Make a beautiful baby keepsake from salt dough to give as a special gift to family or hang on the wall!
Baby Bean is now 9 weeks old and I have been very keen to take an imprint of her hand and foot before she gets another centimetre bigger!
Following on from the success of the salt dough handprints and footprints we have made with the older girls in the past, I wanted to make another little plaque to hang on the wall, this time using an impression of one hand and one foot.
Salt dough is super easy and cheap to make and lasts for a very long time once cooked. The perfect modelling material!
How to make salt dough:
- 1 cup plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 cup salt
- Up to 3/4 cup water
- 1 well-fed, happy and rested baby! (being cute and adorable are optional extras)
Simply combine the salt and flour, then add the water gradually until it forms a dough. Knead it well for a good few minutes until it combines and the stickiness disappears. If it remains sticky add a little more flour, a tablespoon at a time. If it’s a little dry and won’t form a dough, add more water just a teaspoon at a time.
Here’s what our finished dough looks like.
Next we rolled it with a rolling pin until it was about 1-2 cm thick. It’s important not to make it too thick as it won’t cook evenly and may retain doughy patches even after hours in the oven.
I formed it into a very basic plaque type shape. You could use the base of a tupperware pot, the inside of a plate or a giant cutter to mould the shape- anything will do!
The next part was the most challenging of all to do alone, but with two people it is much easier! Gently press baby’s foot into the dough on one side, making sure to firmly press the toes so that they make a deep impression. I love how the little creases show up so clearly! ADORABLE.
Repeat with the hand on the other side of the plaque. With little babies this is tricky because they like to keep their fists curled up so tightly! Little Bean was, thankfully, very obliging and happy as we did this.
If you intend to hang it on the wall you need to make two holes using a straw, one on either side. You can thread through some raffia or ribbon once it has hardened and use it to hang it with. (No photo of this, sorry!)
As soon as it is made, transfer it to some baking paper and put it on a baking tray in the oven. In the oven it needs to dry out rather than cook, so the oven needs to be on very low (around 100 C or roughly 200 F.)
Leave them in the oven for 2-3 hours and turn once during the drying out process. If they are still doughy after 3 hours, turn off the oven and leave them in there for another 2 hours to let them harden.
Once they are cool they can be painted. We painted ours with a couple of layers of ordinary, white ready-mix paint, although acrylics looks really effective too!
Then I threaded some pink velvet ribbon through the holes and knotted it at the back. Now it is hanging on the wall in our living room, with baby’s name and the date on the back.
Another little keepsake to add to our growing collection!