One of the easiest, yet meaningful, salt dough crafts is making salt dough skulls, in honor of your ancestors and beloved dead, for your Samhain altar.
Mix up a batch of salt dough, or use the last lump of salt dough left over from another project. You may wish to personalize a salt dough skull for a specific ancestor blending in scented oil, dried herbs, or flower petals that remind you of that person. To shape each individual skull:
1. Roll kneaded dough into a ball shape. Flatten the bottom by tapping on the counter top or table. Shape the dough into an oval at the front, so that the front of the skull is facing out, not up (like a picture in a desk frame, as opposed to a picture laying on the table). Push in the lower sides of the face with your thumbs, to create cheek hollows. (If you like, hollow out a cavity in the bottom of the skull to keep a small ancestor memento.)
2. Use the end of a wooden spoon to create eye sockets.
3. Cut slits (or a triangle) with a butter knife for the nose.
4. For the teeth, cut three horizontal lines below the nose.
5. Finish the teeth with vertical cuts.
Set your salt dough skulls on wax paper and let dry completely. Turn over every day for even drying. This make take several days or a week or so, depending on size of skull, heat, and humidity. When completely dry, they can be painted and decorated, if desired. This same shaping method can be used with fondant to make sugar skulls.