Salt Dough Ornaments
Well Thanksgiving is in the books and the Christmas/Yule season is now in full swing. It is a tradition in my family to go get the tree on Thanksgiving day, so the fragrance of pine is already filling the house. We’ve been going to the same man to get our trees for more than 20 years now. Vern is a “Yooper” Or a U-Per, aka someone from the upper peninsula of Michigan, and his wife will tag the best trees every year with a little blue ribbon. So, when we get there the first thing we do is ask the guys there, which Vern’s wife picks are.
It warms my heart to see my father and my son, who is named for my late brother walking through the tree stand looking for the perfect tree. (I am literally tearing up just writing about it.)
So, now that we have finally pulled out the Christmas decor, it’s time to turn our full attention to all the greatness of the Yule season, including, of course, some super adorable keepsake crafts to help commemorate how little your little ones are.
If your kids are anything like my little toddler son, they are growing like weeds. And if the size of his mom and dad are any indication, my little one won’t be little for so long. So, I wanted to make some salt dough ornaments like my parents have of all of us kids form when we were little to try to remember, when he is driving me nuts as a teenager, how cute and tiny his little hands and feet are.
If you’ve never made salt dough before, it is incredibly easy and something you can literally whip up in an afternoon with no prep or thought.
Salt Dough Recipe
1 Cup Salt
1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Water (or just enough to incorporate the other two ingredients into a soft dough)
In a large bowl, add salt and flour and mix to combine. Gradually add the water, using only enough to form a dough. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead until smooth. Roll out to about 1/4″ – 1/2″ thickness. Remember if you want to be able to hang them, the thicker they are the heavier they will be so roll to thickness accordingly.
Once you have it rolled out to desired thickness, cut with cookie cutter or into any shapes you would like. If you would like to hang them, take a nail, pencil, or wooden skewer and make a hole to string your ribbon, rope or cord. Allow to sit and dry out a little bit before putting in the oven. This is a little trick I found make a difference in helping your dough not puff up like you’re backing bread instead of staying crisp and holding it’s shape. Once it starts to dry out a little bit, preheat oven to 180* or as low as it will go and bake. The amount of time it takes for them to completely dry out will depend on how large and thick your ornaments or shapes are.
You want to basically keep your oven as low as possible and just allow them to dry and harden. If you try to do it too fast on a higher heat the dough will “bake” and puff up. I will even some times bake them for a while and then turn the oven off and leave them in the oven to continue to harden for several hours.
The shape you make them is entire up to you! I choose, last year, to make a hand and foot print of my then two-year old. I made a santa out of his hand and a reindeer out of his foot.
This year I want to make something like this, which I saw on Pinterest and was posted here.