If you’re hoping to find an easy and extremely affordable way to decorate a Christmas tree, or top a present, or generally make merry, baking a tray or two of salt dough ornaments is a thing to try.
Last weekend we measured, and mixed, and kneaded; rolled, and cut, and pierced, then baked two trays of mini snowflakes ornaments. Once baked, we used the tiny bit of glitter I’d been hoarding in my craft supply box for the last decade to add a few sparkly stars with a wash of wheat paste. (If you’d like to add a little sparkle to your ornaments, consider a plant-based glitter that biodegrades.) Finally, we threaded some silvery thread through our stars and hung them on our Frazier fir.
Paired with twinkle lights and kraft paper chains that Faye and I made from strips of crinkled packing paper (and secured with the same wheat paste), the tree is a homemade masterpiece of the humblest kind. Not quite as humble, but exceedingly cute, is the fact that since making them, Faye has reported to at least half the population of Brooklyn how they too can make their own ornaments. “It’s so easy!”
1/2 cup table salt
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
+ Mix ingredients in a stand mixer (or by hand) until a sticky dough forms.
+ Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until it’s soft and stretchy. (Stephanie recommends 7-8 minutes, which sounds long but enthusiastic helpers make quick work of the job.)
+ Use a rolling pin or dowel to roll the dough to about 1/4″ thick and use a cookie cutter to cut shapes. (We found our mini snowflakes at our local kitchen shop, Whisk.)
+ Transfer cut-outs to a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, poke holes for hanging, and bake in a low temp oven (~200 degrees F) until hardened and dry (and before they get too golden). (My assistants were very eager rollers and so our ornaments were a bit thinner than 1/4″ and baked up quickly in about an hour.)
+ Once cooled, string up your ornaments and hang them somewhere festive.
As ever, more low-waste, low-clutter holiday decoration ideas are in the archive.
Any other homemade ornament enthusiasts out there? We’d love to hear what you have hanging on your tree!