This is not an edible gift from the kitchen, but it is made from common ingredients that everyone has in their kitchen. And it’s made in the same manner as sugar cookies or other rolled cookies, by rolling out the dough and using cookie cutters to make the shapes. Just don’t eat it. And if you do, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
And this particular from-the-kitchen gift can also be made together with your little ones, making it a perfect gift for grandmas, grandpas, aunties and uncles who will oooh and ahhh in delight. (If you happen to be the grandma, grandpa, auntie or uncle of My Certain Little Someone and Baby Boy, just pretend you didn’t see this post and don’t forget to ooh and ahhh in delight!) My 3-year-old Certain Little Someone helped me in every different phase of this project: mixing the dough, cutting out the shapes, poking the holes with a straw, painting, and even threading the ribbon through the hole.
I even have a wheat-free version for you, in case your child, like mine, is allergic to wheat and would break out in hives if he touched dough with wheat flour in it. The non-wheat version is very similar, it just requires more salt than the original. I’ve found that Bob’s Red Mill rice flour on Amazon’s Subscribe & Save is often the cheapest wheat-free flour available.
You still have time to make these before Christmas, but be sure to allow several days for the ornaments to dry thoroughly. You can also dry them in the oven on the lowest setting for several hours, but I haven’t personally tried that. I’m just afraid to burn them!
I tried adding some peppermint extract to make some Christmas-scented ornaments, but after painting and sealing them, it was kind of pointless. If you choose to leave them au naturel, then you can add some scented oil or extract, about 1/4 tsp.
To make a dark color, you would need a lot of food coloring. Which is OK, because you’re not going to eat it! I squeezed quite a bit of food coloring into my dough for a beautiful pastel color, so I would recommend adding the food coloring before adding the water so you don’t alter the texture of the dough.
Salt Dough Ornaments
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (or brown rice flour for wheat-free)
- 1/4 cup salt (1/2 cup salt for wheat-free)
- food coloring
- water to moisten
- Stir together the flour and salt. Add food coloring, using quite a bit if you want a darker color. Add just enough water to moisten the dough, stirring well until the dough sticks together. Add water a little bit at a time, if necessary, until the dough forms a ball.
- Roll the dough to at least 1/4″ thickness – no thinner or the dried ornaments will be rather fragile. Thicker is even better, but will take longer to dry. Use a straw to poke a hole near the top of each ornament.
- Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes and place on a pan to dry for at 24-72 hours.
- When shapes are completely dry, paint with acrylic paint (a sheer glitter is really nice). Allow paint to dry, then spray with a sealer to preserve.
The brown rice flour ones are, predictably, a little more fragile than the wheat flour ones, so it would be helpful to keep those ones nice and thick to prevent crumbling.
These aren’t QUICK because they take a while to dry.
They are relatively EASY – perhaps not as easy as a cut and paste project, but definitely do-able, even with children.
This is definitely a CHEAP gift idea. Even the paint was only a couple bucks, and I had a can of sealer hanging around. Cheap enough to give to all the myriad aunts and uncles we have around here!
HEALTHY? Well, I wouldn’t eat it if I were you.