Updated: Aug 8, 2019
Today we went to a local Christmas tree lighting with my mom. The girls (and I) rode in a horse drawn carriage for the first time and man oh man was I feeling as the Christmas magic. Christmas is just our favorite time of year! There's a certain feel to Christmas time that you don't get any other time of year. In fact, I don't care what anyone says, I feel certain that if I moved somewhere where it was Christmas 365 days a year, it would never get old! I mean look at my kids for Pete's sake, I am the Crazy Christmas Lady.. aren't I?
You just don't get the same feeling in Fall, Spring or Summer. It's amazing how many things and ways Christmas can make you feel. For me it makes me feel loved by reminding me of God's love for us. It causes me to want to slow down and help others that are less fortunate. I remember all the amazing Christmases I've been blessed with, and the family I have to spend it with every year. Getting sentimental over here -- someone pass the tissue box I let my daughter bedazzle with Christmas themed jewels and stickers because well... #CrazyChristmasLady ...
The girls are just as crazy about Christmas and I am loving it. Okay, well except for the real live Santa thing. Lil hasn't quite gotten used to him yet. Loves him in movies and on tv, but something about in person that just isn't her fancy. As you can see here...
So anyways.... every year we do things together at home to celebrate Christmas all month. We make ornaments, bake all kinds of Christmas themed foods, cookies and desserts, binge on Hallmark Christmas movies. We sing Christmas songs while we bake and craft and it's just the best ever. So I thought I'd share my Salt Dough Ornament Recipe with y'all because the girls loved it, and it's SO easy. It's a great way to get into the holiday spirit and get your little ones excited for Christmas time too!
I love making salt dough because it's such a fun thing to do with one, two, or even 12 kids! It's great because they can knead it, roll it around, and handle it as much as they want and it just makes it better! We used tons of different cookie cutters to make Christmas ornaments and we made hand print and footprint ornaments too.
So of course if you're making more than one or two kids worth of ornaments...double the recipe. I did anyway, because I wanted to be able to let the girls cut out as many cookie cutter Christmas trees and reindeer as they wanted and still have dough left for hand prints and footprints for me to make keepsake ornaments for family. There's just something so precious about the little feet and hands!
You can make your dough colored if you want to by using food coloring like this. I will say it takes a lot to get the dough a deep color, because they get lighter when you bake them. You can even add cinnamon or vanilla to the dough too to give them a really nice scent which I love because it makes your whole tree smell good. If you want to add cinnamon you can put it in when you mix the flour and salt together. You can add as much as you want! If it's too dry just add a little extra warm water.
LG was obviously a fan of the Christmas trees! I think she cut out about 25...
The whole entire time this was going on Lil was thinking that these were cookies. So as LG waited patiently for the ornaments to finish so she could paint them, Lil just wanted to eat them. She was genuinely upset that she waited all that time and never got to eat them.
You're just going to cook them until they are dry looking. You'll be able to tell where the dough looks whiter and where it looks darker in color. You want it to get lighter. Obviously the hand and foot prints will take a lot longer to cook because they're much thicker. When the hand and foot prints cool you can paint them! I chose to make the hands Santas and the feet snowmen! So cute. and I added their names and the year!
If you want to make them ornaments you can always make a hole with a straw like the other ornaments before you bake them. I wanted to...but I got distracted with Lil trying to eat the dough and forgot to punch the holes before they baked!
Salt Dough Ornament Recipe
-1 cup Flour (any all purpose flour is fine)
-1/2 cup Warm water
-1 cup Salt (you're going to need a lot)
Directions: Mix the salt and flour together in large bowl. Slowly add in the warm water and mix everything together. Take the dough out and knead it, to death, on a floured surface. This is important to keep the dough the shapes you make it and not a puffy resemblance. The longer you knead it the softer the than dough will get. It feels grainy at first because the salt hasn't melted. (If you want to dye the dough a color just add food coloring and keep kneading until it develops the color you want.) Once you get it the way you want it, flour your surface again but this time very very well and roll out your dough. You want a large amount of flour so that your ornaments don't stick. Use any cookie cutters you want to, then use a straw to put holes in the tops to make them ornaments! If you are making hand and feet casts just rub a little flour on the foot and hand, then gently push it into the dough. Take a knife and cut around the footprint and hand print. Transfer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 200 degrees for about an hour or until they are completely dried out (the back won't be gummy looking it'll look like the top). When your ornaments are cool you can paint them if you want to! Then use ribbon to hang them on the tree with.
Have fun baking and painting!
Please feel free to send me any unique ideas or tips you have via message or email. I would love to try them with my girls too! Next year we're thinking about making a salt dough ornament garland for the tree. Stay tuned!
Outfit details are linked here as well!