You can make salt dough crafts with very young kids - this home made modeling dough is nontoxic, and children love working it with their hands.
Younger children can use markers, seeds or acrylic paints to decorate their dried craft dough ornaments.
Older kids will enjoy decorating dough ornaments with fancy embellishments and paints.
In our family we like to make dough ornaments for Christmas to give as gifts to friends and family, and we've also made dough ornaments for other occasions and holidays including Valentine's
Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Halloween and Earth Day.
Home Made Craft Dough Recipe
2 cups flour
1 cup table salt
1 cup hot water
Dough Ornament Modeling Supplies
Shapes: Cookie cutters or cardboard templates
Decorations: Glitter, Paint, Beads, Ribbons, Buttons
Extruding tools: cookie press, garlic press, drinking straw for holes
Mix the ingredients together then round up the dough into a ball and knead until smooth.
Instructions for Making Dough Ornaments
Roll out dough to about cookie thickness. Cut shapes with cookie cutters
and place on a parchment sheet and baking pan (or microwave
safe plate if using the alternate drying method).
If you want to make hanging ornaments, punch a hole for ribbon or string using a plastic straw.
Bake dough ornaments at 170-200 degrees for about 12-15 hours until dough is completely dry. The slow baking prevents the dough from curling or puffing while it dries. You can also air dry salt dough ornaments; it will take several days for them to dry completely.
Alternate Drying Method. I've seen this recommended as another way to dry salt dough ornaments: Heat on a microwave safe plate in microwave on high for approximately 2 minutes, or until completely dry.
After baking/drying, cool completely, blow off any excess flour then paint or decorate. If you prefer, before adding decorative colors, first paint all ornaments with a base coat of white paint.
After paint dries, add other embellishments such as beads, buttons or a light coating of glitter.
Add a coat of clear acrylic sealer after final paint coating or glue is dry if desired. Thread ribbon or string through hanging holes.
For adults only: If you wish, instead of acrylic sealer you can coat your finished ornaments with polyurethane to help preserve them for many years. Be sure to wear gloves and apply polyurethane in a well-ventilated area.
Dry, coat again, then when finally dry write date and other information (signature, to/from) on the back with a black Sharpie marker.