Simple Country Pleasures
Complete instructions for heart can be found on Susula's
page. Susala puts up a project each
month using this special dough recipe that she has allowed me to
share here along with her great tips. Susula writes....
"I thought it would be great to share my experiences of working with
this neat spicy cinnamon crafting dough. The ingredients are readily
available at your local grocery store or even your own kitchen
cupboard! If you follow this simple recipe and my helpful hints, you
can create my monthly projects or design your own items."
Be sure to
check her site monthly for new projects and tips! Check out
the rest of her site too for many lovely crafts!
Place the first 6 ingredients
in a fine wire mesh strainer and sift together in a bowl.
(You may need to do this several times to make sure all
ingredients are incorporated.)
Stir together tacky glue,
applesauce and optional scented oil in a large bowl.
Slowly add the sifted
ingredients a little at a time to the glue and applesauce,
stirring till crumbly but not dry. You should be able to
roll a small amount into a ball without it falling apart.
Now on to the FUN part!!
Empty the dough onto the
surface of your choice (tips below) and work it into a ball.
If this ball is too large to
handle, just divide it into 2 portions, putting one portion in a
freezer type zip bag so it won't dry out.
Knead the ball for about 15 -
20 minutes until it's smooth and elastic. It should not crack or
crumble when you push your thumbs in the center.
If it's sticking to your hands,
add a little cinnamon to the surface and knead it in. If it's too
dry, wet your hands a bit with water and knead that in well.
I know this seems like a lot of
work but it's essential to a nice looking end product! Otherwise,
your project will be cracked, uneven and very coarse looking.
Believe me, it's well worth this extra effort!!
Once you've got all the dough
properly kneaded, place it back in the zip bag and go wash your
Now on to the even FUNNER part!
Take a small amount of dough
out of the zip bag and knead it again to make sure it's nice and
smooth from its resting time.
Using the rolling pin of your
choice (tips below), roll out the dough to the desired
thickness--I strive for 1/8" - 1/4" thick.
Using cookie cutters or
template, cut out the dough and place on surface to dry (tips
Turn each piece over to help
them dry evenly. ~OR~ Place the pieces in a convection oven set at
a low setting-150 degrees- for faster drying. NOTE: This
will make the piece much darker and will have a puffy look to it.
Roll up any scraps of dough and
place in a zip bag for future use. This dough will last for
weeks if kept properly sealed in the zip bag (tips below). You
must knead it again until it's nice and smooth, oftentimes adding
a bit of water to your hands to get rid of any cracks.
HAVE LOTS OF FUN ROLLING IN THE
Hints & Materials Needed
Remove any jewelry, especially rings.
Your work surface is
very important--DO NOT roll out your dough on a naked countertop!!
Here's a few things you can do instead:
1. Use freezer paper with the shiny side up [taped to your counter]
2. Use the new Saran cutting sheets, found at your grocery store. You
can use either side of the sheets. (These are GREAT for small projects
and can be reused over & over again!!)
3. Parchment paper is also great taped to the counter.
Not all cinnamon is made alike! The color varies greatly from one
bottle to another, the manufacturer and the country where it's made.
For small projects, it's great to use
the handy snack packs as they usually come in half cup sizes. Sweetened
or unsweetened applesauce may be used. I've tried both and haven't
noticed a difference. If your dough seems too sticky, you might want to
try straining the applesauce in a layer of coffee filters overnight for
the next batch of dough.
Lightly sand the edges of cardboard templates so it'll be easier to cut
out the dough piece. Also, it's a great idea to laminate the template to
make it sturdy & easy to clean.
Use a needle tool, found at your
local craft or art supply store, for cutting out dough pieces when using
a template. (Keep this tool clean in-between uses.) It's also
great for making holes in the soft dough. CAUTION: This tool is very
sharp! I put a small cork on the tip when I'm not using it. ~OR~ You
can also use a thin, sharp knife.
I like to use an acrylic
rolling pin for rolling out the dough. This can also be found in a craft
store in the polymer clay section. Of course, you can also use a wooden
rolling pin of your choice!
When using cookie cutters and templates, remove the scraps of dough
BEFORE removing the cutter/template. This will ensure a nice clean edge
to your piece.
Use the heavy duty freezer zip
bags to store any unused dough for later use. This will keep the dough
from drying out and will last much longer.
Purchase a large quilter's hoop--like a gigantic embroidery hoop--(mine
is 14" round) and place a piece of muslin in-between the hoops. Make
sure the muslin is nice and tight and not sagging. This is THE best
drying rack I've found! It keeps the air circulating, the pieces won't
stick and it's portable.
Use inexpensive, flexible nail files and sanding blocks, found at the
beauty supply store, to lightly sand your pieces when they're fully
dried. If you prefer a 'grubby' look, leave them as is. Most of my
pieces on my simple kneads site have been sanded, especially if they're
Acrylic paints work best to
decorate your pieces.
Please keep in mind that your finished piece will not be the original
size that you started out with! The dough will shrink slightly as it
dries. Also, the thicker pieces take much longer to dry--sometimes as
long as 4 days--while smaller buttons and thinner pieces only take a few
I'm sure to be adding more tips & hints
page so please check back
often! Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions or
comments. I'd love to hear from you! Also, I'd love to see pictures of
your projects using this recipe! I love working with this new dough and I
hope you will enjoy it too!
Simple Country Pleasures