Is there anything more fabulously traditional than salt dough ornaments? Not only are they somewhat foolproof, they are cheap, easy and perfect for little and big crafters alike.
It seems that I am at that point in my life when traditions are becoming more and more important and there is no time a year when traditions are more on display than at Christmas. As i sat there watching football and wondering what was next for the holiday crafting, I glanced over at the salt dough handprint articles that we made last year with the baby. The were pretty awesome and I made them for all of the grandparents, but lets be honest, nobody really wants an annual set. While I am more than excited about making ornaments with my toddler, I am also aware that kid made gifts are usually only appealing to parents and sometimes grandparent but are usually (lets be honest) hideous.
I quick trip down Pinterest lane proved that salt dough goes well beyond the good old child handprint and even beyond the child footprint. Out came the rolling pin and the bag of flour and I whipped up a batch! The recipe is pretty simple but depending on where you live and the type of flour that you have, it might take a little more or less water. The key is to just use your sense of touch and knead it until you have a dough that is soft but not sticky and that can be rolled out without cracking,
The basic recipe is this:
2 parts flour
2 parts salt
1 part water
Once you have your ball of dough, the world is your oyster. We stuck to a really simple star pattern but the dough is fairly forgiving. Just remember to make any shapes or dents or prints that you want before drying because once it is dry, what you get is what you get! Speaking of drying, the timing is going to depend greatly on the thickness of your ornament and I have always found that it takes significantly longer than anyone else seems to say it does. These stars are pretty thin and they were in a 200 degree oven for 1.5 hours. I turned them over 3/4 of the way through just to make sure that the bottoms dried out as well.
Caution! Poke any ribbon holes that you need before you dry them. You could possibly drill them later but seriously, nobody wants to have to do that!
Once you have them dried and painted, it is time to hang them! I was initially going to string them all together to make a garland but decided to add a few bells and make little string of them to add some vertical interest to my tree. I think that they turned out a pretty well if I do say do myself!
Get some dough made and get to work! Whether you have kids and whose ornaments never quite make it out of the box next year or you proudly send kid art across the world to eagerly awaiting grandparents, this is a great craft to get you into the holiday mood!