This week for Iron Craft we were asked to sculpt something. I have taken pottery and clay classes and know there isn’t a sculptor in me, but I remember having fun making salt dough ornaments as a kid and decided to play with it again. The question was what to make.
How we wrap our Christmas presents has always been a big deal in my family. I like to use ornaments as gift tags then they can be used on the tree afterwards. My paper for this Christmas is black with white snowflakes, so I decided to make my own snowflake gift ornaments. (Yes, I have my paper for this Christmas already, 60% off after last Christmas is the way to go.)
Salt dough is super easy to make and uses three ingredients you already have in your cupboard. You could make these to match whatever paper you are using or just to hang on the tree. It would be really fun to have kids make them to go on gifts for the family.
Snowflake Gift Ornament How To:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 c salt
1/4 c water
cookie cutters (I used snowflakes but you can do any shape)
toothpick or skewer
Making the Ornaments:
Preheat the oven to 200F.
Mix the flour and salt together. Stir in the water. Knead until combined on a lightly floured surface. The dough should roll out without breaking but not be too moist. Add more flour or water if needed. Put in an airtight container and work with a little bit at a time so it doesn’t dry out.
Roll the dough out to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out shapes with cookies cutters. It’s a little tricky to move the cut out shapes, so I put small rolled out pieces on my baking sheet and cut the shapes out there. Wiggling the cookie cutter a little before removing helps get a cleaner cut. If the edges are a little rough you can use a toothpick or skewer to clean them up (You can also clean them up a little after baking.)
Use your toothpick to put a hanging hole in each ornament. I also used it to make designs in the snowflakes. I got the baking sheet above worth of 2-inch ornaments out of half the dough. Bake for 2 hours, turning the ornaments every half an hour or so. You want them to be baked completely through. (You can also let them air dry, but that takes a couple of days. Once cooked, let the ornaments cool and decorate them.
They looked pretty natural, but I wanted whiter to match my wrapping paper. I painted the ornaments with white acrylic paint, one thick coat was enough. While the paint was wet, I sprinkled on some silver glitter. After both sides were painted and dry, I painted on a coat of varnish. You don’t have to varnish them, but it gives them a nice shine and will make them last longer.
If you want to use these as gift tags you can write on the back of them with a fine point sharpie. Each year when your friends and family hang them on the tree, they’ll remember who made it for them.
© 2005 – 2011 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish