2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour (do not use self-rising flour)
1 cup of salt
1 cup of water
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar (optional: cream of tartar makes dough more flexible)
1 tablespoon of oil (vegetable or mineral is fine; optional: oil makes the dough easier to knead)
Mix ingredients well, kneading the dough for 10 minutes. If the mixture is too sticky, add flour. If too dry add a bit of water. Please note that the dough should be stiff (not runny or soft; otherwise air bubbles will form during baking). Roll out dough on flat, smooth surface and form desired shape about 1/2 inch thick. *Hint* You can use a shallow bowl to shape into a circle. Once desired shape achieved, place on a foil-lined baking sheet.Press child’s clean foot or hand into dough. Press hard enough to make a deep impression without going through to the bottom of the dough. *Hint* If child bears weight on legs, have child bear weight on one leg in dough for a good impression.
Place dough foot/hand impression into 200F oven for 3 hours (check on to ensure it doesn’t burn; turn around half-way through baking). If dough is not completely dry, set out to air dry. Please note that you do not have to use the oven and can have your salt dough air dry over several days.
You can customize the design many ways:
Use straws to make symmetrical holes for hanging
Pre-color dough by adding food coloring to water
Paint after dough is fully dried (a nice toddler/pre-schooler art activity)
Write child’s name and date with a sharpie or paint after baking process
The footprint/handprint plaque can be displayed in different ways: hang on nursery wall, set inside deep/shadowbox frame, or as a decorative plaque for everyone in the family to enjoy.
Depending on how much dough is used for each plaque, this recipe can make at least two plaques if not more.