Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Up to my eyeballs

...in salt dough. This crazy teacher decided to let her 27 students have a mixing/stirring/sloshing/kneading/flouring/big-fat-mess-making/rolling/cutting/aw-do-we-really-have-to-clean-all-this-up? kinda party today. It was a large, large mess. And it was so fun. We baked the ornaments at school, and I came home and made some extras juuuust in case. I imagine that at least one precious little ornament will break or be deemed otherwise unacceptable during the painting process tomorrow, and I'm packin' plenty of back-ups. Save the tears, kiddos...Ms. J is prepared!

If any mamas or teachers (or plain ol' regular people who can't get enough dough crafts in their life) want to try it out, this recipe was great!

Salt Dough
1/2 cup salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup warm water

Mix together all ingredients until a dough is formed. If the dough is too sticky or batter-like, sprinkle in flour. If the dough is too dry, add a bit of water.

Flour a surface and knead the dough on it. Knead until the dough is soft, smooth, and elastic.

Roll the dough to 1/2"-1/4" thickness, adding flour as needed.

Cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Take a toothpick and whittle out a hole at the top...make the hole a little bigger than you think you need. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake at 200 for about 2 hours. They don't rise or spread much, so no worries about placing them too close to each other. Check every 30 minutes or so to flip the ornaments. (We didn't flip the ones we did at school, and we really needed to. Plus we used the cafeteria's commercial oven, and that big girl doesn't mess around. I think they baked too fast. The ones I've got in the oven here at home look smoother and overall prettier.)

Let the ornaments cool and dry completely; there should be no mushy spots. Decorate with acrylic paint and let dry. If you wish, finish off with a coat of Mod Podge to seal and add some shine. String a ribbon through the hole and deck your halls!

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