Remember that Holiday Craft Fair at work that I was getting ready for? Thankfully, it has come and gone. I made a modest showing with a few fun, cute things, and ended up making a few bucks, which was AWESOME. Gotta support my craft habit somehow.
One of the items I was really excited to make ended up being an almost total failure. I sadly (or maybe happily) didn’t keep any pictures of the failures because I was so disgusted and annoyed, but I was smart enough to save the non-failures, and they actually turned out all right.
I was inspired by this lovely post on salt dough ornaments. Hers are gorgeous, aren’t they? They are (apparently) a traditional holiday activity/decoration that I had never tried before, and I thought they were absolutely beautiful.
The recipe is fairly simple:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1/2 cup water
Mix well, then knead until smooth. It made a nice, pliable, easy to roll dough, and I was really excited to get started. I had bought some beautiful holiday stamps and red and green ink pads, so I rolled out my dough and got stamping.
I used fun cookie cutters and knives to cut out shapes, and used a straw to poke holes for hanging. The recipe I looked at said to bake the ornaments at 200 degrees F for 6 hours. Umm, ok, I thought, 6 hours is kind of a long time. I guess I’ll just throw them in for a while and see what happens. Fast forward to 40 minutes later, and I took a peek in the oven. Horror! They had turned an ugly yellow color and were starting to curl up off the cookie sheet. I whipped them out of the oven ASAP, but the damage was done. Even though I let them finish drying outside the oven, the yucky yellow color remained, and they stayed curly. The entire sheet tray was ruined. More than half the batch of dough, ruined.
Thankfully, the ones that didn’t go into the oven turned out ok. HOWEVER, they took about 4 days to dry completely. And seeing as how I am the queen of procrastination and didn’t start making them until 2 days before the craft fair, they were not ready. Boo. But, now I have lots of beautiful handmade Christmas gifts. Or a head start on next year’s craft fair. Lord knows I need all the time I can get.
The air dried ornaments turned out a lovely shade of white, and you can see the salt in them, like flecks of sand or glass. I may decorate some of these with glitter, but they’re pretty nice on their own. You could also dye the dough with food coloring, or paint with acrylics when dry.
So, if you decide to do these yourself, make sure you air dry them, and make sure you leave plenty of drying time. I found they dried better after I moved them to a wire cooling rack instead of leaving them on the baking sheet.