Thursday, 6 December 2012

Salt Dough Christmas Decorations: A Tale of Competition between Friends

Salt dough xmas decorations

I recently spotted a great idea for using a handprint made from salt dough to make a Santa Xmas decoration.   It looked so cute that I shared it with friends and followers on Facebook.  My son had had a go at something similar a pre-school, but we had never tried salt dough at home. That rather misshaped ornament he made is now treasured and brought out every Christmas.

My garden craft is fine, but this kind of craft was more like cooking.  A day off school for my son provided some time and an opportunity to make and bake.

Here is the recipe we used:-
½ cup of salt

½ cup of plain flour
¼ cup of water, but only use as much as you need to make dough
Yes I did have plain flour in the cupboard.  What about the salt?  I only had a small amount of relatively expensive sea salt so I plumped for dishwasher salt thinking, it would probably melt in the oven.  Ist mistake.  It didn’t.

salt dough xmas tree
Apron donned – it really was just like making pastry.  We measured, stirred, kneaded and rolled out with a rolling pin.  Then we made the hand impression into the salt dough.  By then I began to realise that a 7 yr. olds hand is quite large.  Any imprint would make quite a chunky decoration, maybe not so easily hung from the tree.  So we decided to just make one and cut out shapes with our Xmas cooker cutters with the remainder of the dough.  We remembered to punch a hole in the top to enable hanging.  They were then baked in the oven 100c for about 2 ½ hours.

salt dough xmas decorations
We were really quite pleased with our results, despite the rough texture caused by the dishwasher salt.  I should say, I was pleased until two of my friends posted some photos displaying their decorations.  I am sure you can guess which ones are ours.
Oh well, baking was never my forte.  Not sure we will ever get around to decorating our ornaments.  It’s been great fun sharing ideas and experiences with friends.  It has helped us all get into the festive spirit.  Next time though, I may just check things out first.  So please don’t be put off, but do use table salt. My excuse for coming last in the class is that one friend’s profession involves dressing windows, hence the lovely photo at the beginning of the post.  My other friend, well her surname is Jones, so it really was a case of keeping up with the Jones’s!


  1. What a great way to spend time with the children and get the house decorated for Christmas at the same time. A winner in my opinion.

    Same again next year??

    1. There's nothing like a bit of cooking to help with family bonding. Definately will have a go next year.

  2. Ooh, I am looking forward to doing some dough decorations in the next week or two - not sure whether to do salt dough or a white dough that I have seen using corn starch and bicarbonate of soda.. A bit of glitter glue will jazz yours up no end!

  3. You are right about the glitter glue. Its on my shopping list for tomorrow. Hope you have fun making yours.


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