6.12.11

Sophisticated Salt Dough


I can totally remember being a kid and making salt dough ornaments at Christmas time. Snowmen, hearts, stars all painted and glittered, albeit a bit lumpy, hanging heavy on the tree. Fun.

Thirty plus years later, they're still fun to make and can have a more sophisticated look. Enter Pinterest....my newest and best love. Yours too? It's okay ~ I understand. I was inspired by these from Even Cleavland


and these from Marley and Lockyer (actually of white clay)



I love how elegant these ornaments look especially knowing that they come together with the most humble of ingredients: salt, flour and water.

Here's what you'll need:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup table salt
1/2 cup warm water

I put the dough hook onto my kitchen aid, put in all the ingredients and let it go for about 8 minutes. A bit of scraping and repositioning was needed in the process. You could mix it all by hand too; just make sure it's nice and smooth and everything's well incorporated before you start rolling, stamping and cutting.

I'm doing my tree in silver and cream this year and I love the script stamp M&L used. Found one a Michael's for 50% off along with a pretty leaf and some silver ink.



I rolled out, stamped and cut the dough directly onto my silpat because I didn't want to move them once they were ready to go into the oven. Also, stamp before you cut so as not to flatten your desired shape.



I used a straw to make the holes but a bamboo skewer would work just as well. When everything was ready, I gently slid the silpat onto a cookie sheet and popped it into a 200 degree oven for about 4 hours, essentially drying them out. They'll continue to harden up over time and you can embellish them further. I rubbed some of the silver ink I used for the stamps onto the outsides and backs of my ornaments and then made ties out of torn strips of muslin. I hung them on a little felt tree that I have and I'll keep them there until we get our big tree in a couple of weeks.






These would be great tags to embellish a gift with or make a dozen and give them to a friend who likes a vintage shabby feel to her ornaments.


79 comments:

  1. Love this and want to make some for my Jesse Tree! thank you! christie at three pixie lane

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  2. Love it.....Why can't December be 8 weeks long so I can get every project done!?!

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  3. These are lovely! I definately want to try this.

    I'd love for you to link up and share: http://tutusandteaparties.blogspot.com/2011/12/pinteresting-link-party-week-sixteen.html

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  4. These are gorgeous! I have been wanting to make some "adultlike" ornaments from the dough-thanks for sharing a great idea!

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  5. These are just beautiful! I have to make some! Have you linked up with Creative Me Monday? It's open all week long and I'd love to have you join us! You can link up as many projects as you'd like! The link is:

    http://www.thesoutherninstitute.com/2011/12/creative-me-monday.html?utm_source=BP_recent

    Hope to see you there!

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  6. LOVE THIS IDEA! We made salt dough ornaments for years, this is such a stylish look to an old craft. I'm going to have to make these now. Thanks for the clever ideas.

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  7. The thought of making these makes me giddy. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. those are gorgeous. what a great idea. it's getting pinned!

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  9. I would love for you to link up your ornaments here:
    http://singingthreelittlebirds.blogspot.com/2011/11/25-days-of-christmas-ornaments-linky.html

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  10. So pretty! I've been using clay but I might have to try the salt dough...

    Visiting from SYS-

    Rhonda @ home.made.

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  11. These are so pretty and your tutorial makes them look so easy! I would love for you to share at my Blog Stalking Thursday Link Party. http://thecraftyblogstalker.blogspot.com/2011/12/blog-stalking-thursday-18.html

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  12. These are amazing! I see so many 'cute' ornament ideas (which are great, too) but it's nice to have some more classic ideas!

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  13. These are gorgeous! I never thought of salt dough as being capable of this sort of thing! I have to give this a try.

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  14. These are absolutely stunning! I've been wanting to make salt dough for my grandson to paint. I was thinking cutesie shapes. But now I think I'll make a batch just for myself. Great tips - thanks!

    Dropping by from Finding Fabulous.

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  15. Sophisticated, indeed! These are just lovely!! Thanks so much for sharing them :)

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  16. What a great take on these. Your version is lovely.

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  17. Love them! I think I just found my project to do with the kids today!

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  18. These are absolutely adorable! They look expensive too. I will be trying these with my kids--I tried a store bought clay this week and it was a giant FAIL! Thanks for the recipe and beautiful examples. I pinned them too.

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  19. Wow, definitely not the salt dough ornaments of my childhood--love them. Thanks for linking up to Beyond the Picket Fence.

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  20. I just found this on pinterest. They're so pretty. This is the first salt dough ornament I liked enough to pin. Thanks for sharing the tutorial with us!

    Hugs...Tracy @ Cotton Pickin Cute

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  21. Thanks for linking up to last week's Tuesday Confessional! You've been featured, so stop by and grab a button. :)
    http://www.craftyconfessions.com/2011/12/tuesday-confessional-features-top-10.html
    ~Macy

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  22. Thank you for the mention about my tags...and that they aren't salt dough, but white earthenware clay. Your tags look lovely!
    Ness xx
    Marley & lockyer

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  23. I love this, they are so sweet, and yes updated. I'm a polymer clay artist, I think I'll try it. These would be great gift tags also. Checkout my vintage garland tutorial and giveaway,they would look great together. Thanks, Cindy

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  24. This is so great!!! We always make these as a family but I need to make some, just me. So lovely.I would love for you to share this on the CSI Project this week. The theme is ornaments. Come by everyday to see a tutorial. Then link up starting Wednesday at midnight!!!!
    We have a great giveaway too!

    Thanks
    Dee, the CSI girl
    www.thecsiproject.com

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  25. These are the most beautiful salt dough ornaments I have ever seen! Love them, thank you for sharing.

    happylizard.blogspot.com

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  26. Well these ornaments are so sophisticated an it is hard to believe they are made from such simple materials. Lou

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  27. Beautiful ornaments! Stopping by from Made By You Monday! I have to share these on Pinterest and my facebook page!

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  28. so excited that so many people are loving these ornaments! i hope you all give them a try...

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  29. You were featured on Craft Envy! Thanks so much for sharing your talents!

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  30. You were one of the most viewed links at last week's {wow me] wednesday party! Yay! Featuring YOU tonight over on my blog. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Ginger @ gingersnapcrafts.com

    http://www.gingersnapcrafts.com/2011/12/wow-me-wednesday-29.html

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  31. I love these!!! Thank you soooo much for sharing! :)

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  32. These are so very pretty...happy that I came by and found them. Come over and share them at my NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAY PARTY...hope to see ya there:)

    Blessings,
    Linda

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  33. Thank you for sharing with Blog Stalking Thursday! I have featured you with this week's party! Don't forget to grab a feature button! http://thecraftyblogstalker.blogspot.com/2011/12/blog-stalking-thursday-19.html

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  34. Love these - pinned them!

    I you get a chance, I would love you to share them on our Friday FREE-AOR-ALL party!

    You can see it at:
    http://www.cookingatcafed.com/2011/12/friday-free-for-all-linky-party-5.html

    All the best,
    ~ Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D

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  35. These are so beautiful! i look forward to making some with my daughter :)

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  36. I did some of these with the air dry clay.I will have to make some using my script stamp,yours are beautiful.

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  37. This is SOOOOOOOO neat! Cannot wait to share!!!

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  38. Love your ornaments I am a newbie to your sight from Ohio

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  39. I love these! I made the traditional ones with my son. Now, I will make these to adorn gifts! Thank you for sharing!

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  40. These are gorgeous. I can't wait to try them.
    Ruth

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  41. Wow! Salt dough all-growed up!!!

    Very classy....

    visiting from Funky Junk

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  42. I love these so much. Could you tell me do you use a regular rubber stamp and then you stamp the wet dough and then bake it? Also you said you used silver ink? When do you paint that on- before or after and is it an ink that you would use to write with? I would love to try this the ornaments are incredible!!!

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  43. tina - love how you said, "all-growed up" so funny!

    lorraine - yes, i used a regular rubber stamped which i applied the silver ink to before i stamped the wet dough. then baked it off. you could stamp after you bake them though you won't get the indentation of the stamp. the ink is from an ink pad. hope this helps.

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  44. HI Annalea...Hey I wanted to share with you that every year a good friend and I do a little Christmas tea with our kids to celebrate baby Jesus. We have a craft and in the past have let them paint their own salt dough ornaments. But this year, inspired by this post we're going to let them stamp them. I'm sure there will need to be a little adult help. But I'm excited at the prospect of trying this out with them. THanks for your beautiful inspiration again!

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  45. that's a great idea, jackie! there are so many stamps out there to use. seriously endless possibilities. and what a wonderful idea - having a tea with the kids to celebrate jesus! definitely something i'd like to try with mine. be sure to send us some pics. would love to see them!

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  46. I am absolutely crazy about your blog and all your ideas...Thank you so much for sharing

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  47. This may be a dumb question... By "table salt" I presume you mean something like Morton's. I haven't used that in years. I use kosher salt for everything. Would that work and would you use the same amount?

    Thanks

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  48. wow! I love this! and I love what you have to say to us in "from me to you section" so inspiring! thank you.
    from Diva's green beauty

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  49. Aloha! I am on a decorations committee for my son's school. We are absolutely in love with your ornaments and are planning to follow your technique in order to make favors. I was wondering what kind of ink did you use? Is it stamping ink or are you using clay glazes? Mahalo for posting such a lovely idea and thoughtful pictures!!!

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  50. Love that idea, I just have few questions. You used ink before baking, why? You could do it after baking too? By degrees you mean F right so I should probably half that to 100C?

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    1. hey heidi. yes, yes and yes :-) though if you're going to ink after they're baked, you'll want to be sure that there's a flat surface on your ornament to press the stamp to.

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  51. These are beautiful. I have just made some Christmas scented salt dough decorations but as they are going to be decorated with my 2 yr old I am imagining a mess of glitter and paint! Will definitely try these when she is older! x

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  52. Thanks for this idea! I was wondering if I could speed the process by putting them in the oven at 400 degrees for 2 hours? Thanks!

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    1. glad you like the idea, amanda. at such a high temp, you might risk them cracking. best to do it "low and slow" as the phrase goes. i usually let mine dry out for a bit on the parchment (about 2-3 hours). then i transfer them to a wire rack set on top of a cookie sheet and put them into the oven on the lowest setting (that's 170 degrees for me). i leave them in until they're mostly dry which can take 12-24 hours depending on how thick they are. hope this helps.

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  53. How long do these last? Do they go soft or last for years??
    Thanks Michelle

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. hi michelle. if stored well - they should last indefinitely. salt, you know. a great preservative!

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  54. Should you keep posting well crafted articles exactly like this kind of however will certainly keep coming back back to your website. Fantastic material.
    best jewelry store
    jewelry stores in california

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  55. Das sieht so genial aus, eine ganz hervorragende Idee mit preiswertem Materia. Bin begeistert.
    Liebe Grüße
    Sabine

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    1. danke Ihnen so sehr, sabine. es erstaunt mich immer noch, dass etwas schön und dauerhaft aus solchen bescheidenen Anfängen zu kommen.

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  56. Hi,
    I am interested in doing a craft session at my daughters preschool for all the kids so they can make Christmas ornaments and hand prints - I was wondering if this recipe will air dry over a week or so? as using the oven could be a problem at the preschool, have you ever tried to air any pressings? Do you think they would air dry sufficiently? BTW these are gorgeous! Thank you
    Robyn

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    1. hi robyn. i'm obviously late in getting back to you and hope that you did indeed make the ornaments with the kids. as you probably found out, these can definitely be air dried - just takes a bit longer and will also depend on how thick they are.

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  57. I love this, these are beautiful! What type of ink do you use? Is it on a pad or do you apply it somehow to the stamp?

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    1. i'm so glad that you like the, christine! i used a silver ink pad. the script stamp that i used is rather larger so i just rubbed the pad over it. hope this helps.

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    2. Thanks, but I am still having a hard time finding stamp pads to use :( Where did you get yours? Brand??

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  58. Hi Annalea, these are fab & def what I want to make for a mobile for a friends birthday, can u tell me, when u cut out all your shapes, did u leave the excess dough around them, or remove, before baking? Thanks.... S :-)

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  60. Have you linked up with Creative Me Monday? It's open all week long and I'd love to have you join us! foto payudara

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  61. We have been doing some press lately which will be coming out in the next few weeks. My favourite one so far was by John Holton from Enterprise Magazine. Such a lovely interview. It was a pleasure:)xxx Thanks for the feature article.handmade gift ideas


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  62. Fell in love with these beautiful ornaments! Simply pretty. :o)

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