Monday, December 10, 2012

Classic Salt Dough Ornaments Recipe

This easy salt dough recipe is perfect for making ornaments and gift tags! Not only is this recipe simple, it's also inexpensive, and you probably already have all of the ingredients right in your kitchen cabinet. Classic salt dough is the perfect afternoon project to make with your kids! I had my 8 and 10 year old daughters help with this recipe, and they were excited to craft some ornaments to give as gifts for friends and family. 

Classic Salt Dough 
2 cups of flour 
1 cup of salt 
1 cup of warm water 
1. Mix salt, flour and water in a mixing bowl until a dough 
2. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface, adding additional 
flour if needed, until a soft, smooth dough forms. 
3. If rolling out dough with a rolling pin, do so on lightly 
floured parchment paper. 
4. Bake finished creations on a parchment paper covered 
cookie sheet in a warm oven (I did mine at 200 degrees F for 
about three hours, flipping them over about half way through 
5. Once completely dry, finished salt dough creations can be 
painted with acrylic craft paints and sealed with a craft sealant.
 6. Wrap unused dough in plastic wrap to keep it fresh. Use
unused dough within a few days.

Stamped Salt Dough Ornaments 
1. Roll out dough on lightly floured parchment paper until dough is 1/4 thick. 
2. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes. 
3. Use a toothpick to make a hole in each ornament so that you have a way to hang them. 
4. Stamp dough with rubber stamps - either inked or uninked. 
5. Bake as directed above. 
If you prefer, you can stamp your dough before cutting out shapes with cookie 
cutters instead of cutting and then stamping. I tried it both ways and the results 
were just about the same with each method. 

 Knead until a soft dough forms

 I love how little hands are always so eager to help! 

 Wrap unused dough in plastic wrap to keep it fresh. This photo shows how much this recipe makes. 
I divided it into three balls, each is the size of a large handful.

 Roll out dough on lightly floured parchment paper until dough is 1/4 thick. 

 The dough should be completely smooth, without any crack or wrinkles. If you bake an ornament that had a crack in the dough before you baked it, the baking will shrink the dough a bit, and your finished ornament will have a actual crack, so be sure to really knead that dough until it is super-smooth. If it's too dry when you begin to knead it, add water a few drops at a time to soften the dough and make it more pliable. 

 Pick out some cookie cutters 

 Use cookie cutters to cut shapes.

 I didn't even know I had this cookie cutter until my kids dumped out the bag and found 
it...upside down basket? mushroom? Now it is! Awesome! 

 Use a toothpick to make a hole in each ornament so that you have a way to hang them! 

 To make a nice clean hole without marring the edge, I put the toothpick straight into the 
dough and then used a circular or stirring motion to widen the hole. I made the holes about 
3mm, and the reason I can give you that exact size off the top of my head is because I know my 
bead sizes! We jewelry artists and beaders know our millimeter bead sizes like the back of our hands! 

 These are ready to go into the oven. 

 We can  get fancy!

 I thought this Stampin' Up rubber stamp that I had would go well with the woodland 
 theme of our cookie cutter.

 I inked the stamp on a regular green ink pad, and as you can see, I made two mistakes. 
First, I probably pressed a little too hard with the stamp on the dough, and second, 
I should have been more careful when inking my stamp as to not get ink on the edges
 of the stamp. That is, if we were going for perfection. But we weren't, we were going 
for fun and I sort of like the handcrafted look of this one of a kind mushroom! 

 For this next one I tried a birds nest stamp and metallic silver ink. 

 I was more careful this time when inking and stamping. 

 Once all were stamped, I baked them in a 200 degree F oven for close to three hours,
 flipping them over about half way through baking. The parchment paper made them
 very easy to flip. 

 The final result: After a little trial and error our stamped ornaments were looking good! 
 Both the raw dough and the finished, baked ornaments had a natural, bread color 
that got darker with baking. They had a nice organic look and feel to them. 

We had a lot of fun making salt dough, but next, we wanted to try something a little bit 
different... so next we created a batch of Bright White Clay Dough

 Bright white clay dough (top) Salt dough (bottom) Can you tell the difference? 

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