Salt Dough Beads

Salt dough, my friend, we meet again. Thank you for being the smooth and moldable substance that you are.  And thank you for being so versatile, environmentally friendly and cheap!

You can find the continuation of this ode to, er Case for Salt Dough here.

Here we made sparkly dreams come true.

We have made many things

from salt dough at this point. From Sugar Skulls to Geodes, we've got some fresh salt dough ideas for you! 

One of the more well known salt dough projects is salt dough beads. They are fun and can provide you with a lasting keepsake from your kids or a snazzy necklace to wear out n about with your homegirls.

Shall we begin our Salt Dough Bead journey?

Gather:

For the salt dough:

* 2 cups of flour

*1 cup of warm water

*1 cup of salt

*Bowl

*spoon

For the beads:

*Parchment paper

*Cookie sheet

*Acrylic paint

*Glitter (optional)

*Mod Podge (optional)

*String

*Ribbon (optional)

*Hot glue gun/glue

*Straw or Skewers (or any object to make holes in beads) or large, sharp needle

Create:

1. Prepare salt dough. Add water, flour and salt into a bowl. Mix until combined. Add flour if too wet or water if too dry. You are looking for a playdough-like consistency.

2. Decide what kind of bead you would like to make! There are so many options! We made diamonds, spheres, and discs. Those shapes will provide many necklace options! 

3. Set oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Make the beads. 

4. Use a skewer to place holes in smaller beads or a straw for larger beads like the disc shape.

---The cool thing about salt dough is that it takes an epically long time to fully harden. Now, some see this as a detriment. But the fact is, it's to the advantage of the artist. For instance, once the outside and about 60% or so of the inside is fully hard, you can paint it. It will cure fully over the course of a week(s) or so. But it can be worn and used long before it is fully dry. Another advantage of semi hardened salt dough is the ability to manipulate it. For instance, you can use a large needle to create your holes while the pieces are semi hard versus doing it while wet. Use a sharp needle, and while pushing slowly, create the holes for your beads. Go ahead and thread your needle first and that way you can string your necklace at the same time. Alternately, place the hole in while wet. Salt dough is versatile and forgiving! The time it takes to cure is an advantage!---

*Back to your regularly scheduled tutorial*

5. Cook the salt dough for 3-6 hours. Once the salt dough is (mostly hard) and completely cool, paint it! Have fun. Try lots of colors and techniques. You can splatter paint, dunk the pieces in a bowl of paint, add glitter, or try a mixture of Mod Podge and glitter together! 

6. Let the paint dry and then string your beads onto your desired string. If you have very small holes in your beads, it's best to use a needle to thread them on your string. You can use beading wire here if you want to get more professional about it...but for the purpose of this tutorial, we will use string. We will use ribbon to close the ends. You can just tie the ends of the string too. The ribbon ends simply adds #flair (and a bit of structural reinforcements on the ends.)

- Now for the ends-

Cut one end of your ribbon into a V. Split the other end. Apply a small amount of hot glue above the split. Place string into the glue above the split. Fold over each side of the split ribbon toward the middle of the ribbon to secure the string. The ends of the ribbon will create the tie for your neck.

Pro tip: use a thicker woven ribbon so the glue does not show through. Like this type.

Now, it's time to STRUT.

What do you think?