Welcome to our first post for our handmade Christmas series! Today I will kick off the series with some salt dough tags and Christmas tree decorations we made. These were really easy and I’m sure if you have kids, they are going to want to help. You can alter them to match a theme by using different stamp images or objects pressed into the salt dough. Kids might like some of their toys, rocks, shells etc. used as stamps and pressed into the dough. Another way to create a theme is by the shapes of the cookie cutters you use. We used birds and Christmas shapes for ours as well as French script, buttons and encouraging text as stamps with black ink. I would have definitely chosen to personalise these if I had bought letter stamps as well as the other stamps. Gosh, that would be cute. An alternative use for these would be as place settings, tied around serviettes. So here is how we made them;
We mixed 1 cup of salt, 2 cups of plain flour and 1 cup of water together in a bowl. In the picture you can see that our water is tea stained. I was experimenting with tinting the salt dough naturally and so I tinted the water before mixing it in. It didn’t make much of a difference but you could also use food colouring if you wanted to create coloured ones. A soft pink or blue might be nice……. Anyway, back to the decorations! Once the ingredients were combined we kneaded the dough to get a nice smooth consistency and then placed it between two sheets of baking paper and rolled it out. Once it had rolled out smoothly, we took the top layer of paper off and rolled it again to about half a cm thick. Now we embossed and stamped away with our little collection of items. After each stamping, we chose a cookie cutter to suit the print and cut it out. We used a straw and sometimes the end of a paintbrush to create a hole in the top of the decoration for the string to go through later. Once we had a little collection of cut out decorations and tags we left them to dry for about a week. Some people say you can bake them in the oven but I’m not so sure about ‘cooking’ the ink so I prefer to let them dry naturally. I put the decorations on a tray on top of the kitchen cupboard and sometimes would get them down to let them bake in the sun on nice day. Salt dough decorations are a lovely way to personalise gifts, not just at Christmas time.