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Hanging Around for the Holidays  
Easy-to-make salt-dough ornaments are a perfect project for fun decorations and gift-toppers.


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Hanging Around for the Holidays
Easy-to-make salt-dough ornaments

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Gerber Life Family Times Archive

FunThis month we're reaching back into the memories of childhood past to revisit a holiday craft project that may bring a wave of nostalgia. Salt dough ornaments are one of the most popular holiday craft project for kids. The simplicity of the dough, combined with its workability and versatility, have made it a standard holiday project in classrooms for decades. The safe, pliable dough is easy to mold into a variety of shapes, can easily be rolled and cut with a cookie cutter, dries quickly, and is a great canvas to decorate for any young artist. These easy-to-make holiday ornaments can be used to decorate your home as well as to add an extra-special touch as a gift-topper to holiday gifts.

What you'll need:

  • 1 recipe of Salt Dough (below)
  • Rolling pin
  • Assorted holiday cookie cutters
  • Cookie sheet
  • Assorted acrylic paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Drinking straw or toothpick
  • Lengths of ribbon

Salt Dough Recipe:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water

Mix the salt and flour together in a medium size bowl. Add half the water and begin mixing. Gradually add more water until the dough pulls together into a ball. Knead the dough until it is smooth, 5 to 10 minutes. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle it with flour and continue kneading until the stickiness is gone and the dough is smooth and elastic. Avoid adding too much flour, which will dry out the dough and cause it to crack before baking.

FunLightly dust your rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough to approximately inch thick. Dip a cookie cutter in flour and cut out as many shapes as you would like. Trees and stars are good holiday options. Using a drinking straw or toothpick, make a hole in the top of the shape (to allow for hanging the ornament). Carefully transfer the cut shapes to an ungreased cookie sheet. The supervising adult should preheat an oven to 250 and place the cookie sheet in the oven. Bake the shapes for 2 hours. Remove the ornaments from the oven and allow them to cool completely.

Once the shapes are cooled, it's time for your child to get creative with decorating. Use acrylic paints to decorate the shapes. The handle end of a paintbrush can be used to make dots on the ornament as well. Simply dip the handle end into paint and gently press it to the ornament. Once the ornaments are painted, allow them to dry thoroughly. When they are dry, additional decorations can be added using glue and glitter. When the ornament is complete, thread a piece of ribbon through the hole in the top of each ornament and tie the ends together (clipping off any excess ribbon).

Completed ornaments can be used for holiday decorations on trees, windows, or doors or as "gift toppers" for holiday presents. Simply tie or tape an ornament to a package and you've added a handmade keepsake from your child.

So plan a creative afternoon with your child before things get hectic this holiday season. Together you can have fun getting into the holiday spirit while making something memorable for family and friends!

Articles are provided for the general interest of our readers. Gerber Life Insurance is not responsible for any content and recommends that you consult the appropriate professional with any questions or concerns you may have concerning any financial or health related issues.

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