Dec 12, 2008

Salt dough ornaments

Salt dough has been done to death every holiday season by kids for years and years, and there's a good reason for that. It's because it's fab!

I'd never made anything with salt dough before this year. The teacher at our local preschool gave me the recipe, which is so simple that I was astounded. It's just one part salt, four parts all purpose flour and one and a half parts hot water. Knead for 10 minutes and you're good to go. make models or roll it out and cut ornaments like we did, then bake at about 200 degrees until it's all nice and dried out and hard. Easy peasy.

Yes, I need a cup of tea within two feet of me to accomplish anything.

Thank you to Sara for letting us borrow all her many Christmas cookie cutters! Nifty tip from preschool teacher: Use a drinking straw to cut out the holes for hanging the ornaments with! I poked patterns into them with both ends of a wooden BBQ skewer and we used a few rubber stamps on them too that worked quite nicely. Some have lovely Aztec like patterns from three woodcut blocks that our freinds the D'ambra's gave us when we visited them last.

We had loads of fun with this. Lots of kids made lots of different versions on different days and I even made some on my own late at night to give as presents. Here for your amusement are a lot of photos of the fun we had.

We tried painting them, adding glitter and then we tried colouring some others in with marker pens. The kids enjoed this activity so much that I think we'll be doing salt dough valentine hearts and easter eggs in the new year too!

We have a tiny little potted Christmas tree this year and I'm tempted to keep it in the house for the rest of the year and let the kids dress it up as a valentines/easter/4th july/halloween/thanksgiving tree as the year progresses.

Here are some pics of the teeny christmas tree decorations I made after the kids had gone to bed. I went slightly overboard with the amount of dough I made and still have some in the fridge.These teeny ones are only about an inch tall and were cut out using a set of I think it was 20 xmas themed plastic cookie cutters that came from Michael's and cost an astoundingly bargainerific $1.99 for the lot! I couldn't figure out a way to make the gingerbread men not either be dangling from their feet or look as though they have been shot through the head. Hey ho.


Unknown said...

Salt dough is awesome, we used to do stuff with it all the time when I was a kid.

I'm completely impressed with the results, great job!

Anonymous said...

Dear Filth Wizards,

Thank you for your lovely blog posts! I can only hope they're still around in 4 years when my kids are in their preschool years. However, to fasten ties to a gingerbread man ornament without shooting him in the head:
1-cut a 12" piece of ribbon or twine.
2- fold in half, then while holding both pieces together, tie a knot in the middle of the folded string. (you should be holding the fold and the two ends while knotting)
3-You should now have a tied off loop and two dangling ends.
4-Place knot against back of gingerbread man's neck and tie the ends in a bow at the front of this throat.
You now have have a gingerbread man wearing a bow tie and a loop to hang him from!
Hope that made sense...

the Kitchen Witch

Unknown said...

Hi :)

I got to your page through Google search "salt dough" :)

Your ornaments came out awesome. I have been experimenting with salt dough but I haven't been lucky. I use a diff recipe though . I have been using one I see all over the place in which says 2 parts flour, 1 part salt and not quite 1 part water. I have kneaded for 15 to 20 minutes and it gets really even but the dough when you handle it a while it starts getting too flexible, too slippery.

I don't know what i am doing wrong. I want to try the recipe you worked with even though it sounds like a lot of water, but since you have 4 parts flour it needs it. If you have any suggestion I would love to hear it :)

thanks for your page.


Basia - United Teaching said...

These ornaments look fantastic! I think I'm going to have to try this activity with my three year old. Thanks for sharing.

Joy said...

Thanks for sharing this. We are getting ready to cut out some sugar cookies. However, we may do the salt dough tomorrow!

Jenni's Whimsies said...

For our gingerbread men ornaments, I take paperclips and cut them and use a "U" shaped piece and stick it in the dough at the top of his head before baking. This elimates the "execution" style hole in the head lol. Love your blog! Can't wait to try the Stars Wars masks and vehicles. We are saving our milk jugs and cardboard :)