Monday, October 14, 2013

Holly-Daze: Salt Dough Ornaments

Salt dough ornaments are project I have been wanting to try for a long time. I have always loved making my own Christmas ornaments and even before I was married had started making an ornament a year with a Victorian or "elegant" theme to it ... I'm sure my husband was really happy with this our first Christmas together!

At time I had really want to make snowflake ones and and paint with glittery paint. But 3 years ago I had a baby and the Christmas theme changed. We have traded the elegant lace ornaments for more child-friendly Mickey Mouse themed ones. Yep, in case you missed it, we have a Mickey and Friends themed Christmas tree. That story later ...

So this year, I was determined to make salt dough ornaments for the Mickey tree, and because we went to Disney this past summer with our close friends (and neighbors) I have even more incentive. My craft-challenge, much loved friend and her family are STILL in Disney heaven, so even as e plan for our next, yet the be determined trip, we are looking for ways to bring Disney to us.

So as her kids look to create Disney ornaments, and this weekend happened to be one rainy and soggy, I decided to start making the ornaments for the kids to decorate next month, when we start preparing for Christmas.

So back to the ornaments. They were very easy ... and theraputically messy.

The ingredients are simple:
  • 1 c. plain flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup water
Directions are just as easy.

First I mixed the ingredients together. I held back a little of the water to make sure it wasn't too wet, but if that happens, just add a little more flour.

Kneed the mixture until it is mixed well. (Leaving clumps of dry flour will cause the ornaments to fall apart when baked.

Roll it out to approximately 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutter. I have found that cutting and removing the extra prevents the shape from being pulled and distorted. Once those are placed on a non-stick baking sheet, you can roll out the extras again and make more until you have used all of the dough.

**Tool of Note: I rolled mine out on an Applique Pressing Sheet, a multi-purpose craft sheet by Bear Thread Designs. Its non-stick surface prevents the dough from sticking and the shape distorting when you remove from work surface. I have several of these craft sheet and actually sandwiched then dough between two sheets to provide a smooth and even surface.

However, if you use the craft sheet for projects such as this or paints, do not use for fabric projects afterwards. Oils can transfer to fabric projects and will ruin fabrics. I have several in the kitchen for projects like this and keep them rolled in a paper towel tube in the utensil drawer to prevent them from getting mixed up.

Once rolled and shapes cut, place on a non-stick baking sheet and bake at lowest temperature available on oven for 3-4 hours. (Mine was 170 degrees). Halfway through the baking time, I flipped mine, though I was told that it wasn't necessary. Ornaments can be laid out to dry at room temperature but could take several days. 

When the children get together and decorate them, I will post photos here of their masterpieces! I am so excited to see what a 3 year-old, 7 year-old and 13 year-old create! I love kids creativity!!

Until our next cup of tea,

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