Sunday, November 18, 2007

Preparations 3 - Salt dough

*****Edited to add some important painting info*****

Christmas Fair time rolls round again - next Saturday I'll be up to my eyeballs in some kind of crafty endeavour with a zillion clamouring primary schoolers.
Thought we'd have a go at salt dough Christmas ornaments. But a trial run with my resident assistants seemed to be in order.

Recipe: 2 parts flour to 1 part salt. Mix in some warm water to form a dough. Knead for 10 minutes until nice and smooth.

I had anticipated some freehand modelling, but it's harder to do than I had thought. Not sure the under 10 crowd would be too impressed, but my testers perked up when we broke out the Christmassy cutters. My inability to see a cute cutter without wanting buying it evidently has it's up sides!

I have a whole batch drying, so the punters on Saturday can paint one ready formed ornament and model one of their own to dry and decorate at home.

But I'm going to need a vat of hand cream afterwards, because a couple of hours dealing with desiccating effects of the dough has left me with lizard hands. Ick.

*** A couple of folks asked about painting these. I had planned to use Acrylics, but BIG word of warning - they don't work very well. I found out (luckily the night before the fair) that tempera/poster paints work much much better. Apologies for misleading you (and for raiding my boys' paint box)*****

22 comments:

Cathy said...

They look great - I may have to have a go at those. It will be a great way of keeping the girls quiet for an hour or so!
Cathy XX

dottycookie said...

I think you've saved my bacon - I am supposed to be running a similar stall at our fair and was wondering what we could do that would be both cost effective and fun. Are you going to user acrylics, or is poster paint OK?

Charlotte said...

Brilliant! Now I have a craft project for my daughter's sixth birthday party on 20/12. German parties require thematic crafting, and this seems foolproof if I make the shapes ahead. Could you spell out in words of less than ten letters what kind of paint you'd use to decorate them?

Ali said...

I think acrylics would probably work best, just from the point of view of not making the dough too soggy again. And they will wash off skin.

Take care - the salt dough takes a few days to dry out, so if you're pre-fabricating them, start early!

French Knots said...

I think after a few hours with a hoard of under tens you'll need something stronger than handcream!!

velcro said...

Ali what do you use to make the little holes? I might make some of these with the FB, if I can persuade him that no they aren't for eating.

Bev and Ollie "O" said...

Great thing to do with kids, might even have a go myself...

Lesley said...

They look great Ali! Going straight on my list of things I have to try - because I do, of course, need a longer list ;)

Kitty said...

Hi ... just been having a good read through your blog, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

My smalls and I made Christmas decorations from salt dough a few years ago ... I thought they'd go mouldy or cruble, but no - they're still going strong!

Hope you don't mind if I bookmark and visit again?

kirsten said...

very cool, ali! i've always hated working with that stuff. the texture and smell gross me out. but i think it's a great idea you have and can't wait to see the finished products!

Munkamama said...

can you bake them instead of letting them air dry? Just thinking it would go faster and the dough would be harder...

I'd like to try making these along w/the cinnamon/applesauce ones we made a few years ago. Kids enjoy them a lot and though the finished product might by lumpy/lopsided and funny looking - they will be nostalgic treasures when they are grown.

Louise said...

Our kinder always do these at Christmas for the kids and they dry them out slowly in the oven. The trick too is to make sure the salt is not too coarse or the texture isn't too nice. You could always use a hobby varnish on them once the paint has dried.

hazeljoy said...

lizards hands - i love it! xx

lina said...

These look great - I didn't know you could just dry these, I always bake mine before decorating. What is it with this obsessive cookie cutter collection anyway? I never seem to have enough of them!!!

Victoria said...

Excellent idea Ali - now I can add another use to my cookie cutter collection which was added to at Spotlight this weekend much to husband's disgust!!

We break up for one month of hols in only 3 weeks and I'm desperately amassing lots of crafty projects (a few stolen from you already i should add!) to keep the wee people amused. One month of xmas hols - god help me....

monica said...

they look fantastic!

I must try with my boys... (that's one dough they won't eat... ha ha ha)

Vanessa said...

Brilliant idea as gifts from my daughter to her 7 God parents!

Thank you

Ragged Roses said...

I remember salt dough! Just thinking about making it is making my hands all itchy!!! Well done you for making so many. I remember making loads of salt dough Easter decorations for a school craft fair. The kitchen was covered in them and they were very successful at school. Good luck
Kim x
PS the cake in the previous post looks very yummy

GenerallyGemma said...

Excellent! You've saved me a google session! G wants to make these with his class that should be a "fun" lesson. :-)

lazylol said...

You have the best ideas! I love them. Can't wait to see how they look painted up. I would like to make some myself to hang on the tree.

dottycookie said...

Ooh, thank you for the painting tip!

We still have 2 weeks to go so time for a trial run ...

Suzie Sews said...

Love this idea, have I understood that you have let them air dry, I seem to remeber cooking them? Please let me know if you have time as I am trying to organise our local schools craft room for this weekend!!!Ahhh!!!
Thank you