Last year my daughter received a homemade salt dough ornament from one of her friends at school. I thought that was the cutest idea for kids to gift to one another and something that doesn’t cost a lot of money.
Christmas crafts aren’t something I’d really considered before – surely buying stuff was easier? But after she came home with that adorable ornament, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. All the different combos you could make, all the Christmas cookie cutters I just happened to have in the pantry... the possibilities are endless.
You could make them for your family, the classroom, coworkers – you name it! And your limitations are only set by the cookie cutters you own. That’s what I call simple. We decided to keep it simple with sweet green Christmas trees, but next year I’m thinking yellow bells with red bows. Wouldn’t that be adorable?
Salt Dough Ornaments are actually really easy to make and are the perfect activity for kids to do during the month of December, especially on days that are too cold or snowy to play outside. Plus, imagine decorating your own tree with handmade ornaments. How gorgeous would that be?
The hardest part of making these ornaments is simply making sure that your work surface remains dye-free. I recommend covering your work surface with parchment paper or a plastic table cloth (like you get from the dollar store). Wear gloves and aprons so that little fingers and clothes aren’t dyed red and green, but that’s about it.
We had such fun making these Christmas trees for my son and daughter’s classes. Pair this fun activity with a mug of Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate and a round or two of Christmas Book Bingo by the fire. That sounds like just about the most perfect winter afternoon I could ask for. I hope it does to you too!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1/3 cup water, plus 1 tablespoon
- 1 drinking straw
- nonstick baking spray
- parchment paper
- 1 roll colorful ribbon, (1/8 to 1/4-inch wide) or string
- surgical gloves, or kitchen gloves
- rolling pin
- Preheat your oven to 250°F. Place the rack in the center position. Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
- Line the work area with parchment paper to prevent your counters or table from becoming stained.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt until well whisked.
- In a glass measuring cup, stir in the water and food coloring (see note below) together.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the colored water. Stir well.
- While wearing the surgical gloves, knead the dough with your hands for approximately 10 minutes (on top of the parchment paper), or until the dough has become smooth and the color is distributed throughout.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a1/4-inch thickness on the parchment paper. Use whatever shaped cookie cutters you’d like to cut out the dough. Transfer the cut shapes onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Use the straw to cut a small hole near the top (where you’d like to hang the ornament from). Lightly spray the cut shapes with the non stick cooking spray. This will help seal in the color.
- Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. Thread the ribbon or string through the holes and tie to hang.
- Color and amount of food coloring is up to you depending on how dark, bright, or light you would like your ornament to be. There are many helpful tutorials on pinterest that will give you specific drop and color combinations for specific colors.
- The gloves keep your hands from becoming stained from the food coloring as you knead the dough.
Demarle Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat
Le Creuset Jelly Roll Pan
360 Bakeware Jelly Roll Pan
Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls