My daughter and I have recently been having fun making simple cookie-cutter ornaments out of salt dough. These are a few that my daughter has recently finished:
The recipe is really simple:
1 cup salt
1 cup warm water
Let this sit for a minute or two to allow the salt to dissolve a bit.
2 cups flour
Stir together, then use your hands to knead it together until it smooth and soft. Add a bit more flour if it is too sticky.
This dough can be used lots of different ways, but most recently we have been rolling it out like cookie dough and using cookie cutters to make shapes that we bake until they are hard and then decorate with paint.
Make sure that if making ornaments, a hole is made so that a ribbon can be pulled through for hanging. A straw works well for this.
The recipe I have says to bake at 200 degrees for 1-4 hours. In our experience, it’s never baked enough after 1 hour and sometimes even needs a little longer than 4. We usually turn the ornaments over every hour or so and then keep checking them to see when they are completely dry. They can always be put back into the oven again later if some moist spots are still there when they cool.
When the ornaments are completely cool and dry, we painted them with a coat or two of white acrylic paint as a base coat. When that is dry, paint as desired.
We used a version of this as an activity for 2 and 3 year olds at our church. My daughter and I cut out star shapes and then found a bottle lid that was about 1 inch wide. We pressed this into the center of the star to make a depression.
We then painted them with a base coat of white paint. We then let the kids paint them with either gold or opal glitter glue ( or often, a mix of both:) ). Ahead of time, we took pictures of the kids that we sized down to 1″ circles to fit the size of the inset. We printed a couple of sheets of these at the photo shop of a local drugstore and then cut them out to be glued to the center of the circles. We also made a few nativity image circles so that we would have choices for visitors that we hadn’t been able to photograph or for kids to use if they wanted to make several. Here’s a blurred view of the 4 by 6 photo sheet:
The final result looks like this, although the shimmer of the opal glitter doesn’t show up well in this photo: