Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Salt dough ornaments {New traditions}

Last Christmas I attempted to make salt dough ornaments with Leila.  I was proud of my accomplishment, but they are so easy to make, I decided to step it up a notch this year.  I saw these adorable Santa hand print ornaments on Pinterest (of course) and knew they would be the ornaments we made this year.

Aren't they adorable?

They were super easy to make too!  The most difficult part was keeping these two friends entertained while Amy and I kneaded, rolled, and cut out the dough into the shapes we wanted.

I used the same recipe I used last year to make the dough.

Salt Dough Santa Claus Ornaments

This recipe makes 12-16 toddler hand sized Santas.

4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 1/2 cups water
sturdy cardboard
parchment paper
Acrylic paint- skin tone, red, white, black/brown, blue, pale pink

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Combine the ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Knead the dough for 15-20 minutes (knead on the counter, it's easier)
  4. Separate dough into equal sized portions and set aside.
  5. Roll out one portion of dough onto a small piece of parchment paper.
  6. Trace your child's hand onto a piece of cardboard and cut out carefully.
  7. Dust one side of the cardboard cut-out hand print with flour to prevent sticking.
  8. Cut around the cardboard hand with a knife.
  9. Use a straw or similar object to make a hole at the top (base of the hand) for hanging on the tree later.
  10. Poke holes with a skewer around the perimeter of the ornament to prevent bubbling.  Poke all the way through the dough for the best results.
  11. Place parchment paper and ornament on a baking sheet.
  12. Bake at 300 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden. 
  13. Let them cool completely before painting. 

Salt dough Santa Claus Ornament painting guide:
(As you can see in the pics above, I also made stars for Leila to paint herself since she is not ready for the detailed Santa painting.  Read these tips on painting with toddlers...no muddy brown if you follow my instructions!)
  1. Start by paining the section just above the fingers using the skin tone colored acrylic paint.  (You can see in my close-up picture that the paint I used for the face cracked.  I did not use acrylic for the skin tone which was a big mistake.  Regular washable paint just doesn't work as well.)
  2. Paint the hat and the thumb red leaving the tip of the thumb unpainted until later.
  3. Let these two colors dry.  (You may need more than one coat.)
  4. Paint the fingers and sides of the ornament white.  Leave a little bit of the skin tone paint showing for the mouth.
  5. Paint the fur trim on Santa's hat and the tip of the thumb white.  I definitely needed more than one coat of white paint.  For best results let it dry between each coat.
  6. Use pale pink for the cheeks and mouth, blue for the eyes, and black/brown for the pupils,
  7. Mix a bit of pale pink with the skin tone paint for the nose.
  8. Let them dry completely overnight.
  9. Add a ribbon or ornament hook and wrap them as a gift of hang it on your tree. 
Next year I'll be making ornaments again!  With inspiration from Pinterest, I'll be tackling something new for our homemade Christmas ornament tradition.

i love you more than carrots

What are your holiday traditions?  Have they changed since having children?

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