Baked Tree Ornaments – Simple Solution
The most meaningful holiday experiences for me are the family projects that we share generation after generation, and that over time become traditions. Making salt dough ornaments for the Christmas tree is one of these for me. I remember the excitement I felt in making the ornaments as a child, and the joy I felt in helping my daughter learn to make them. What a fun afternoon project.
Salt Dough Ornaments
This is the recipe I know for homemade ornaments.The dough is very easy to work with, and once baked the ornaments are very firm and easy to paint with (natural) food dyes (even though you won’t be eating these very salty ornaments), or water-based paints.
1 cup salt
2 cups flour
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Water-based paints or natural food dyes.
1. Place dry ingredients in a bowl, add the water and oil, then stir until blended. Once the dough holds together, make it into a ball and knead it with your hands to make a smooth texture.
2. Place the dough on a cutting board, and using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a pancake shape that is a bit thicker than you would use for regular cut-out cookies. Cut out the ornaments with cookie cutters, design your own ornaments using a blunt knife, or shape dough with your fingers.
3. Punch or carve a hole into the top of the ornament to thread a string through to hang the decoration.
4. Bake at 250 degrees until hard (for one to two hours).
Once cooled, paint with water-based paints if desired, or glue on glitter using white household glue. Thread a string or ribbon through the hole and hang the decoration on the tree or elsewhere in your home. These ornaments can be reused year after year.
By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).