The last of my "Little Gifts" ideas also comes form this issue of Holiday Crafts.Little Gift #4-Salt Dough Ornaments. Who would have thought that something as simple and childish as salt dough could be turned into hand crafted ornaments? The recipe will be at the bottom of this post. After you have rolled, cut out and baked the ornaments (and don't allow yourself to be tempted to try the dough on this project; you will be sorry if you do) then it is time to decorate. The magazine shows to draw right on the ornament and I did that but I didn't think that the designs showed up very well. So instead I painted mine with a coat of cream colored craft paint, let that dry and then decorated them. Here is the best part-the designs are all drawn with a Sharpie. Make a few extra so that you can practice. I just used a series of swirls and dots. I didn't varnish them. I tried both covering them with Mod Podge and clear spray paint and both made the marker run everywhere so I just left them as is. I love how they turned out.
Salt Dough Recipe:
1/2 cup salt
1 cup flour
1/2 cup water
Mix salt, flour and water in a medium sized bowl. Stir together until a sticky dough forms. Remove dough from bowl and knead for 7-10 minutes on a well-floured surface until air bubbles are eliminated. When dough feels smooth and elastic place on parchment paper and roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters (use skewers or straws to make holes for hangers if desired). Place on cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees for 4-6 hours or overnight.
Recipe notes from Moi-I made the recipe x4 because I was planning on cutting out big shapes. I mixed it in my Bosch mixer and it worked beautifully. It was sticky however and when I tried to roll it it was a mess. The part about kneading on the floured surface also adds in extra flour and that is necessary to have the right consistency. In the end I don't know what the right consistency is-the recipe is not specific but you will not want to work with a soft dough, you will want it to be more stiff. I rolled mine right out on my table on flour and cut on it because it helped keep it from sticking. And yes you really need to bake them for 4-6 hours. I did mine overnight. We tried this as an activity for family night-I think it ended in tantrums and tears. The next day I tried to get Small fry to decorate with me-she lasted 1 minute. Gotta love life with a two year old.