Monday, September 28, 2009

Salt Dough Leaf Prints

I was working with salt dough this weekend and decided to try and make some leaf prints.

Materials Required:

salt dough, recipe to follow
artificial silk leaves
round container to use as cutter
acrylic paint
mod podge for sealer

Salt Dough Recipe

4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 1/2 - 2 cups water
extra flour for kneading

Mix first 3 ingredients together to form a nice soft dough. Knead smooth with extra flour. The more you knead this dough the easier it is to work with.

Keep leftover dough in the fridge.

Make up your salt dough. This recipe will make enough for 8 rounds.

Roll out dough and the using circular container or bowl, (coffee can) cut your rounds.

Pick a leaf for your design. I initially tried this with fresh leaves but they did not leave a good imprint. I think it would have worked with clay.

The silk leaves leave a better impression in the salt dough.

Place where you want it and press the leaf into the dough.

When you lift it off you should have a nice impression.

Place on a parchment or foil covered cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees for about 2 - 3 hours or until hard.

Let cool.

Take some acrylic paint in Autumn colors.

After trial and error I found the best way to paint these is to paint the leaves in different colors first. Let dry.

Then using dark brown paint that you have watered down apply a wash, like an antiquing glaze to the entire surface. The dark color picks up the veining in the leaf and still lets the Autumn color show thru.

Let dry and then apply a coat of glossy Mod Podge as a sealer.

That's it. A good project for all ages.
See you next time,


  1. Fun!! My girls will love this lesson : )

    pink and green mama

    P.S. I already have your dinosaurs filed away for a winter's day project!!

  2. We're making these today. We just did the dough & leaf part - now they're in the oven. Thanks for the great idea. I love fall!

  3. Thanks Gail! My kids need a good hands-on project this week. I might put a hole in the top before baking and hang them up by ribbons. I'll try to remember to take pictures and send them to you when we finish. They LOVED your candy box robots project last fall!

  4. Gail, these are BEAUTIFUL! Would you mind if we re-run this article at as a guest post? We would include your photo (if you like) and a short bio about you and/or your blog, as well as linking to your blog from the post.

    Thanks for thinking about it!

  5. I wish you were my mom or my teacher! You come up with the best crafts. I love these, and if they were made small enough, the could be made into a pendant!

  6. These look lovely. I will have to remember them next Autumn here in Aus. Thank you for sharing
    God Bless

  7. Gail,
    I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now--LOVE your ideas. I homeschool my kids and will probably try this project in the near future. Do you mind if I blog about the project when we do it, and link back to your blog stating where we got the idea?

  8. I am a pre-k teacher and I love your creatvie ideas, I plan to do the paperbag pumpkin, the fall trees, and this salt dough leaf print for my fall feast. That is when we have a covered dish and I invite "anyone who loves a pre-k child" we have over 100 people attend. I work with "at-risk" kids and have huge parent involvment programs so parents learn to like school again. Please view my blog:
    and you will see some of our art....I NEVER use patterns and just today we had an art show ( pictures hung in the hall) with classical music and as the children were picked up they explained to their parents their technique, their medium, and their inspiration. Without art this world would be a sad, sad place!

  9. Wow great comments everyone!
    Cindy: I tried to email you I don't know if you got it but I would be thrilled to be featured.
    Sydni: You are more than welcome to feature this project and I appreciate the link.
    Mrs C: You are very ambitious, sounds great.
    Pink and Green Mamma, Heather, Lindsey, Pam, Terry, and Gae, thanks again for your support.

  10. Thanks for this wonderful craft! We are now doing something I'm calling Artful Thursdays and plan on doing this project. Thanks for the step by step instruction!

  11. Gail,

    I'm already coming back. I love your projects as well as the break down for interest by grades. I'm always on the look-out for art projects we can do in school that are keepers and not just ones we do so we can say we did a craft. I found you through By the Maple Tree. I have already listed this as our art project for school next week. I almost gave away all of the silk flowers my mother-in-law had and now I'm glad we still have them.

  12. Thank you for the salt dough recipe - I want to make leaf impressions this fall with my son. I was thinking of making colored dough, imprinting the leaf, and leaving it at that, but I just love the way the painted ones turned out for you and the brown wash to bring out the veining is brilliant. Thank you!

  13. Love this idea. Can't wait to try it. I have a question. In the "cooling" picture, what are you making in addition to the 3 leaf prints? It looks like a small leaf bowl. How did that turn out?

  14. Hey Angela,
    I was making leaf bowls however they didn't turn out the so great....I'm still fiddling with that one. Thanks for asking.
    School for us, Milk and Honey Mommy, and Nicole thanks for taking the time to comment. I am thrilled you like this project...I hope everything turns out well.

  15. Those are so pretty! Thanks for sharing your talent with us.

    We haven't had much time to be *artistic* lately, this would be fun.

    mama to 7
    one homemade and 6 adopted

  16. This is so cute and so easy. I love them! Such a great blog!


  17. I run a dayhome and this is so awesome! thanks for sharing the recipe!

  18. This is so neat! Thanks for the recipe. We just made some, and they are cooking at the moment, is it okay if I post and link back to you?

  19. I am making these today! And your Turkey #2 project. When I write a blog about this adventure, I will be sure to add links to you! That way people can see what they were SUPPOSED to look like.

  20. Loved this craft! I blogged our fun here:

  21. hey! can i use these for fondant? or it would be toxic? it game me an idea to make my own molds!

  22. Wow! I love this idea! I write for Today's Mama and I'm currently working on a Fall crafting roundup. I wanted to link to this post and ask your permission to use a photo for that post. Let me know!

  23. Hi Gail,
    These are truly beautiful! I teach 3 yr olds and used the dough recipe today to make a molding of their handprints. When I baked it, it puffed up! Did you have a problem with this and if so, what did you do? I will be redoing this craft next week because they didn't turn out quite right. Thank you so much for your help.
    Cindy Schival

    1. Did you use self rising flour? If so try all purpose.

  24. Just stopping by to let you know that I have featured your project on Fun Family Crafts today! You can see it here

    If you have other kid friendly crafts, I'd love it if you would submit them :) If you would like to display a featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above.

  25. Once we make these, will this salt dough hold up outside? I want to use them to decorate our garden area...

  26. Just "bumped" another activity to make these tomorrow. Lovely!

  27. Great idea, and we loved doing these today. I will be linking back to you at my blog tomorrow. - thanks for the inspiration.

  28. Looks supercool! Will try this.

  29. It would really be nice if there was a way of printing out the directions for each craft that you show. I didn't see a way of doing it so wrote it all by hand.

  30. Stopping by from T.G.I.F linky party after seeing these beautiful salt dough creations featured! They came out beautiful!