Salt dough Christmas ornaments are perfect for me, and likely for many of you, for the simple reason that while I am not an especially crafty person, I am pretty comfortable baking. So a craft that you bake is about as good as a craft is going to get for me. This is our second time making them and they’ve been great for both the craft-challenged and children in our family.
This year, we opted to keep our ornaments very simple, but if you’re inclined, you can add all kinds of decorations – long beards for santa or raised bits and balls for added oomph. Once they’re completely dry, paint them up with acrylic paint (just go easy on the water), let that dry, and then spray them on both sides with clear acrylic paint. Thread in a hook and you’ve got yourself some new ornaments.
Wishing you and yours a warm and happy holiday. Here’s to a very merry little Christmas and all the best in the New Year.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups water
- acrylic paints
- clear acrylic spray paint (available at craft or hardware stores)
- This recipe is easiest with a stand mixer that can do the kneading for you. if you don’t have one, just be prepared to knead a little. Keep in mind that you want to dough to be pliant and smooth, so add small increments of water as needed if it gets at all crumbly.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, salt, and 1 1/2 cups water. Mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until well-combined (mixture will be very crumbly, but hold together easily when squeezed).
- Switch out for the dough hook and run mixer on low for 5 minutes to knead. You’ll need to stop and push the dough down from the sides a few times. Alternately, you can knead by hand for 10 minutes. Check that dough is smooth and pliant. If not, drizzle in a bit more water and knead for a few minutes more.
- Divide dough into 4 balls. Roll one of the dough balls into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick (you shouldn’t need any flour for this). Use cookie cutters to cut out your ornaments, carefully placing cut ornaments on a cookie sheet. Round up the dough scraps, knead a bit, and roll out the dough again until you’ve used it all. Once the ornaments are on the cookie sheet, use a chop stick or similar implement to poke a 1/8 inch hole in each the hook or string.
- I baked my ornaments two trays at a time because that’s what worked for my oven –– do whatever works best for yours. Bake for 25 – 35 minutes, or until ornaments are firm and cooked through, but not browned. Cool on the tray for 15 minutes, and then set on a rack to cool completely.
- Paint with acrylic paint, dry completely, and then spray with a clear coat of acrylic paint. Thread in a hook or string, and you’re all set.