Art activities, Craft, decorating, DIY, Holiday, Make, Create, & Share!, Painting

Salt Dough Ornaments!

Salt dough is fun and easy! The dough can be baked to harden, painted with acrylics and last for years! I had my nephew create some simple cut-out ornaments but you can also make 3-D sculptures with salt dough too! There’s various recipes for creating salt dough, and other similar dough – I’ve listed one below that we used with good results!

What you’ll need:

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Warm water
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Rolling pin
  • Straw and/or Toothpick (or something to make holes in your ornaments for hanging)
  • Cookie tray
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Spray Sealer or Mod Podge
  • Ribbon
  • OPTIONAL SUPPLIES:
  • Beads to add to your ribbon
  • Glitter
  • Stamps – for making impressions on your dough
  • Sharpies
  • Hot glue or craft glue

Step one: Mix together 2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 cup of salt and 1/2 cup of warm water in a large bowl.

Step two: Add up to 1/2 cup more of warm water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough forms. Dough should not be sticky – if it is add a bit more flour!

Step three: Kneed your dough and roll it out on a flat surface – use flour to help prevent sticking if needed. We rolled it to 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick for cut-outs. You can also make sculptures with your salt dough instead!

Step four: Use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of your salt dough. Place cut-outs on a baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment).

Step five: Before baking your salt dough make sure to put a hole in your ornaments to hang from! A plastic straw works well or a toothpick for a smaller shape! Bake your salt dough for approx. 2 hours at 275*F or until firm and dried out. Time will depend on size and thickness. You can also leave your salt dough out to air dry. Be sure to fully bake/dry out pieces before painting and sealing to ensure they’ll last a long time!

Step six: Once your pieces have been baked or dried out, use acrylic paints to paint them with! We used acrylic craft paints!

Step seven: Paint your creations and let them dry completely!

Step eight: Once your paint is dry, seal your salt dough – I brushed on a layer of glossy Mod Podge. You can also use an acrylic spray sealer instead. Let dry.

Step nine: Add ribbon and beads to hang your ornaments from! Alternatively, you could also use pipe-cleaner or wire for hangers!

Step ten: Use a sharpie to add names, dates and details to your salt dough!

Step eleven: Hang those ornaments up!

We had a lot of fun making salt dough ornaments! Create your own ornaments from cut-outs like we did or create some 3D ornaments – you can use a little water to help pieces stick together. You could also make personalized gift tags & toppers, hand/foot print plaques, small sculptures (like snowmen!), key chains, pendents, pins, or magnets! Use Popsicle sticks, wooden skewers, or toothpicks for tools. Adorn finished salt dough pieces with pom-poms, pipe-cleaner, glitter, ribbon, beads, and other craft items! Try decorating pieces with marker instead of paint for easier clean up!

Art, food, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!

Put a fork in it!

While I really enjoy drawing and painting, sometimes it’s nice to take a break and get into other mediums. Put a Fork in it, is a little series of bookmarks I like to create out of polymer clay. Based on some favorite or classic foods I add these little sculptures to a fork, spoon, or knife, that have been flattened out – making the handle of the utensil a perfect bookmarker!

I’m not 100% sure how I got started with these but they’re a lot of fun to create and tie in my love of food 😉 I use Sculpey products – usually Sculpy III & Premo clays, liquid Sculpy & sculpy glaze. If you haven’t used or heard of Sculpy before definitely check out their site – there’s products for kids, adults, amateurs, professionals and endless ideas of projects!

Here’s a look into how I make my bookmarks…….

I first mix up my colors and prepare my liquid sculpy (which acts as my milk) and start to sculpt!

Ever wonder why I keep all those old paint brushes? Texture. They make the perfect cereal texture 🙂

I use some chalk pastel dust on a soft brush to add a little depth to the Sculpy pieces.

For the cereal I bake the marshmallows and plain pieces slightly and then place them in the liquid sculpy “milk” and bake the whole piece. I have a little craft oven I use (like a toaster oven) but Sculpy can be baked in a regular oven as well.

Pickles & Pancakes in progress!

The snack that smiles back 🙂

I have some polymer clay tools that I use but really a toothpick is one of my favorite tools. Texture & color are really important when making clay food look realistic – they can both take a lot of practice so sometimes it’s fun to get started on something like a piece of cake – which can come in various colors, shapes & textures! Once I’ve baked my pieces I use the glossy Sculpy glaze to cover areas that should be shiny – like the milk, pickles and syrup!

It’s a bit of a mess, but I like to keep my Sculpy clay colors separated in this box from Harbor Freight . It’s perfect size to hold the blocks of clay, and the bins within the box are removable, so I can re-arrange the colors, or pass a color bin, rather than the whole box if I’m teaching a class.

The process of making the food sculptures with polymer clay is not too complicated and if you’re interested in learning more, my favorite book on the subject is The Polymer Clay Cookbook by Jessica & Susan Partain. Even though their directions are for mini pieces of food you can use their methods to apply to larger food sculptures – or any polymer clay sculpture!

Check out the shop section of the site to purchase your own Put a Fork in it bookmark!