Homemade Salt Dough Decorations (inc Tutorial)

I wanted to have a go at these last year but time ran away with me! It's such a traditional craft that puts me in mind of the autumn harvest festivals at church when I was little. But I think salt dough lends itself to all sorts of things. (Loads more info here) It's kind of like a store cupboard Fimo!

For the Salt Dough You'll Need: 2 cups of Plain Flour, 1 cup of Table Salt, 1 cup Water (cool but not cold). Mixing bowl, rolling pin, cookie cutters,  palette knife, baking tray, greaseproof paper, cooling rack.
You can mix up any amount of dough you like as long as you stick to this ratio. 2 parts flour to 1 part each of salt and water.

Method: Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in a little of the water and mix. Keep adding the water a little at a time, (You may not need all of the water) & mix until it starts to form a dough. Then squeeze, knead & roll in your hands until it's a smooth, pliable ball of dough.

Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll out the dough to about 50mm thickness. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters, or freehand if you're a bit more skilled than I am. I left the surface of my shapes plain as I'm going to paint them. But I guess at this stage you could carefully etch patterns or designs into the surface.

Carefully lift your shapes, using a palette knife, onto a baking sheet covered in greaseproof paper. (A couple of my stars got stuck because I didn't flour my work surface properly). Punch out holes for hanging ribbons. (I used a sturdy drinking straw for this)

Bake in the oven for an hour on a low heat (say 60C) turning them over half way through. Then turn them out onto a wire rack and leave until completely cool.  Leave for another 24 hrs before painting or varnishing, which hopefully we shall be doing this weekend....