Dough Art Instructions

My general dough art instructions will help you create beautiful salt dough projects even if you've never crafted anything before.


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Dough Art General Instructions

Instructions for dough art projects vary from artist to artist, however, the following informaiton covers everything you need to know in order to begin this exciting, yet inexpensive craft.  While the terms "dough art" and "dough art sculpting" sound as if one is in for a laborious time of learning an art form that could take months or even years to learn, the beauty of salt dough creations is that no matter how your project turns out, it's always a piece of art!

And with the following dough art instructions you'll see how easy it is to make beautiful gifts that last a lifetime without having to go out and buy expensive tools and supplies.  You can begin right now with what you have in your kitchen, garage or craft room.   For a list of the supplies needed, use our supply list before getting started.

General Dough Art Instructions:

1.  Place all of your projects that you will be baking in the oven on a foil-lined baking sheet.  If you will be air-drying only, lay your projects on wax paper only.  Do not use any products such as oil, butter or non-stick sprays. 

2.  Before shaping your dough, roll it into a smooth ball to get out all the cracks.  Use a few drops of warm water to moisten if your dough should dry out.  Knead the water into the dough thoroughly. 

Carefully work each piece, according to it's step-by-step instruction, onto your foil or wax paper work surface.

3.  Acrylic paint was used to color the dough for the projects shown that were made from the Salt Dough and the Bread Dough Clay.  You may wish to use other types of coloring that works best for you.

For best results, knead the paint into your dough before sculpting to create a smoother texture and overall even color.  This will also limit the amount of painting you will have to do once your projects are hard. 

A good tip for painting your projects when hard, is to cover your project surface with a light coat or two of matte varnish.  Let dry thoroughly and then paint.  This will help you avoid ruining your project surface.

4.  Fuse all pieces of your projects together by brushing a little water onto each surface to be joined with your flat sable brush and press both together gently.

5.  For painting eyes and other features onto your projects, use the thin line brush and black.  Should you wish to paint larger areas, use the flat sable brush.

6.  Place wax paper over the patterns given before you place your dough onto them to keep it from sticking.

7.  If your finished project surface appears a little rough, use a small piece of fine grained sanding paper to smooth.   Fill in any cracked areas with matching soft dough.  Let harden and sand for a smooth surface.  

8.  Use polyurethane matte or gloss varnish to give your finished projects a smooth ceramic finish and to protect them.  I use the Fimo Lac Gloss and Matt varnishes to protect my work and to keep the colors bright.

9.  When using cutters, you will need evenly rolled dough.  To achieve this, use two strips of wood as supports for your dough roller or rolling pin.

You will need a set of wood strips for each thickness of clay that you use for your projects.  So if you are going to roll our clay 1/4" thick, you will need to need a set of 1/4" thick wood or plastic strips.

Roll your dough into a smooth ball and press with the palm of your hand over waxed paper.  Flatten ball to about 1/2" think.  Place a strip of wood on each side of the dough and then firmly roll your dough roller back and forth until the roller is evenly touching the wood strips. 

10.  When cutting into your dough with cutters, press cutter firmly into dough until dough around outside area of cutter is severed completely. 

Withdraw cutter gently.  Smooth all edges if necessary. 

11.  If you wish to use a sharp knife or scissors to cut out thinly rolled projects instead of using cutters, you will need to create a template.  To make a template:

  • Use tracing paper to trace a pattern from the book, photo, etc., with a pencil.
  • Transfer your pattern from the tracing paper to a piece of cardboard by cutting out the pattern from the tracing paper and outline the pattern onto the cardboard.
  • Cut out the pattern from the cardboard by cutting around the outline of the pattern transferred to the cardboard with tracing paper to create your template. 
12.  Use a narrow plastic straw or a 3/16" pattern cutter tool to punch holes into top center of your projects to enable you to thread ribbon or string through it for hanging.  

All other dough art instructions are given with projects.

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Look Through Your Kitchen and House For What You Need

1.  Tacky white glue (Elmer's or Aleene's) and quick drying glue
2.  Tin baking pan (such as a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan), tin foil and wax paper.  Continue...

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