Thursday, December 17, 2009

Salt Dough Ornaments

As a child I made salt dough ornaments with my mom. Last year she gave me the ornaments I made throughout the years to blog about. It is so fun to look back at how I changed over the years.

In 1984 we all made bears. If you add instant coffee to the salt dough recipe it will turn the dough brown. It also looks like the first year we added food coloring instead of painting the dough.
In 1992 I decided to make bears for everyone I worked with at Wendy's. I still have a bunch of those left.  (You can see me making these, here.)

After my niece was born (1996) I made more bears for my husband's (boyfriend at the time) family. My brother in law made me a dowel tree so I could hang them to dry after I dipped them in varnish. Ahhhhh...having to touch the drips every so often so there wasn't a drip bump on the bottom of the feet. I do not miss that part of making these ornaments. Definitely worth varnishing though so they do not mold over time.

I guess you could say I have been making sculpted ornaments since age 5.
WOW, 31 yrs!
Oh, now I feel old.

Here is a recipe for Salt Dough Ornaments:


2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
(Substitute coffee for water - great for gingerbread people & bears. Add food coloring to make colored dough)

Directions:1. Mix salt and flour.
2. Add in half the water, then gradually add the remaining water.
3. Knead until the dough is smooth, this can take up to 10 minutes.

Baking: Time varies based on thickness of ornament
Temperature: 325 degrees
Time: 1 1/2 hours - or until dry

Coat with acrylic varnish when everything is dry.

Have fun!

My Signature

16 Sweet Comments:

Lauranie said...

So you have had this TALENT all of you life pretty much!! AWESOME!! Thanks for the recipe, I will have to do some with my children...maybe they will have your incredible talent...and I can retire!! HA!!!

Kimberly said...

How fun to watch your talent evolving! And yay for PC, no varnish needed!

A New England Girl said...

These are all so adorable!! Thank you for sharing the photos. :) And thank you for the recipe. It sounds/looks like so much fun to make these!

Michelle said...

How fun to watch the progression of your talent.

I love that your mom kept them all these years. My mom still has some salt dough ornaments that I made with I was a kid. :)

Amy said...

those are so nice. I use to make those with my Grandma...

Jillien said...

Oh my goodness! These are adorable. You've always been crafty :) I'm going to email this post to a friend of mine who's into crafts. Thanks for sharing.

Muthering Heights said...

How fun to look back! You were always talented!

Beedeebabee said...

What a sweet post Melanie! I injoyed seeing your sweet creations, and they are all so cute. I really loved the little bear with the pinecone! Adorable!
Hugs, =D

Thimbleanna said...

Hahaha! Your 84 and 92 ornaments look like some of mine - especially that bear with a pinecone. I'll bet we saw the same magazine article all those years ago!

Pesky Cat Designs said...

I've always wanted to make dough ornaments and now I have a recipe. How wonderful that your mom saved all those ornaments you made throughout the years. It was so much fun seeing your progress. What a fun post!

Laura Marchant said...

What great keepsakes! Thanks for the recipe. I am going to have to do these with my little ones!

Tricia said...

I want to start making these with my little girl. What type of paint did you use before coloring the dough?

Melanie @ Whimsical Creations said...

Tricia - We used acrylic paint after the ornament was baked. On the bear with the wreath we used food coloring in the dough to make the green & red.

Pretty Things said...

That is so awesome that she kept them! I have an art file for each year of Zack's life and keep his art and some school work in each -- one day I'll pass them along to him (if I can bear to part with them, that is!).

Unknown said...

These are SUPER CUTE!! I'm so excited to try to make these with my daughter! How did you make the (black - eyes, nose, mouth, freckles) faces on the bears?
Thank you so much for sharing!
Kelly D. ~ dkad23(at)gmail(dot)com

Beth @ Wiccan Make Some Too said...

Thank you for showing your salt dough ornaments. I have fun making those with my grandchildren every year. They make great gifts too!

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