Salt Dough Christmas Decorations
Salt, Flour and water are all you need to make a modelling paste that is perfect for creating totally unique christmas decorations
Lets start with the recipe. It really is so simple. A cup of flour, half a cup of salt and slightly less than half a cup of water. Knead together for ten minutes and you will have a thick bread dough, perfect for making ornaments. You can dry it in a low oven or chuck it in the microvave for a couple of minutes (on a low setting) and you will have a rock hard decoration ready to paint.
Because it is a dough based clay it will puff up slightly as it dries, so creating rounded rather than sharply angular decorations seems to generally produce better results.
What designs can you make
It is up to you. Start with something simple like a holly leaf, using as pastry cutter to create the shape. Join two together with some balls for berries and you have a simple but pretty ornament. Large cookie cutter shapes are great and they come in all sorts of obviously christmassy shapes.
Painting Salt Dough Decorations
The dough is absorbent so will give a very matte finish.Children's poster paint can be mixed thickly and will do a great job. If you want a glossy effect, then enamel paints are brilliant for salt dough decorations. Naturally, since it is Christmas we really should also think about whether we want to sprinkle some glitter on too.
Personally I use acrylic paints because I have lots lying around the house.
Simple Salt Dough Decorations
If you want to start with really simple salt dough ideas, then what about icing cookie cutter shapes and hanging them on a tree. A simple pink water ice and a bright red piped edge is no trouble for most adults or children and looks great.
Advanced Salt Dough Decorations
Moving beyond cookie cutter shapes takes you into a whole new world of inspiration. This little angel was simply made from a set of flattened dough balls joined together. It looks a bit rough and ready before it is painted, but I love the quirky result.
Simple shapes usually work better than complex shapes, so you might agree that a wolly hat is easier than hair. The fringing at the bottom of the dress is just a series of tiny balls attached to the main body.
UPDATE: Salt Dough Modelling Tips
Salt dough hair turns out to be really easy if you get hold of an old garlic press.
Just push the dough through the garlic press to make lots of strands which look great as hair on small characters like the christmas angel above. The hair is delecate so use a knife to transfer it to your model.
If you are making larger models, consider making an 'armature' from wire and building the salt dough model on top of it. This is a technique used by clay sculptors and really makes the whole process a lot easier to work with.