Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Katy emailed me yesterday and I saw on her blog how she made the most adorable ornaments for her Christmas tree. The kids and I got to work at once making some salt dough. Ours weren't as cute, but we had a bunch of fun rolling out the dough while singing (loudly!) to carols playing on the satellite TV channel.
1 cup salt
3 cups flour (I used Pamela's because that's the only stuff I had in the house. Inexpensive rice flour would be the best bet for those who can't handle wheat)
1 cup luke warm water
1 T vegetable oil
Mix dough with hand or stand mixer until it reaches a ball. If needed, add 1 tablespoon more water while mixing. The dough will be sticky, but will hold shape when molded.
Make ornaments (or beads for stringing). We made a bunch of beads to create a garland, and a few cut-out shapes for regular ornaments with playdough cookie cutters. Use a chopstick to make a hole in the center of the ornaments--you need to have a good amount of dough surrounding the hole so it doesn't crumble when hung.
Line the bottom of your crockpot with parchment paper. I did not do this, and it was a bad idea. Place dough creations into the bottom of your crockpot. I used both of my 6 quart crockpots for this project. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours, flipping once.
The ornaments are done when they are hard to the touch and have browned slightly. I did overcook a few, but after a coat of paint you can't tell.
After they have cooled completely, paint. We only had crayola poster paint in the house, so that's what we used. A paint that dries with a shiny coat would look better. Seal with a varnish or Mod Podge. I haven't done this yet, but I'll get some Mod Podge next time I'm at Michael's.
These were a lot of fun for us. My four-year-old kept eating the dough which was a little weird, but we were all in a good mood, and made memories. I like salt dough a lot, and have used it to make hand and foot prints. I liked using the crockpot instead of the oven this year because we ended up with NO casualties---none of the pieces cracked, and the slow cooking meant I could fuss around with the pieces and move them around to ensure an even bake. I have a half-batch of the dough left wrapped up in the fridge, so this weekend we'll get some nicer paint and make some more ornaments to give as gifts.
If you're looking for dinner for tonight, my crockpot lasagna recipe and brie with cranberries and candied pecans is up today at Wasabimon.
more fun stuff: