Salt Dough Ornaments

We made salt dough ornaments this past week. I had been planning on it for some time, but kept waiting for the ideal moment when at least one of the little bitties was napping. That moment never came so I gave up and we just did them in the chaos! Let me assure you, lest you are picturing some beautiful, calm moment, it was craziness. The painting went a little better, but it’s pretty much all chaos on some level these days. Recipes for salt dough are all over Pinterest, but here’s the one we followed:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup water

You just mix it all together, knead it, roll it out, cut out some shapes, try to keep the 1 year old from destroying them, let them air dry or bake at a low temp, Ta-Da!

I actually baked our’s for maybe 20 minutes at 250 and then let them finish air drying. I didn’t want to risk burning them, but keep in mind that the size and especially thickness of your ornaments have a big impact on how quickly they will dry.

My parents have several salt-dough ornaments from my childhood still hanging on their tree. One, a little bell, has a tiny bite taken out of the bottom 🙂 It looked like a cookie. It did not TASTE like a cookie! It’s kind of cute though, to have my little teeth marks preserved. 

For this project I bought some metallic paint to take things up a notch, but also keep it simple. I set Jude up with a cup of paint and a brush and there ya go. I love how they turned out.  A little baker’s twine for hanging and done.

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I wanted to let Silas in on the fun, but it needed to be a little more washable than the acrylic paint so I set him up with watercolors. Initially, I just wet the red paint to avoid a big muddy, brown/gray mess, but he started requesting other colors so there’s some green and blue going on too. He lost interest pretty fast, but I think his ornaments turned out great.

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And my contribution was to smush the kids’ hands into some of the dough and then paint it.

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Here’s the paint we used. (from Hobby Lobby)

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If you’re looking for a fun Christmas craft this weekend try out some salt dough ornaments.  After making these I found a recipe that uses cornstarch and baking soda. Supposedly it gets a smoother result and given the texture of cornstarch I think it’s likely. I’ll probably try that next time. There’s also a cinnamon recipe out there that is supposed to smell good and creates a dark brown ornament. 

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