First I made a big ol’ ball of salt dough. Salt dough is easy and cheap as chips to make…
- 1 cup of flour
- ½ cup of salt
- ½-¾ cup of water
- Put the flour and salt in a bowl.
- Pour in half of the water
- Then smoosh it around with a spoon until it has all combined.
- If it’s seeming too dry, add more water. It should be about the consistency of pizza dough. Or Play-doh.
Then I let my fiancé go to town. In addition to his science-ing, he’s also a very talented artist. He molded the salt dough into a Mandrake shape.
When it was ready I baked it for two days. That bad boy was chunky, so it took two rounds of about eight hours on a low temperature — about 200°F (so he didn’t dry out too fast and crack) plus leaving him drying over night for both nights for him to become a solid mass.
Then we tag-teamed painted him with acrylic paints, leaving him to dry for a while between coats — otherwise when we went to add another coat the first would dry and peel off. Then we added some black shadows for depth in the crevices and smeared it around/wiped a bit off with a paper towel to make the effect soft along the edges.
Then we added a plastic aquarium plant to the top of his head. Before we began the baking/drying process, I pushed the nub of the plant into Mister Mandrake’s head to make a hole that would later fit it; we also had to scrape out some of the dried dough to make sure the fit was perfect later.
I’m pretty pleased with how he turned out! Now he’ll be going into a glass vase that looks like a see-through planter pot with some moss and nature-y bits around him and then will be displayed on top of a couple of antique botany books.