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 outΒ  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!


  1. Uncle Gabey said,

    Yay T and A! Yay arts and crafts!

  2. Jennifer said,

    Looks like tons of fun!! and look at how they have grown! I see a new project for us this Christmas–I have never tried to make salt dough ornaments before….tried to eat one once, but that is an entirely different story…. πŸ˜‰

  3. Sharon said,

    So much to say about this one….where to begin?

    OK you’re right A is entirely too little in the pics from last year. And don’t forget that we changed ornaments also because the balls were too rolly. Silly round things. I wish we could have come over for a painting party but it looks like the girls had TONS of fun despite doing everything while other day babies slept. And I personally like the bubbles, it gives the ornaments more character. Oh! and have a I mentioned how awesome you are, I mean in general but on this occasion specifically for letting the girls do this super fun and messy crafty thing?! Oh and for including the mini (compared to T) one in the post. I know A is SUPER proud of her ornaments, who wouldn’t be?, and I’m sure T is too! They (and you) did a great job!

    Hopefully next year we can all do it together even with the extra minis (C, J and R) oh what fun it will be πŸ™‚

  4. Nikki said,

    You have the most beaitiful girls around! πŸ™‚ I can’t get over the dimple on A’s cheek!

    • Me said,

      Oh yes! Baby A has ALWAYS had glorious cheeks – dimple notwithstanding – and Sharon (who is Baby A’s mommy) has them, too!

      And I have to agree with you – I DO have the most beautiful girls around, the two that belong to me (T and Ro), as well as the three that don’t (babies A, C, and J)! And I love them ALL to pieces!

      Being a daycare mommy is definitely a fun (if difficult) job!

    • Sharon said,

      aww thanks! Oddly she came out with that dimple. πŸ™‚

      but T is fantastically cute as well πŸ˜€

  5. Kendall said,

    Cute, cute, CUTE!! I’m glad you were able to get your salt dough ornaments done. Bubbles are fine, so long as noone pokes their fingers in them or drops them from the fridge. lol Sadly, most of ours from 2009 are now dead…we’ll have to do it again sometime. The pictures are adorable, as always and I can’t get over how big both of them have gotten in just ONE year!

  6. bluntdelivery said,

    is it too bad that those cookies actually look better than mine did?

    magic or tragic?

    • Me said,

      haha, don’t feel bad! Those ‘cookies’ are covered in paint, glitter, and glue! I’d have to say ‘magic’, and I’d rather eat yours!

  7. ma said,

    i love my purple candy cane! looking forward to next year when i can have one made by robaby, too!

  8. Bryna said,

    You always have such crafty crafts! I showed my mom your blog post of the hand/footprints and she was loving them. She’s a pre-k teacher and was excited to do some of them with her students.
    I’m gonna send her this post as well. I think she’ll love it! And perhaps I will do some with Nola as well. πŸ™‚

  9. deb said,

    I love when I think… oh we did that !!

    Homemade play dough was my all time favourite.

  10. Sarah Craftylocks said,

    I had forgotten how much fun dough is. Your pictures capture the fun of it all perfectly!

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