salty dough

November 23, 2010 at 6:43 am (christmas, craftiness n' colors, holiday, thanksgiving)

“I love kids. I was a kid myself, once.”

-Tom Cruise

Last year (meaning 2009) on the day after Thanksgiving, baby A and her mom came over for an ornament-decorating party!

We had several types of ornaments for them to choose from, but the girls gravitated to the styrofoam balls (Two of T’s ornaments from that day can be seen in this post). They had SUCH a fabulous time that it was decided then and there that we would do it again the next year!

This time, since everyone is much bigger and more experienced in the ways of craftiness, I decided to let the girls make their own ornaments from scratch. So, rather than buying pre-made ornaments from the store, I put them to work mixing up a batch of salt dough!

If you’ve never done this before, it’s about the easiest thing in the universe. Just mix one cup of regular salt with two cups of flour (use white flour if you don’t want them to be textured, last year I tried wheat and they were a bit gritty!). Add about a cup of water – more or less to get a good doughy consistency. . .

Then knead your little heart out!

Take a short break so pictures can be taken of how cute kids are when covered in flour. . . do NOT look or think about the mess involved in this process. Remember that kids are infinitely washable, and it’s only flour and salt. It’s FINE!

Then roll out your dough and have a fabulous time cutting out the shapes you desire!

A thing to take note of is this: Our ornaments turned out  bubbly, because I let the girls do all of the kneading and most of the rolling themselves. . . plus they don’t really get the idea that you can cut 12 or so ornaments out of the same piece if you’re careful where to put your cutter. Rather, they did 1 or 3, then re-rolled a new batch. All of this handling caused our dough to hold onto lots of air. If you want yours to be smooth and “perfect”, make sure to roll it out very flat and handle it as little as possible! If you want it to be perfectly made by little hands, love the bubbles and let them do it all by themselves!

Don’t forget to poke a hole in each ornament (a straw works great for this) so that you can string some ribbon through for hanging on the tree!

Then bake it in your oven at a very low temperature until it dries out, and it’s ready for paint!

I KNOW I have pictures of the girls actually painting and pasting their ornaments (wouldn’t be like me to not have taken a single picture!), but I recently moved into a new computer and I can’t for the life of me find them! I can assure you, however, that they had a wonderful time painting and decorating their little creations. T gave hers out as Christmas gifts to everyone on her list!

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