Have you ever tried making Salt Dough Ornaments? I had never made them until a few years ago. They are so easy and fun! And a very inexpensive craft project!! Warning - these are not edible!! Decoration only!
I wondered what I could do to decorate them besides painting with acrylic paint. Then I thought - I love stamping and had been creating hand made Christmas cards and wondered how stamps and ink would work on the dough....well, it does!!!
Here's what you'll need to make the salt dough ornaments:
1 cup table salt (the white iodized kind, I haven't tried with pink sea salt)
2 cups of all-purpose flour (self-rising flour will cause the ornaments to puff some)
3/4 to a cup water (or more as needed) room temperature
Cookie sheet (I covered with aluminum foil for easy cleaning)
Toothpick or straw to make a hole for the ribbon or string
Ink pads in colors of your choice
Ribbon, embroidery thread, or twine
Mix the salt and flour in a medium sized bowl. I used bleached flour, so the ornaments were a light to slightly off white color. (I also experiemented with adding white acrylic paint to the mixture to brighten the dough. I couldn't tell a big difference.) You can also add a cup of cinnamon to make them more gingerbread colored - and awesome smelling. You'll just have to adjust the water, adding a bit more as needed. I tried these too, but forgot to take pics. Sorry!!
Add water slowly and starting with 3/4 of a cup and then gradually adding more as needed. You don't want it too sticky!! If that accidentally happens, just add a little more flour. When it's all blended and comes together to form a ball, put it onto a plastic cutting sheet or whatever you typically use when you roll out dough. Shake a little flour on the surface so it won't stick and knead it (squish it in your hands) for a few minutes, then get out your rolling pin and roll out as much as you can like you are making a pie crust. I tried to get it as thin as I could, about a 1/4 of an inch, but this is just my preference. You can make it as thick or as thin as you'd like.
When you'e got the dough rolled to your liking, you can either stamp the solid dough form first and then use cookie cutter shapes or the opposite order. I did both ways. The first way ensures you get all the stamped image you like in the cut shape. So get out your cookie cutters and cut away!! I used all kinds of shapes ~ snowflakes, round ornaments, dog bones, trees, snowmen, etc. You can also add ink to your stamps and get a little color in addition to the image of the stamp. I used the regular ink that I would on paper - you're not going to eat the ornaments anyway. Let me say that now just in case - DO NOT EAT THESE ORNAMENTS!!! Continue stamping, inking and cutting away!! You can also add acrylic paint if you want to at this point. I liked the way the ink pad and stamps looked so I didn't.
Don't forget to make a small hole in each so you can thread a ribbon or twine. You can do this with a toothpick or a drink straw. Just make sure it's big enough for whatever thread you're planning to use. Once I have the ornaments cut and stamped, I lay them on a cookie sheet. I used a foil lined one. No oil or spray is needed. Bake the ornamants at 200 F for 2 to 3 hours depending on how thick you made them. Mine were usually dry enough by 2 hours. Higher temps might cook faster, but will cause your dough to brown a little around the edges. After they have baked for 2-3 hours, take them out and let them cool off. Once they are cool, they are ready to string up as ornaments or as a garland. That's it, you're done!!
The round ones below were made with self rising flour. You can see they were a little thicker after baking than the ones above. They both look great, so it's really your preference.
I hope you enjoyed this little project!! I've kept them for several years now (3 to be exact). They haven't molded or attracted any sort of bugs. I keep them in a shoe box. Some I packaged in celophane packages to resell and they are still ok too. I guess all the salt makes them less attractive to bugs, and they don't have enough water for mold. So as long as they don't get broken, you can continue to use them year after year!!
Let me know if you try it and please share pics!!
See y'all later!! Jennifer ~ Southern Junk Chic