I was looking for something the kids could do for their relatives for Christmas when I found this recipe athttp://thehappyhousewife.com/home-management/salt-dough-ornaments/ and decided it was perfect. In the past I let the kids buy items for their grandparents, aunts and uncles at day care or school, but I got tired of spending so much money on junk (I was completely appalled at what Buddy brought home from the Secret Santa Shop when he was in kindergarten – it was complete crap and I vowed to never do that again, which worked out since he switched schools anyway). Last year we took the kids to Five Below, but with our budget cut way down this year we decided to skip that too.
2 cups flour (plus extra)
1 cup salt
1 cup warm water
2 ziplock bags (optional)
food coloring (optional)
acrylic paint in various colors (or another type of paint)
Cost: $0 (I had everything on hand)
I made some alterations to the instructions. First, I split the ingredients into 2 ziplock bags, so each had 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of salt and 1//2 cup of warm water. Then I let each of the kids pick a color and added a few drops of food coloring. I did this for 2 reasons: 1. the kids loved it, and 2. it made it very easy to tell which ornaments belonged to which kid.
Once the ingredients were in the bags I made sure they were closed tight and let the kids squish the ingredients together. Which, of course, they loved. And then hammed up for the camera.
After the dough was mixed (and I made sure it was mixed well), we took the dough out of the bag and rolled it onto the counter (also, tall husbands are very handy for taking pictures).
Then let the kids use cookie cutters and put the shapes on a cookie tray.
Once the ornaments are on the cookie trays, use a straw to make a hole for the ribbon on the top of each ornament.
Then bake them at 200 degrees for EVER. The instructions said 4-6 hours. I had them in for 3 hours and went to bed so I turned off the oven and I thought they might dry over night, but they didn’t. The next evening I put them on for another 2 hours, then decided to flip them since the backs were still not dry, then they were in for 2 hours. Once they were finally ready to be painted I set out paint (I had acrylic so I used that, although it does not come out of clothes, so proceed with caution) and let the kids go to town.
I think they turned out great. Even though the kids painted over the colored dough, it made it really easy for me to label and date the backs without worrying about mixing them up. We have enough for their grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents (yay us!) and plenty left over.