These Xmas Salt Dough craft items can be used to decorate any part of the
house, although I like to hang them around my kitchen.
As explained on the previous page the baked items need to be painted and
varnished. Therefore, I think that it is best to leave Salt Dough for at least a day in a centrally heated home or in a dry airing cupboard before painting to ensure items are quite hard. Then paint with watercolours, gouache
paints, emulsion paints, poster paints or acrylic paints. I used Wilkinson's children's poster paints in 6 colours for £1.99. (For fruit wreaths, I suggest using watercolours to get beautiful variations and
a build up of tones on apples, pears and plums etc. You can see
some colour guidance for these items in the
Marzipan Fruits section.)
After drying the Salt Dough items, varnish the models with either wood varnish or yacht varnish. Water based varnishes are not as good, as you are trying to keep moisture
out of the baked item. Spray varnish is also costly and not as effective as two or three coats of wood varnish. However, spray varnish is rapid and will go into awkward places. To my mind, Salt Dough craft
looks far better with a glossy or silk varnish finish than a matt finish.
These three items were all painted in rotation together. Wait until each piece is touch dry before adding the next colour. By
painting several pieces together, by the time one item is painted another item will be touch dry. You will probably be horrified when I tell you it took me almost 3 hours to paint these items below. I just
did not have time at this stage to paint the Wilson cookie Salt Doughcraft items on the
previous page. They would need
very careful intricate painting.
With a medium brush, paint the background layer
of each wreath first. I mixed a primary yellow with a touch of
primary red to get the egg yolk colour. Once the first
layer of yellow base was down, I added a touch more red to the
yellow and worked some slightly deeper paint shadows into the
places where the shadows would fall. This gives the
appearance of the plait more depth of interest.
Allow the items to touch dry to avoid smudges of
Next, I used a small fine narrow sable brush to paint the holly leaves. Paint the leaves a rich green. But whilst the paint is still wet, mix some yellow with green to add
variegated areas along the veins. This helps add detail that is more interesting. The enlargements will show more colour detail.
You could also use a synthetic Daler brush.
Finally, I painted the holly berries a rich
bright primary red. Then I mixed a little black into the red to
create a subtler shade of red to dab onto parts of berries to
get a more subtle colour variation.
All the thumbnails enlarge
When you finish painting the dough, touch up your
errors with the correct colour paint. Allow the fully painted
items to dry overnight or for 8 hours in a warm dry place. Be sure they are fully dry. You could put them in your oven
for a short time if you like. Just make sure all moisture
is dried out
as the dough can develop mould if it is damp and the damp can be
sealed in by the varnish. After that, varnish the items using
yacht or wood varnish.
Paint the tree with a mid to dark green colour. If you
make it too dark it will look black when varnished, so keep the
colour fairly bright. Emerald green will seem quite dark
once coated with varnish. Allow the base green coat to become touch
Next paint the tub area red. You will probably
need to paint the tub twice to get a good red. Paint the
garlands any colours you like and leave to get touch dry. Paint
the bow and star yellow.
Trim the scallop of the
edges with a little freehand painting with some white paint.
Next, add some gold lacquer paint to the bow, the star and above the
garlands. Now leave to dry thoroughly, then apply varnish.
Add the pearls, sequins, seed beads or dragees when the varnish is tacky.
Make A Hanger
In all Salt Doughcraft pieces, insert a colour coordinated
ribbon or gold ribbon through the holes you made during
After Christmas always store the painted salt dough items in
a dry place. I think tissue paper will help protect them.
I don't recommend a far corner of the garage or
the loft as I once left some there all year with disastrous
results. When we checked the box not only were some
circular items different shapes and quite distorted, but some
had mouldy patches. It was our own fault as of course our
storage loft is unheated. Now I store them in my dining
room which is dry and airy.
Note the Xmas tree is about 9 inches high and
the large holly wreath is about 9 inches across.
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