Holiday Fun – Salt Dough Ornaments

I’ve always wanted to try making something out of  salt dough. I suppose I just never had a focus or motivator. The approaching holidays and my toddler’s spiked interest in play dough gave me the perfect excuse to try out this new art form.
I found many recipes and instructions for salt dough online and settled with a recipe from busybeekidscrafts.com. I cross referenced several other recipes and the ratios of salt to flour and the amount of water can vary a lot so I think it just takes a little back and forth to find the right firmness. I also saw some interesting ingredients like “wall paper paste” which I didn’t end up using, mostly because I wanted to keep it simple and I don’t stock wall paper paste in my kitchen cupboards. But who knows maybe that was a magic ingredient I should try next time.
I’d have to say that the salt dough was a little stiff for my son’s toddler hands. While some play dough is malleable enough for him, this took mama hands to roll out. We did a lot of the cookie cutters together and then I ended up finishing the job while his toddler focus traveled else where. (If you do this project and intend to hang the finished product don’t forget to poke a hole in the piece before baking!)
While some instructions say you can let the dough air dry to hardness I decided to bake the ornaments at 200 degrees for over an hour. This did firm them but I could tell the undersides where still a little soft. I tossed them in bowl and let them sit on the counter for a week or two while we got distracted with other projects. I was re-inspired to finish this project when the first batch of art supplies arrived in the mail for Studio Sprout. The studio space is still be renovated so we used the kitchen table. My two step sons (8 and 10) were eager to get involved and contributed to some really wonderful ornaments.

We still need to modge podge and add ribbon to the ornaments but they came out great with tempera and glitter and we had a great time while dad was cooking dinner!

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