How to make salt dough:
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup plain flour
- Up to 1 cup of water (add gradually)
- Combine the salt and flour then pour in the water gradually, stopping when it has become dough-like and not too sticky. There should be no residue left on your fingers when you touch it. Knead it on a floured surface for a few minutes to make it soft, workable and stretchy, like you would with any dough. This step is wonderful for strengthening those small hand muscles essential for writing and cutting!
Choose a range of cookie cutter shapes and simply cut straight from the dough. We used Christmas trees, stars and hearts. Poke a straw through the centre, near the top, of each shape so that ribbon can be threaded through later.
Lay them on some greaseproof or baking paper and on a baking tray. Cook them on a VERY low heat (around 100 degrees C/ 202 F) for up to 3 hours. If the shapes are over 1cm thick then they will probably need to be turned over during cooking.
It is VERY important not to have the oven on too high. This will cause the salt dough to bubble up and fill with air, as essentially it is being cooked. What you are really aiming for is to dry them out thoroughly, over a slow period of time.
As soon as they are out of the oven they can be left to cool while your child chooses which colours and decorations to add! We used acrylic paints which adhere to the dough really successfully. Ordinary water-based children’s paint does work, but the colours are not as vibrant and the paint can flake off eventually. The acrylics work as a sealant and keep the colours strong and beautiful!
Once the paint is dry, spread on some PVA (runny) glue and sprinkle over some glitter for a wonderfully Christmassy effect!
We have also tried adding sequins and buttons, which make gorgeous alternatives!
When they are dry, thread through with thin ribbon or twine and hang on the tree! You can write the date in the back to remember when they were made too, adding a special memory to the occasion.
If you liked this idea, please share it via Facebook, StumbleUpon, Pinterest or Tumblr! Thank You.
Why not try making footprint and handprint keepsakes too?
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