Okay, mamas, fair warning. This isn’t going to be one of those elegant tutorials with perfect results. Mostly because when I do a craft with my kids, I’m actually doing the craft with my kids. I’m not going to pass up free labor!
Yesterday I put them to work making salt dough Christmas ornaments. You’ve probably made them or at least seen them. They’re the kind of thing that can be easily mistaken for Christmas cookies but the one time my daughter, at age two, tried a bite of the dough she burst into tears. Lesson learned.
I threw the salt dough together in the stand mixer but after that, they were on the clock mixing in the food coloring and rolling out and cutting the dough. Then stamping it to within an inch of its life with holiday INappropriate rubber stamps.
My son, who is four, declared making salt dough Christmas ornaments the best activity EVER. I’m not actually sure what he liked about it since he’s usually not a fan of crafts that take longer than, oh, five minutes but he was at it for hours.
Okay so maybe not hours but definitely for more than an hour which is a new crafting record for him! And boy did he – and my daughter – go for it, stamping their ornaments up, down, and all around. While Christmas salt dough ornaments featuring bunnies, carrots, and Easter eggs may not be the norm in every household, you’re definitely going to see them on our tree.
I know a lot of people like to paint salt dough ornaments but they actually come out very vibrant and beautiful when you color them in advance. And as you can see in the photos above, the kiddos definitely liked the part where I had them knead the colors into the salt dough.
Want o get crafty with your kids this Christmas season? Here’s the recipe I use:
Colored Salt Dough Ornaments
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup water
- A splash of veggie oil
- Water-based food coloring
- Whisk the flour and the salt together
- Slowly add the water while your mixer’s dough hook is slowly turning (or just dump it in and start kneading with your hands)
- Divide the dough into one ball for each color you want to make
- Knead each ball briefly by hand
- On a color-safe surface, make a depression in each dough ball and fill with 5-10 drops of food coloring
- Knead until each color is uniform (or knead them briefly for a marbled look)
- Roll out the dough, cut into shapes, and use a straw to poke a hole in each ornament
- If you like, use rubbed stamps to make pictures and words in your ornaments
- Bake at 200F until ornaments are dry – this can take a while! (Flipping them after an hour helps.)
- Loop a pretty string through the hole in each ornament and hang everywhere
And that’s about it, mom friends! If you decide to try this your your little ones, post pics of your ornaments on our Facebook page!