Tuesday, November 20, 2012

DIY With Star: Salt Dough Beauties

With Thanksgiving only a few days away and Christmas music playing in every store you go into, the holidays are clearly upon us!  Every holiday season I like to make ornaments for our tree. This year I plan to make two different kinds (I'll post the second one soon :).  In addition to adorning our tree, I often tie my homemade ornaments to holiday gifts to give the wrapping a little uniqueness.  This year I was inspired to recreate grown up versions of the salt dough ornaments I made as a child.  It's been years since I made anything with salt dough and I must say, it was a lot of fun.  There is something wonderfully nostalgic about getting your hands sticky, rolling out the grainy dough and utilizing your cookie cutters for something other than cookies!

As you can tell by the colors I used for the ornaments, I am super into metallics this holiday season.  I've purchased various types of metallic gift wrap and I think these ornaments will look beautiful with them.  I plan to tie them to gifts and write people's names on the back in lieu of gift tags.  I love that these ornaments are not holiday specific and can be used for friends and family that celebrate Christmas or Hanukah.

These are obviously holiday inspired, but the idea of these simple ornaments could also be used as cute favors for a rustic garden wedding or shower.  You could stamp your initials and wedding date on them and paint them in your wedding colors.  You could also write your guests' names on them and use them as escort cards or at place settings.

DIY Salt Dough Ornaments

- 1/2 cup salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cups warm water
- Rolling pin
- Cookie cutters
- Skewer, toothpick or chopstick
- Non-stick baking sheet or parchment paper lined baking sheet
- Rubber stamps and ink (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.  Combine water and salt, then add flour. Kneed the dough, adding more flour as needed.  Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4" thick.  Using your cookie cutters (or cups or jars for perfect circles), cut shapes out of the dough and place on the baking sheet.  Use your skewer to poke a hole in the dough (make sure it is large enough to thread ribbon or string through).  If you choose to make impressions on your ornaments, use a rubber stamp (use ink for a colored impression or without ink for an impression only).  You can also experiment with using a toothpick to write letters or draw images.  Place the ornaments in the pre-heated oven and bake for an hour to an hour and a half, turning half way through.  Bake until the ornaments are firm, the thicker they are, the loner they will take to dry.  Let them cool completely before decorating further.

I happen to like the organic, rustic look of the stamped ornaments unpainted so I left a few of them that way.  If you like this look as well, I still recommend you coating them with a layer of Modge Podge to seal them.  I chose to paint the majority of my ornaments.  I used Martha Stewart's Metallic Acrylic Craft Paint in Light Gold and Champagne as well as Martha Stewart's Coarse Glitter Acrylic Craft Paint in Sterling.  I used sheer white ribbon for the smaller ornaments and beautiful satin silver ribbon for the larger ones.  I LOVE the way the silver ribbon looks!

Salt dough is not just for kids!  Happy crafting :)


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