Christmas Decor Seasonal Decor

Salt Dough 3D Trees

Today is a great day for all of you who love Christmas and love DIYs! I have teamed up with some awesome fellow bloggers to share some of our recent Christmas DIYs. Be sure to check them all out at the bottom of this post!

Salt dough is not just for the kiddos! I have been on a mission to fill my bookshelves with DIY decorative trees. This week, I wanted to try my hand at creating salt dough 3D trees! 

(You can check out my other trees that I’ve made so far here.)

My main inspo was these Pottery Barn terracotta trees:

To start, I created my stencils. I took some basic copy paper and folded it in half. I drew half of a tree on one side before cutting it out.

Each tree I made would use two stencils. One would have a cut out on the top and one would have one on the bottom. Here is what that looked like:

It may not look like it, but each slit went halfway through the tree. When making them, I folded the tree top down to the bottom to mark halfway. Next, I traced a 1/4” dowel as my guide. Ideally, you’ll want the width of the slit to be the same as the height of your dough.

Next, I made a batch of a super basic salt dough recipe:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of water

This was enough to make one larger (11”) and one smaller tree (8”). Double the batch of you’d like more. I honestly thought it’d make more out of one batch.

I started by mixing my dry ingredient in my stand mixer then slowly added the water. I used the whole cup, but you may not need to so add it slowly.

Once I had my dough, I layered wax paper on top of a cutting board and floured it. Make sure you’re generous with your flour. I was not on my first tree and it was way harder to transfer. 

To roll the dough, I floured the top and placed another piece of wax paper on top before I rolled it out. Keep in mind the width of your slits you are going to cut- you want the height of your dough to be as close as you can.

Once I had it rolled out, I laid my stencil on top. I used a mix of a pizza cutter and a sharp knife to cut out my shape. I peeled away the excess dough and set it aside. To transfer it to the cook sheet, I found it easiest to lay a sheet of parchment paper on top and flip the tree while it was sandwiched between the parchment paper and wax paper. I could then lay the tree parchment paper side down on a cookie sheet.

I baked for a few hours at 250 degrees. I would start at 2 hours, and continue to check if they are not fully dried out by then. It took a little longer than 2 hours for me. Flipping halfway through wild also help speed up the process. 

Once they were dried and cooled, they were ready to paint! Well, almost. One of them was a little too thin and there were stress cracks along the top near the slit. To help strengthen it, I applied and spread out a little hot glue. It worked like a charm!

Once that dried, everything was truly ready for paint. I just used some colors I had around. I did a creamy white for the overall color and used dark grey for the speckles.

To create the speckles, I used a chippy brush and barely dipped it in the paint. I used my finger to flick the paint all over.

Once the paint was dry, I covered it with mod podge. Sealing your salt dough is essential to preserve it. It can be done with either modge or a spray sealer.

Once everything was dry, I was able to assemble! I’m pretty happy with how it turned out! They are certainly a bit more rustic than the Inso, but I like the overall look of these salt dough 3D trees.

Check out these other amazing Christmas DIYS:

  • Pam at Junktales shares how to create your own wooden stockings
  • Tracy from Tracy’s Haven shares how to make a darling, retro-inspired tree out of colored light bulbs
  • Jess at A Charming Mess Blog shows how to create a whimsical holiday centerpiece in minutes
  • Michelle at The Glitzy Pear is sharing 6 things to do with RIBBON


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