Sunday, 16 June 2013

Salt Dough Handprints

Last year was Mr B's first Father's Day. Small and I made a lovely card with lots of photos, but although it was a very special day we didn't get up to too much. Small was under 1 month old and we were all sleep deprived and very new to being parents!
This year I fancied the idea of making something special. We had brought a hand print mold kit ages ago, but we've been too scared to do it! She's such a wriggle bum I just know it'd be near impossible to get her to hold still for the 30 seconds required. That's why salt dough appealed - it's not as detailed but if it goes wrong you can just kneed the dough a little and start again.
Despite this supposedly being an 'easy' craft and me being quite crafty I have to admit to messing it up a few times. Not on making the dough, but getting the thickness right to get a deep enough hand print without making it so thick it won't dry.

1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup fine salt
1/2 cup water

First mix your dry ingredients together, then slowly add the water until you form a nice ball of dough. You'll need to kneed it for about 5 minutes to get a nice smooth texture, if you have them I found it's best to use non stick silicone sheets for this rather than flouring a surface as on my first couple of tries I ended up with flour on the surface of it once dry.
I separated the dough into two and roughly rolled out to about 1/2 inch thick. After a few tries I got nice clear hand prints,  then used a straw to cut a hole for hanging.

I used my dehydrator to dry the dough. It took about 12 hours at about 67c (the highest setting) and I turned them over about halfway through. You can also dry these in an oven set between 50c and 100c for about four hours. Make sure you use baking paper or silicone sheet underneath your dough so it doesn't stick!

Once dry you can paint it however you like (acrylic paints work best) and to really make it last you can use a coat of spray varnish.

The same method can also be used to create lovely footprints, decorations and models.

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