Monday, November 29, 2010

Salt Dough Ornaments

In the window between Thanksgiving and Christmas I usually like to do some projects with my kids that will wind up being part of our gift to the grandparents. This year I am giving salt dough ornaments a try. I remember making these for our tree and for my grandparents and I'm anxious to have my little guys create their own. I found a very easy, step-by-step, dough recipe and pointers at

Although they note the project is for 7-year-olds and up, I really think if parents are handling all of the oven work (obviously) and monitor the painting- really even toddlers can participate (nobody wields a paintbrush like my 2-year-old!).

From Kaboose- This shiny Christmas dough ornament craft is the perfect finishing touch to decorating the tree. It can also be altered and made into lapel pins, magnets and gift-toppers.

What you'll need:
½ cup salt
1 cup flour
½ cup water
Rolling pin
Cookie sheet
Miniature cookie cutters: star and Christmas tree
Acrylic paints: green, yellow, and various colors of your choice for tree ornaments
Glitter glue or glitter paint

How to make it
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
2. Mix together, salt, flour, and water until dough is formed.
3. Knead the dough on a floured surface until the mixture is elastic and smooth. If dough is too sticky, sprinkle with flour, continue to do so until stickiness is gone. Do not add too much flour, this will dry out the dough and will cause it to crack before you get a chance to bake it.
4. Roll out the dough to about ¼” thick with a rolling pin that has been dusted with flour.
5. Use cookie cutters to cut out as many trees and stars as you want.
6. Use a toothpick to make a hole toward the top of the shape. Poke the toothpick into the shape, then holding toothpick straight up and down, make a circular motion as if you were stirring something. Keep circling until the hole is the size you want.
7. Place all shapes onto an ungreased cookie sheet and place into the preheated oven.
8. Bake for 2 hours.
9. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
10. Paint. ( When paint is dry, use glitter glue or glitter paint to put a sparkling cover coat on your ornaments. )
11. When dry, thread ribbon through hole and tie in a knot in the back.
12. Tie onto package.

If your toppers are large enough, you can make two holes in each so that you can thread ribbon through like a button, only showing a small amount of ribbon on the front.
These make adorable pins to wear to school. Just don’t make a hole. Glue a pin back to the back of the completed ornament instead.
Uncooked salt dough doesn’t keep well, so only make enough dough for the ornaments you are going to make. If you are only making a few toppers, halve the ingredients above. The listed amounts will make enough ornaments for a classroom of 20.
While I was researching this project, I came across some sophisticated and intricate examples of salt dough ornaments that I just loved at These beautiful snowflakes are inspiring me to make some "grown-up" ornaments as well!

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