Salt Dough -vs- Sculpey Clay

Hello!  My name is Valerie and I’m a Craftaholic.  This should not surprise you in the least, but I got the chance to try something new this week.  I have been hearing all about Sculpey Clay everywhere, and I wanted to see what all the buzz was about, so I headed off to Pat Catans and picked up some. This is where the fun begins.

Last year I went wild and made some really adorable ornaments with Salt Dough.  They turned out really nice and I love the ones that I have on our tree, and as well, I made a bunch of them for the family too.  Click HERE for my Salt Dough post & recipe.  But after hearing about Sculpey Clay, I was wondering if I was missing out on something, so I had to get some to try.

SCULPEY CLAYFrom what I can tell you, Sculpey Clay comes in many, many, many colors.  The majority of the clay comes in 2 ounce packages for around $2.99/ea, but they do have larger packages of the clay in a 1 pound size for around $11.00.  I picked up the white Sculpey Clay in white in the 1 pound size, and also chose a yellow, a red, and a pink in the 2 ounce sizes so I could experiment with the colors.

So here goes how you use Sculpey clay…  just cut off a chunk of the clay with a knife and knead it in your hand until it becomes pliable.  Next, get out your rolling pin and roll it out on some wax paper to whatever thickness you want.  For an experiment, I rolled my clay pretty thin as I wanted to see how thin I could make something (ie: to use less clay on an ornament).  I then took one of my round cookie cutters and cut a circle out of the clay.  Then I chose a cute snowman rubber stamp and just stamped it in the piece I just cut out.  It made a really nice impression in the clay and I already liked the results.  Then I just took a small skewer and poked a hole for hanging in the top of the ornament.  (As you can see from the photo below, I even stamped one ornament in ink first, then stamped it on the clay)

SCULPEY CLAY ORNAMENTSYou bake Sculpey Clay at 275 degrees for 15 minutes.  (NO LONGER!) Since this was the first time I was doing this, I watched carefully for the entire 15 minutes to make sure I did not burn the clay.  I think I might have even taken out the pieces a few minutes early and just left the cookie sheet on top of the oven.  The pieces were hard, as the clay baked nicely, but if you do take your pieces out a few minutes early and they are not completely hard, they will harden sitting on top of the warm oven.

SNOWMAN AND HOUSE1The results?  I am so impressed with how the Sculpey Clay ornaments turned out and will definitely be making more.  I am very satisfied with Sculpey Clay and I am sure that I can find more items to make with the clay like a stamped bowl or something creative like that.

GINGERBREAD MAN VSo, if I had to compare the Salt Dough Ornaments with Sculpey Clay, I would choose the Sculpey Clay hands down.  What I noticed that happened with the Salt Dough is that most of the time the ornament bubbled in the oven and the surface of the ornaments were not flat.  The Sculpey Clay ornaments never changed shape or size, nor did they bubble when baked.  And, you can make your ornaments thinner with the Sculpey Clay than with the Salt Dough.  The photograph above shows one coat of paint on my gingerbread man ornament and I will be adding one more coat of paint, then I will brush on a coat of clear varnish to top it off.

SNOWMAN COMPARISON1As you can see from the above photograph, the difference in thickness of each ornament.  Sculpey Clay is on the left, the Salt Dough on the right. It was hard for me to photograph the white Sculpey Clay ornaments and truly show you the detail that my rubber stamps made, but you can click on the photographs to view them larger.  If anyone has any questions, let me know.  At this point, I am definitely just a beginner with Sculpey Clay, but at least I can discuss my findings with you if you need some help.

What new product have you tried out lately?

Salt Dough Ornaments

LOVE LETTERS1

It’s been a few years since I played around with Salt Dough, so I was more than excited to jump right in and make a batch.  Boy oh boy, was this a fun project.  I mixed one cup all-purpose flour, one cup salt, and 1/2 cup water to make the Salt Dough.  (you can double the batch if you are making lots of ornaments)

SALT DOUGH RECIPE

Mix together the flour and salt really well with a fork, then slowly add the water while still mixing with your fork.  Once all the water has been added, you can use your hands to knead the dough better.  Take out your rolling pin and roll out the dough.  On my first batch, I rolled the dough too thin and I did not like the results, so on my next batch I rolled the dough a little bit thicker.  (I did not measure how thick the dough was though)

SALT DOUGH CUTOUTS

LOVE LETTERS2

Now comes the fun part – – pull out all of your cookie cutters and start cutting out your shapes.  I used a star shape, a few different sized hearts, and since I did not have a circle cutter, I used the top of a Creamora bottle!  Remove your cutout shapes to a cookie sheet, but make sure that you have laid a piece of Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick aluminum foil on top of the cookie sheet so your ornaments don’t stick when you bake them.

LOVE LETTERS STAMP

Next, I took out my rubber stamps and a black ink pad.  I found two really nice stamps, one of them was a snowman (and I LOVE snowmen a lot) and the other was an awesome air mail love letters heart rubber stamp.  I also used some individual letter stamps to stamp out the “love u” on the heart ornament.  (these letter stamps are originally used for my cement projects, but I thought I could use them in making the ornaments)

FINISHED SNOWMAN

Now that the ornaments are on the cookie sheet, ink up your rubber stamp really well and gently press onto the top of the cut out ornament.  It is ok if the design on the rubber stamp goes off the edges of the ornament a little.  Make sure you use a straw to make a hole at the top of the ornament too so you can hang it!  Once you have all of your ornaments stamped, it is time to bake.  Bake your ornaments at 250 degrees and watch them closely as you do not want to burn them.  The thicker the dough, the longer you will have to bake them.  For my thicker ornaments, I baked them for around 20 minutes, but I still checked on them the entire time.

SNOWMAN STAR

CLEAR COATED ORNAMENTS

Let your ornaments dry.  If some of your edges are a little rough, you can use either sand paper or a nail file to file off some of the rough edges.  Once dry, you can add some color to them with either bright colored nail polish like I did with sparkles in the polish, or you can just leave them the way they are.  Get out your polyurethane and add a coat to the ornaments.  You may have to add a few coats depending on how shiny you want the ornaments.  Make sure you work in a well ventilated area or open a window so you don’t get woozy from the fumes!  Now, the final step is to just add a nice string or tulle to each ornament and they are ready to hang on your tree or attach them to a present!

ORNAMENTS DRYING

I had so much fun making these Salt Dough Ornaments and will definitely be making more!  The possibilities are endless and I can see myself heading to the craft store soon to check out the rubber stamp section.  You can also use a colored stamp pad too if you want your design in color, instead of just using a black ink pad.  What amazed me is that the ink did not smear when I put the polyurethane on it, which I thought was going to happen, but it did not.  Perhaps the ink baked into the dough when it was baking.  Also, look at the photo’s to see the detail that showed up from the rubber stamps!  This will definitely be a project that I will do again, and for other holidays too!  Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, Shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day, etc.  The possibilities are endless, just be creative and have fun!

LOVE LETTERS SMALL HEART

SALT DOUGH COLLAGE