Homemade salt dough is a great alternative to the expensive craft store bakeable doughs like Sculpey or Fimo. The recipe is quick, and you likely already have everything you need to get started!
Salt Dough Recipe
1 cup salt
2 cups flour
1 cup warm water.
Combine salt and flour. Slowly mix in water and use hands to form into a ball. Place the ball on the counter and knead until dough is smooth and soft. Bake modeled creations at 250 degrees for 1 1/2 to 3 hours or allow to air dry over several days.
You can keep the dough in an airtight container almost indefinitely, but if you want to make precise modeling details you should use it immediately.
Make sure that the items are good and dry before you try to paint them or you will end up with cracks in the paint. Use either acrylics or tempera paint.
The other day, M and I used salt dough to make a birthday gift for one of her friends. I got a little impatient with the process and tried to paint it too soon (you might be able to see a few cracks), and I wasn't very careful about making sure that the glue gun glue didn't show through, but all in all it was a fun process and M had a gift to give that she was proud of.
(We used alphabet cookie cutters for the letters, and poked holes in the letters before they were baked so that we could string ribbon through them. The letters are glue- gunned onto a piece of wood to hold them together)