next crafting session.
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Scented Salt Dough
Ready to try something a little different? Add a subtle scent to your dough that will remain even after baking. This is particularly fun with things like Christmas decorations, using spices like cinnamon, clove and ginger to create a warming, seasonal scent.
To make scented salt dough, add 3-5 tsp of dried spices to the classic dough recipe above (depending on the strength of scent you prefer). You could also mix and match to find your favourite combination.
If you’re looking for more ideas, you could try pumpkin spice, lemon, orange, ginger, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, mixed spice, coffee, peppermint or vanilla. Your house will smell AMAZING!
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Painting and Decorating Your Salt Dough
Once the dough has dried out and hardened, leave it to cool completely before painting. At this point, you could store the dried salt dough for another day’s crafting, particularly with young children who will inevitably have moved on and lost interest while the dough was baking.
When it comes to painting the dough, the best option is to use acrylic paints. For items that you will want to keep (e.g. Christmas decorations) or that will be used regularly (e.g. a trinket box) it is also be a good idea to apply a layer of varnish or white PVA glue to seal the paint (you can buy this in any craft store). Sealing the dough will help it to last, otherwise it can soften over time.
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