As a mother, I’m constantly trying to capture moments of my daughter. She’s growing up before my eyes, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to make her slow down! While I love taking photos (I probably have thousands in her short 21 months of life so far!), I know I won’t always remember the way her hand fits inside mine, or how small those little socks are that keep disappearing. That’s where salt dough ornaments come in! With some basic ingredients, you can make your own molds of those tiny, sticky fingers to cherish every holiday season. Even if you don’t create a mold of your little one’s hand or feet, you will have wonderful memories of making ornaments together. Follow the basic recipe and read on to get some great ideas for your own salt dough ornaments.
Basic Salt Dough Recipe
1 cup salt
1 cup flour
1/2 cup warm water
Combine ingredients in a large bowl and knead until all the salt is absorbed (not grainy) and mixture is easily stretchable. If the dough is too dry, add a little water. The dough should feel like cookie dough. Once you pick your design and make your ornament, be sure to use a straw to poke a hole through the top so you can thread a ribbon and hang on your tree. Bake your ornament at 200 degrees F for 3 hours on parchment paper to avoid sticking. Once completely cooled, paint (acrylic paint works best) and hang!
Now, on to the ideas!
These ornaments are the most nostalgic and probably ones you did in elementary school. Use the recipe above, form the dough into a ball and then smooth out with a rolling pin to the desired size. Have your little one push their hand into the dough and voila! Bake and paint! You can do numerous takes on the handprint version, making Santa, Christmas Trees, or mittens. You can add food coloring to the dough (I would add to the water before adding to the dough, to ensure thorough coloring) for an extra festive ornament!
For more awesome, age appropriate crafts and activities for baby through school-age children, head on over to TheImaginationTree.com!