Have you ever wondered how to make salt dough Christmas decorations? Home made Christmas decorations aren’t for everyone but I love to have a few of them on our tree and I know that the Grandparents say that they love to receive them(!), so I thought I would share our design for 2016.
The trick with salt dough decorations is to be patient. This means that I usually make the salt dough shapes without the kids. Young children (well, my young children) don’t have the patience to wait three hours for the salt dough to dry out in the oven, or to wait for the base colour to dry, so I made the basic shapes in advance. You can watch me making these Salt Dough Christmas decorations here.
For Salt Dough Christmas Decorations You Will Need:
- 200g plain flour
- 150g table salt
- 150ml water
- Cookie cutters
- One drinking straw
- Green Sharpie pen
- Acrylic paint (white, yellow and two shades of green)
- PVA glue (also called white glue or Elmer’s glue)
How to Make Salt Dough Christmas Decorations
Mix together 200g of plain flour and 150g of table salt in a bowl. Gradually add the water to the mixture and keep stirring. Add the water in small amounts until the dough comes together. You might not need all the water. Only add water until your dough comes together in the bowl – you don’t want to add too much water and end up with a sticky wet dough – the drier the better.
Take your dough and put it on a floured surface and start to knead until the dough is soft and pliable. Then, roll out the dough to the thickness of about half a centimetre and cut shapes out of the dough. For these Christmas decorations I cut a circle but you can cut Christmas trees, stars, snowmen – whatever you want it’s up to you.
Take a drinking straw and make a hole towards the top of your cut out shape – this will be the hole that you eventually thread the ribbon through.
Place your salt dough shapes on a piece of greaseproof paper or baking parchment on a baking tray.
Bake your salt dough decorations at a very low heat (around 100ºc) for 3 hours. The trick with salt dough is to bake at a very low temperature to dry the dough out. You don’t want your decorations to rise, you want them to harden. I start to bake my decorations at 50ºc and slowly turn up the temperature, as we have quite a hot fan oven. I also turn the decorations over after an hour and a half so that they dry out evenly.
Once the salt dough Christmas decorations are baked, leave them to cool before painting.
This year we made bauble shapes with fingerprint Christmas trees. Firstly, I painted the circular baubles white and I left them to dry.
Once the white paint was dry I took a green Sharpie pen and drew a triangle onto the white background. Then I put out two different colours of green acrylic paint and I asked the children to finger paint the Christmas tree shape. Once the trees were painted I gave them a tiny amount of yellow acrylic paint to add one fingerprint ‘star’ to the top of their tree.
This year I wrote ‘Christmas 2016’ on one side of their decorations and their names and ages on the other. It is a really good idea to write the age of the child on the decoration, as when these decorations come out year after year, you might have trouble remembering when they were made. Leave the paint to dry completely.
Once the paint is dry, mix together PVA glue with some glitter and paint this all over the decorations. Don’t panic as the glue is white when it is wet but it will dry clear. You can see me painting the glue on our decorations in the video here.
When the glue is dry you will have a shiny finish with speckles of glitter that twinkle in the light. The final step is to add a ribbon. Then your salt dough Christmas decorations are ready to give as gifts, or to hang on the Christmas tree.