Thursday, December 3, 2009

Salt Dough Ornaments - A Jubilant Project

We started a new tradition this year and let the kids purchase an ornament and every year they would get to put their own ornament on the tree. I was hoping that the kids would pick out something meaningful. Instead they picked out glittery and shiny ornaments and happily hung them on the tree. Nothing wrong with a little glitter in your life, certainly.

Looking through the selection there at the store, I realized that none of the ornaments reflected anything that happened to us this year. That's when I decided to help the kids make salt dough ornaments. It would be a reminder of a special event and special because they made it themselves. Bonus!

My oldest two chickadees got right into the project and could barely wait for them to dry so that they could paint them. They even made several extra ornaments to give as gifts.

Whirling Dervish opted out of making his own ornament after playing with the dough for 20 minutes. Anything that keeps him busy for 20 minutes is a good thing. I try not to look a gift horse in the mouth and didn't push the issue of making an ornament.

The Affectionate One made an ornament that says, "Jesus si here" (read as "Jesus is here") reflecting her new-found faith. I think. I can only give you my best, most hopeful guess. For once she did not treat me to a full discourse as to why she was doing what she was doing. And I decided to take advantage of the relative quiet by not asking - since they occur so few and far between. Does that make me a bad mom? Wait, I'm not sure I want the answer to that . . .

The Cruise Director made an ornament of a calico kitten. Even though his kitten is an orange tabby, he likes the calico one, Patches, best. Please disregard the red hole that looks eerily like a bullet hole. It's for the ribbon that the ornament will hang from. And for some reason, he decided to emphasize it.

It was fun and a neat insight into what is on their minds and what is important to them about this year.

Here is the simple recipe for salt dough ornaments.

  • 2 cups Flour (any kind of flour will work - I used self-rising flour because it was all I had)
  • 1 cup Salt
  • 1 cup Water
Mix the ingredients over medium heat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan. Let cool. Then knead a few times to make smooth (ish). It will be gritty since there is so much salt, but it plays wonderfully.

After shaping your ornaments (and putting a hole near the top so it can be strung with ribbon), place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake ornaments at 300* for about two hours. You will want to check on the ornaments to be sure they don't brown too much. Unless, of course that is the look you are going for. Then paint.

Happy Baking,

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