If you think salt dough is just kid’s stuff you’re missing out on craft medium that costs just pennies per project. This Puppy Love pendant made from salt dough is a great gift for yourself or for any proud “dog mom.” Without the cording the pendants would make adorable charms for your dog’s collar or embellishments for any kind of pet-related gift.
What you needSalt Dough
Round cookie cutter
Silver, gold and clear spray paint
Black acrylic paint
Recipe for Salt Dough (enough to make at least 5 pendants)
½ cup salt
1 cup flour
½ cup water
One of the great things about working with salt dough is the varieties of textures and finishes you can achieve with nothing but flour, salt and water. For these pendants I wanted something of a “dog biscuit” effect, and after a little experimentation found that whole wheat flour and coarse kosher salt created just the right texture. When painted with metallic paint the finished pendant looks very much like a dog biscuit covered in precious-metal foil. If you prefer a smoother finish use sifted white flour and fine table salt to make your dough.
Pour the ingredients in a bowl and stir until they are well mixed. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface until it feels springy and all the dry ingredients are incorporated. If the dough remains crumbly add more water 1 tablespoon at a time. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap until ready for use.
Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until approximately ¼ inch thick. Use cookie cutters or assorted round lids (lids from a spice jar work perfectly) to cut 5 circles that are approximately 1 ½ inches in diameter and 5 that are slightly smaller, about 1 inch in diameter.
Shape the smaller circles into hearts. First, make a ¼ inch vertical slice in the top-center of the circle, then cut a small wedge from each side of the circle. Spread the cut section apart to create the two lobes of a heart and shape the sides and point of the heart with your fingers.
Use a straw to punch a hole in the top of the large circles and in one lobe of the heart.
Place the shapes on an oiled cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees for approximately 3 hours or until they look very white and feel hard to the touch. Cool the shapes to handle them safely.
Lightly sand the shapes with fine-grit sandpaper, paying special attention to the edges.
Spray paint the large circles with silver and the hearts with gold. Allow the first coat to dry thoroughly and apply a second layer, making sure you get the edges painted well.
When the paint is completely dry use a small round paintbrush and black acrylic paint to paint a dog’s paw on the round disc. Simply paint an upside-down heart at the bottom of the pendant (the end opposite from the hole) and add four small ovals at the top. Practice on a piece of paper before painting directly on your pendant. Allow the black paint to dry thoroughly and paint all the pieces with a finish coat of clear acrylic spray paint. The clear coat not only seals the salt dough but gives the paw print an attractive “imperfect” effect. Allow the paint to dry completely, approximately 2 hours.
With a 9/64-size bit, drill a second hole near the bottom of both the round and heart-shaped pendants, keeping it in direct line with the top hole.
Cut 40 inches of leather cording and fold it in half. Thread the U-shaped end through the front- top of a heart pendant and out of the bottom hole. Connect the heart to the circle by threading the cord through the front-top of the circle and out of the bottom hole. Tie a knot in the end of the cord and trim away the ends. Adjust the cording length to your preference and knot the two loose ends or use crimp beads and closures if you prefer.