Friday, September 28, 2012

Stamped Salt Dough Ornaments

We've been getting in the Christmas gift mood lately.  Emma is working like a mad woman on her Plastic Canvas Bookmarks and I have started some fun projects for the girls! (I'll share those with you as I get further along!)

I had an idea for making ornaments out of salt dough awhile back, and thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if we could embellish them with rubber stamps." So, I jumped onto Pinterest and voila! There were all of the tutorials and pictures I could ever hope to find! I guess no one has truly original ideas anymore:). Well, I guess that's not entirely true since we kind of put our own spin on the ornaments. You'll see in a minute.

Let's get started, shall we?

1 batch of salt dough (recipe to follow)
rolling pin
cookie cutters
baking sheet
rubber stamps
assorted paints
white school glue

For the salt dough:
1 C flour
1/2 C salt
1/2 C water

Combine the flour and salt. Add the water and mix until combined. If needed, flour your hands a bit and knead it all together.

This was by far the best salt dough recipe I have ever worked with. It wasn't sticky at all..actually it was a little on the dry side, but that was fine by us! It rolled out like a breeze and was just overall wonderful to work with.

Divide the dough in half. Roll out on a lightly floured surface until about 1/2 inch thick...I think some of ours were slightly thinner. It's ok.  Just eyeball it. You don't want the dough tooooo thick or tooo thin. Juuust right:)

Now that your dough is just right, select the cookie cutters you would like to use. Then, getting cutting!

Once you have your ornaments all cut out...try to keep your toddler from eating them.  "Mmm, mom!! Cookies!!" No son, please don't eat those:)

Next we got out our box of Christmas rubber stamps and chose a few to use.  We used ones that said Merry Christmas or Noel on them, or had snowflakes, holly, and stockings on them. I also got out some of my flourish design stamps. The swirls and curly-ques turned out really cute! Now, get stamping!

You don't want to press too hard, or you'll smoosh the ornament all over the table, but you want to be firm enough to leave a good indentation. Just experiment. You'll get the hang of it in no time! When we were finished stamping, I took a cake tester and make holes at the tops of the ornaments for the ribbon to go through. You could also use a toothpick or a straw would work too. Just make sure the hole is big enough to stick the ribbon or twine or whatever through.

Here's a smattering of our handiwork. The kids loved this step!

When you've finished stamping, it is time for baking!

 Preheat your oven to 225*. Place your ornaments on a baking sheet and bake for about an hour. I set my timer for 30 minutes, checked them, and then reset the timer again. You want them to be firm and slightly tanned. They should not bend at all or push down when you touch them.

When they are finished, remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack...just like cookies!:)
Now, you could leave them just like this! They really look super neat.  But we wanted to take the awesomeness a step further and embellish.

We used Crayola Washable Kid's Paint, and that worked marvelously!

We actually did this step a few days later, as I was not sure if painting on the ornaments would make them mushy. They did start to mush just a bit, so when we were finished I put them back into a 225* oven for about 15 minutes to set them...and that did the trick!

We also used some white school glue and painted it into the creases of the stamp designs. Then, we put glitter over it, and that turned out pretty neat as well! Sophia calls glitter 'sprinkles', and by the end of the project we were all referring to the glitter as sprinkles!:)

After they are completely dried, take your string of choice and run it through the holes. Tie a knot, and you're done!

Hang them up and marvel at your beautiful creations!!

We are so excited to give these out as gifts this year to neighbors and friends!

This was a really fun project, one that all the children really got into. Elijah loved every minute of it! He didn't get antsy and leave half way was great!

We hope you have fun if you try these out!

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