Thursday, December 23, 2010

DIY: Salt Dough Ornaments

I apologize for my lack of post lately!  Thanks for hanging in there with me.  I *finally* presented my thesis and officially earned my Masters in Reading, so my agenda has opened up again, at last.  I look forward to many new creative projects in the new year!  On to the post....

I adore homemade gifts.  I love making them, and I love receiving them.  This year, a colleague made me lemon sugar shower scrub, and it is my absolute favorite gift.  I'm tucking that idea away for the kids' teachers for next year...

This year, I decided to make salt dough ornaments for the teachers.  It's easy enough.

Salt Dough Recipe:

1/2 cup table salt
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour

Mix ingredients together in a blender until a sticky dough forms.  Then, knead the dough for about 10 minutes.  Roll it out to about 1/4" thick, and use your favorite cookie cutters to cut shapes, as you would sugar cookies.  Use a skewer to punch a hole in the ornament so you can thread some string through to hang them.

Eating a cheese and chocolate chip cannoli from Termini Bros. while you're making salt dough ornaments is helpful, but optional.
I have a love-hate relationship with any kind of dough.  Okay, it's mostly a hate-hate relationship.  I can't seem to get dough smooth (it's always crumbly), and I really stink at rolling it out.  It always shrinks back up on me.  But salt dough is really forgiving.  I got eight ornaments out of this batch of dough, but I bet a skilled dough-roller would be able to get more.

I baked the ornaments on a baking sheet at 200 overnight.  I mean it, they were in the oven from 10 pm until 6 am.  They don't burn.  All of the moisture leaves the dough, and they get really hard, which is what you want.

You can decorate salt dough ornaments with anything...marker, pencil, glitter-glue, whatever!  I had the kids color the snowmen with small Sharpie markers.  I neglected to take photos of our finished product, however, because Charlotte proceeded to scribble on the table, and Nathan decided to decorate the floor.  *sigh*  But here's a photo of one of our "rejects":
And here's an example of some really beautiful salt dough ornaments decorated with a red pen. These ornaments were made by Katy Elliot.  You can find her blog and tutorial here. 

What about you?  Did you make or receive anything homemade this year?

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