Salt Dough Keepsakes

The Imagination Tree suggested their absolutely cute Salt Dough Footprint Keepsakefor a quick and cost effective Father’s Day present!

Intrigued by the allure of a personal and thrifty gift, the girls of The Crafty Collaborative rolled up their sleeves and dove in!

 

Please click here to visit The Imagination Tree and the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Mandy

Mission:  Bond with my nephews and make a cute (and cheap) keepsake that they can give to mom, dad, grandma and grandpa!

 

Details:

  • I followed the recipe as written except for being strict on the time. Well, actually used Kosher salt as that’s what I had available. 

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I used more water than the recipe called for so make sure you plan accordingly.

Mine didn’t look as smooth as the photos in the original recipe did. Maybe it was the Kosher salt?? It is a bit grittier than normal table salt.

Pros:

Easy and kid-friendly! Plus, when I put my pup’s (Ruthie) paw in it, she totally didn’t mind as I think it tasted good to her when she got to lick it.

Cons:

Takes awhile to cook. Make sure you are not in a rush and can be at home while it’s cooking. Also, don’t forget about it like I did.

With such a long cooking time, I totally spaced on watching the time! Whoops.

Conclusion:

When I finally remembered to take the creations out (which I still think ended up being around 3 hours later), they cooked up just fine and didn’t burn at all. They could have maybe even gone longer as the centers were still a little moist. Definitely will make these again with my nephews for fun, affordable gifts for the fam!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission:  To create a keepsake of my children’s footprints with salt dough.

 

Details:

  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Darling kiddos!
  • Acrylic paint

Tips & Tricks Learned:

You have to push the kids hand or foot into the salt dough a bit firmer than you may think to make a good impression of their print.

Pros:

SUPER easy to do and we had all of the materials on-hand.

Awesome keepsake for yourself or a gift for a loved one. 🙂

Cons:

My kids are a bit young to really understand the acrylic painting technique – but it all turned out great.

This project is somewhat time consuming – due to the bake time and then paint and dry time. We did the project over the course of two days.

Conclusion:

The kids and I had a great time making the salt dough forms – they turned out really cute too!

This is a sweet family project that you can cherish for years to come – and you could even do this as a yearly project. It would be a great project to do as a new mom with your infant as a keepsake of those cute tiny hands and feet 🙂

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Amanda

Mission: To turn dough into art! I am creating shapes for my kids to paint on a rainy day.

 
 

Details:

  • I went into this craft knowing there would be some things I would change and may do differently.
  • I decided that I would use my KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer
    instead of doing the work manually. At first this seemed like a great idea but then I could tell that no amount of mixing, adding flour and water was going to make it smooth. So I opted to take the dough out of the bowl and knead it like bread dough. This was the trick!
  • I lightly floured the counter and kneaded for about a minute and then used the roller to make it smooth and about 1/4 inch thick so I could cut out shapes.
  • I used small cookie cutter in various shapes. 3 of each to keep it fair with my kids of course!
  • I also used Kosher salt since the recipe didn’t call for specifics. I wonder if that may make a slight difference in texture.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Hand kneading is key and adding just a little water and just a little flour at a time is best. I only ended up adding about 1 tablespoon of water and about 2 tablespoons of flour to get the desired texture.

Pros:

This recipe requires cheap ingredients in small amounts so it is extremely economical and fairly readily available if you need a rainy day project.

Cons:

It is clear that you need to perfect the amounts and your kneading technique to make this a “quick” project.

Plus the amount of time it has to bake might make the waiting unbearable for little ones.

Conclusion:

I still think this will be a fun project to surprise my kids with and I KNOW they will love decorating them. I even cut out some small shapes that we could add magnets to.

I will definitely try this again but may try heating the water and salt together to make the dough smoother. Much like you would with a playdough recipe.

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Maren

Mission: The second I saw this project there was just one thing was one my mind.  Pawprints!  I couldn’t wait to stick my pup’s paw in some dough!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I don’t think that there really is an exact recipe to make this stuff.  Having said that, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to make it work.  You just have to wing it.  I tried to keep track, but in the end, I have no idea how much salt, water or flour was in the bowl.  I did use warmer water though, in hopes that it would help the salt dissolve.

After over-thinking everything, I finally just approached the dough as if I were making cookies.  I floured my work surface, and rolled the dough out to an even thickness.

Make sure that you wipe your pups paw off after pressing into the dough.  I think that Rosie’s paw was like a mini salt-lick in the end.

My paw print ornaments were not more than 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick, however they felt moist and soft in the center of the underside after baking for 3 hours.  I decided to bake for another hour, and then leave in the oven overnight.  The following morning they still felt damp on the underside’s center (I wonder if it’s because I used parchment paper?).  Since the top part was totally dried out, I flipped them upside down and baked them for another hour at 200 degrees.  Wa-lah!  Perfect!

When they were done baking, the ornaments looked like they were a little grainy, but they were totally smooth to the touch.

Upon painting my little paw prints, I noticed the dough sucking the paint into tiny air holes, the surface was pretty porous in some areas.  Lightbulb!  A porous surface should be sealed first with gesso!  After this brilliant idea, and after trying one with and one without… it was determined that they looked almost exactly the same in the end.  Damn it.

In terms of these bad boys being kid-friendly – it should be noted that I dropped one of mine [unpainted] onto the granite countertop from about 2 feet above, and another one [painted] from my hands onto the wood floor and neither one of them broke.  Yay!

Pros:

Totally easy.  Super cute!

My doggie was a good sport.  We were both happy about this being a pet-safe activity.

Cons:

There was a lot of guesswork in the bake time, but since it was such a low heat – it wasn’t a scary thing.

Conclusion:

This was an easy, fun project!  I am happy with how my puppy keepsake turned out, too!  I am already thinking of other things that I can make with this quick and easy dough!  I think that I might have to steal my nephew’s hand or foot to make a keepsake like The Imagination Tree’s!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Sheri

Mission: Okay here’s that word that I’m not too comfortable with… “Dough.”

Dough needs the right flour to water ratio to work right. Dough gets sticky. You add more flour and then dough get crumbly. I often have a problem with dough. This project should be interesting…especially seeing the boys will be helping me.

Details:

  • After reading the instructions I was a little more at ease. 1 cup salt, 1 cup of flour, and half a cup of water. Easy. I let the boys help. They were super excited.
  • You simply combine the three ingredients and form a ball of dough.
  • The boys flattened their dough and of course wanted to make dinosaurs instead of handprint keepsakes.
  • We put them in the oven at 200°F for two and a half hours.
  • Logan decided to get creative and make a dinosaur egg fossil. Seeing he put plastic bones in it we couldn’t put it in the oven. I think it’s going to take weeks to dry.
  • The following day, they painted.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I found that the dough was a little too sticky. The predicament I hate to be in.  I added a quarter cup of flour and the consistency was much better.

Also, don’t use your kids tempera paints…you really should use acrylic.

Pros:

First and foremost the kids had fun. Clean-up was easy. Only 3 ingredients!

Cons:

Kids asking if they’re ready yet 50 times over a span of 2.5 hours.

Conclusion:

I have to admit it was a really easy dough to make. They boys had fun. Big bonus was that the clean-up was easy. I’m already thinking of things we can make with the stuff as gifts.

 

Adorable shot of the Salt Dough Footprint Keepsakes taken by The Imagination Tree


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