Salt Dough Ornaments
As an educator, I am always looking for fun things to do with children that keeps their hands busy while creating. Working with any type of dough, clay or beeswax is a great tool for younger children to work on fine motor skills. I like to mix up salt dough because it uses common ingredients I already have on hand. As a clay-like mixture, it can be used to make ornaments, beads and so much more.
The holidays are a great occasion to gather the ingredients and make a batch of salt dough. The kids will love to decorate and give as gifts or hang them on a tree. We have made them in the past and used the colored dough as beaded ornaments for decorating and to put on packages as a gift topper.
3/4 cup salt
2 cups flour
Natural food coloring such as turmeric, matcha powder, paprika, cinnamon, beet or cocoa powder
1½ cups water
1. Combine salt and flour in a medium bowl. If you want to create colored dough, divide salt-flour mixture into separate bowls for each color.
2. Sprinkle powdered food coloring into salt-flour mixture and combine. To color the dough, you can also use paint that can be put in the oven.
3. Slowly add water until all the ingredients are combined. The mixture should be more on the dry side. If the dough is too crumbly, add more water. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour.
4. Knead dough and roll out with a rolling pin on a floured surface, about half an inch thick.
5. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes. For ornaments, poke holes in the top of the shape to hang string. For beads, roll spheres and poke holes with a wooden skewer through the middle.
6. Place shapes on parchment-lined baking sheets and dry-bake in the oven on the lowest setting for three hours.
7. Once cool, you can also decorate by painting with acrylic or kids’ paint and string them to be used as ornaments or beads.