salt dough trees

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On ADF altars, we place symbols representative of the three sacred hallows of Fire, Well, and Tree. Many of us crafty types have a lot of fun thinking up tree representations for indoor altars. For years, mine was a potted philodendron; not exactly a tree. Later I came across metal tree decor at thrift stores, and used them for my altars. Another idea that is fun and economical is to craft one using salt dough. It is so easy, and kids will love crafting their own for their altar.
Below are two easy methods.
Salt Dough Trees
After you have mixed and kneaded your salt dough, roll it into ropes.
1. Lay a rope of dough on a wax paper lined tray and curl and twist ends to resemble branches and roots.
2. Add other ropes along side the first, spreading branches and roots wide, but keeping the center as narrow as possible. Add shorter branches too.
3. When you have enough layers, smooth the ropes together with dampened fingers.
4. Squeeze together at the trunk to secure ropes together and to create a slim long trunk.
5. Use a fork to create bark texture.
I recommend air drying. When your tree is dry on top, flip it over and use the blunt end of a raised tack to make a hole for hanging.
When your tree is completely dry, you can paint it and hang it on the wall.
tree shrine
You can also shape a salt dough tree directly onto a wood base, if the dough is quite wet.

indented salt dough tree

Another method is to indent a tree into a rolled flat dough shape. I used the handle of a fork for this one. Don’t forget to poke a hole in the back for hanging.

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