Holiday Crafternoon: Make Easy Salt Dough Ornaments from Ingredients You Already Have on Hand

Holiday Crafternoon: Make Easy Salt Dough Ornaments from Ingredients You Already Have on Hand

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Ashley Poskin
Nov 17, 2015
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

A beautiful and natural take on classic homemade dough recipes, these salt dough ornaments give off a more subtle, organic vibe than the ones you made as a kid. They're also made with kitchen staples, so reach into your snack stash, grab some colorful seeds, and let your creativity run wild. We're giving you two recipes: classic salt dough and a cornstarch version.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

While we love salt dough, we decided to test out a variation using corn starch and baking soda. For our fave salt dough recipe, see below.

What You Need for Cornstarch Ornaments

Materials - Yields about 6 ornaments

  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Various seeds, spices, etc. ( we used almonds, split peas, corn, star anise, flax seed, and pumpkin seeds)
  • Twine
  • School glue
  • Parchment paper

Tools

  • Cookie cutters
  • Rolling pin
  • Stovetop + oven

Instructions

1. To make the clay, combine 1/2 cup corn starch, 1 cup baking soda, and 3/4 cup water together in a medium size sauce pan on the stove top. On medium heat, stir until the mixture comes together in a sort of mashed potato consistency.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover it with a damp cloth and let it sit until cool.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

3. Once cool enough to handle, knead the clay on a lightly dusted (cornstarch) surface until smooth. Add in more cornstarch if the mixture feels too sticky.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

3. Roll out dough on parchment paper or a silicon mat until it's approximately 1/4" thick.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

4. Arrange your cookie cutters and extract your shapes. You may need a spatula to get the designs off without damaging them.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

5. Lay the cut outs on a parchment lined baking sheet and press your decorations into the tops, making sure not to press through the bottom. Take your time making the ornaments spectacular, but if you find the ornaments are sitting out for longer than a half our or so lightly cover them with a damp cloth. Ornaments that dry out have a tendency to crack during the baking process.

You can use a toothpick to add holes to string the ornaments up, or you can glue twine loops onto the backs of finished ornaments once out of the oven.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

4. Bake ornaments at 175° for 1 hour, rotating the pan after 30 minutes.

5. Once cool, you may have a few seeds fall off your ornaments. If this happens, grab your school glue, dab a bit on the back of each seed and press back into place.

What You Need for Salt Dough Ornaments

Materials - Yields about 12 ornaments

  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup lukewarm water

Tools

  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie cutters
  • Large bowl

Instructions

1. Mix flour and salt and add water until the dough begins to form.

2. Kneed the dough for a few minutes until smooth.

3. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to approximately 1/4" thickness, then use cookie cutters to cut out the shapes. Use a toothpick to make a hole for hanging the ornaments, or wait until they are dry and glue the string to the back of the ornament.

4. Decorate!

5. Let air dry, or bake at 175° for 1 - 1/2 hours.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)
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