December 17, 2012

Salt-dough Ornaments

salt-dough ornaments

Alice had such a good time decorating our Christmas tree this year (all the ornaments are crowded along the bottom, just where she left them) that I thought she might enjoy making a few more pretty things to hang from its branches.

Nothing fancy. Just plain-old salt dough. But it turns out plain-old salt dough makes for a really fun make-before-dinner toddler activity. Here's what we did.

You'll need:
2 cups of flour
1 cup salt
About a cup of water - or a little more or less

Step 1: Combine the salt and flour, then add water - a half cup or so at a time until the dough has a nice, pliable consistency. You don't want it to crumble, but you also don't want it so sticky that you can't roll it out.

Step 2: Roll it out - about a quarter-inch thick works nicely.

Step 3: Cut shapes out of the dough with cookie cutters or even the top of a drinking glass. Then use a straw to make holes you can eventually string a ribbon through.

making salt-dough ornaments

Step 4: Bake at 200 degrees until the ornaments are dry. This took about an hour for us.

Step 5: After the ornaments have cooled, paint or seal.

True story: When I was a kid, my parents had some cute, salt-dough ornaments that I imagine were purchased at a craft fair or something. Unfortunately, the backs weren't sealed, and the ornaments got buggy.

Alice and I weren't too careful about sealing these very thoroughly, so I don't think we'll be storing them.

painted salt dough ornament

But, for now, they're cheery little additions to our tree.
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