Show off your crafty side this Christmas by decorating your tree with salt dough ornaments. These personalized salt dough ornaments are easy to make, add an inexpensive, personalized touch to any tree, and can be stored and reused year after year. Growing the collection could become an annual family Holiday tradition!
Salt Dough Recipe for Christmas Ornaments
Making the salt dough is easy and relatively inexpensive, but there are a few things to understand before you start this project: 1) It’s important to always make a fresh batch for each craft session because the dough will dry out, 2) There are several steps in creating the ornaments, and 3) Salt dough ornaments need to be thoroughly dried before painting. It’s best to plan two craft sessions for each batch of ornaments, one to create the ornament shapes and a second to paint and decorate them. For an added Christmas touch, spices such as cinnamon or cloves can be added to the dough for that punch of holiday aroma near the tree!
Craft Salt Dough Recipe
1 cup salt
2 cups flour
½ – 3/4 cup water
Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg etc
* Mix the flour, salt and water together until it forms a ball. Knead dough well before rolling.
* Roll out the dough or press into shapes, keeping the dough thick enough to be sturdy, but thin enough that they can dry out when baking.
* Before baking the ornaments, be sure to insert a wire loop in the top made of wire for hanging.
* If attaching separate shapes, dab a bit of water where the two pieces meet
* Bake @ 200 degrees for about 1-2 hours (check occasionally).
* When they feel dry on the bottom they are done.
* Cool baked salt dough ornaments and paint or decorate as desired.
* Be sure to seal the finished ornament with varnish or craft sealer so that bugs don’t invade the ornament in the attic.
Christmas Salt Dough Ornament Ideas
Ideas for Salt Dough ornaments are limited only to your imagination. And there is no reason to limit the shapes to Christmas themes, either. A colorful car or airplane can make a cute salt dough holiday ornament for boys to make, and who says you can’t hang a holiday giraffe on a safari themed tree? Go wherever your creativity takes you and be sure to write the year and “artist’s” name on the salt dough ornament somewhere. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Christmas cookies – You can use any cookie cutter to form the cookie ornament. Mix up the designs, using stars, Christmas trees, bells, Santas and Angels, or limit the theme to just one shape and alter the paint design and colors. For added interest create an indention in the center which can be filled with beads, colored rice, foil or crushed Jolly Ranchers or Life Savers after the ornament dries. The candy can be melted into the indention at a low heat, but watch out, it can get sticky!
Faux Metallic Christmas Angels – Using a cookie cutter or your own pattern, create simple, flat angel shapes. Use a bottle cap, spoon or stamp to create impressions in the body of the angel and paint them all in the same metallic acrylic paint color. A metal halo could be formed from wire and inserted in the Angel’s head prior to drying or baking.
3-D Christmas ornaments – Cut out three of the same shape, each one trimmed to a slightly smaller size, layering the cut outs for a 3-D effect. You can create the 3-D effect several ways: 1) pile the three cutouts on top of each other, largest on the bottom, 2) use the largest in the center placing the two smaller cutouts at its side, or 3) overlap the three slightly, with largest to smallest left to right. Stars and Christmas trees work great for this technique. The three cutouts can be baked separately to speed drying and glued together before painting. If stacked before drying, dab a bit of water where they overlap. When painting, emphasize the edges of each layer by painting in silver or gold or shades that are lighter or darker than the ornament’s primary color.
Miniature Picture Frame ornaments – Create various sizes of squares to look like picture frames and create a square or round indention in the center in which small pictures will be pasted after ornament is painted. For an ornate edge on the frame, sculpt lines with a toothpick, fork, or other sharp edge and paint in metallic paint. For added texture, press rice, barley, pinecone pieces, rocks or other small textured items into the dough before baking. Once ornament is dried and painted, glue current family photos, cut-outs from old Christmas cards, or photos from ancestors in the center indention. These frames can document your children’s smiles as they change Christmas to Christmas.
Miniature Tree ornaments – Cut out Christmas tree shapes and pieces that can be used to decorate it. The smaller pieces can be cut into stars, bells, circles, hearts, teddy bears, etc and glued onto the tree once painted. The smaller pieces will dry quickly, therefore if baked, watch the oven closely so they don’t burn. Ric-Rac, beads, ribbons, scraps of fabric can be glued on for decor as well.
Use a Garlic Press When Making Salt Dough Ornaments!
Pressing salt dough through a garlic press creates strands of salt dough that can be added to ornaments to add amazing special effects. The strands of dough can be used to create hair on angels, Christmas tree foliage, Christmas tree garland, Raised edges on Stars and bells. It can also be twisted to make Candy Canes. To hold the strands to the body of the ornament, brush with a mixture of egg and water.
Using salt dough to create Christmas ornaments is a fun way for everyone to get into the holiday spirit. You’ll be amazed at how cute they look on the tree and enjoy the compliments you’ll get from your friends and family. Your tree will be unique and filled with memories for years to come!
Check out the slideshow of the salt dough ornaments my grandkids and I made this year: “Easy Salt Dough Ornaments”
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