Friday, 20 December 2013

Baby Craft at Christmas: Salt Dough Decorations

As a teacher I would regularly spend my mornings at work making a dough of one sort of another. Playdough, cloud dough and salt dough. Playing with a dough is great for grose and fine motor development as well as being an eternally popular activity in any playroom or classroom. 

Today I made a salt dough. I most often use this dough when I want to make something to keep as it dries really well. It can also easily be painted and decorated for Diwali lamps or, as today Christmas decorations. 

It is very quick and easy to make. Simply put equal amounts of plain flour and salt in a bowl. I used a cup measurement.

Next have a glass of water and slowly add splashes until the dough is just coming together when mixed with a metal spoon. You probably won't need all the water.

The dough will be a bit crumbly and sticky but get your hands in and bring it together. Put it on a table, sprinkle a little extra flour and knead the dough until it is smooth and no tackiness remains.

I wanted to experiment with colouring my dough so squirted some green paint left over from our Christmas cards as well as some glitter onto half the dough. I then kneaded the dough again until the colour and glitter were evenly coloured. 

This worked quiet well even if it was messy and I was very green fingered. Using paint always gives the most vivid play dough colours also (teacher tip which saves me buying food colouring)

I then rolled out the dough and used a cutter large enough to fit L's hand on to cut out some circles.

I then had the fiddly task of pressing L's hand into the dough. I couldn't photograph this stage. And I would say my first attempts at this weren't entirely successful, they aren't as good as I would like because the dough was rolled too thin. Next time I will have thicker cuts of dough and use a a tray or flat plate as resistance behind the dough

Anyway. I put the newly printed shapes onto a tray ready to go in the oven. I also made some larger placs for possible presents or bedroom hanging. I used a straw to poke hoes in the top ready for threading with ribbon or twine.

I put them in the oven at about 100c (electric non fan oven) for two hours plus. Timings are tricky as you want them to be really dry with no moisture hiding away to ruin your momento. I turned the decorations over to make sure they dried right through. And gave them a prod in the thickest part to make sure there was no give. When they seemed solid I took them out and left them to dry on a drying rack.

This all took no more than an hour, with L sitting for printing for about fifteen minutes. And then cooking time.

To finish paint with PVA which you can water down slightly. Or embellish it further. With a spare bit of green dough L and I did thumb prints. I then turned these into Christmas lights.

Threading ribbon through the holes makes then easy to hang up. Certainly ones to keep for many years to come. 

If I've inspired you I would love to see, tweet me @mummymorkus or tag me on Instagram @mummymorkus

Happy crafting.

1 comment:

  1. Yours are so much more successful than mine! (Well, Athenas she just kept squidging the dough between her fingers so I had to use her toes! bit of a fail there...