Salt Dough / Homemade Play Dough
I'm finally getting around to posting this recipe - this is the BEST STUFF ON EARTH and it hardly costs anything! I love that my mom reminds me of these simple, fun things.
For a fun night with the kids, or even better - for some time by yourself, mix up a batch of this and let the kids go nuts while you go relax with a box of chocolates in the pantry closet. They'll never know you're gone!
Oh, and I have to add that when I was little, my mom had us make fun Christmas ornaments like this with these very same cookie cutters and I can't tell you how much fun it was year after year getting out our homemade ornaments that we made and painted. I think mom still has all of them from so long ago in a box somewhere. Now my kids have their own set and it was SUCH an inexpensive, fun, memory-making project.
What You'll Need:
2 c. Flour
1 c. Salt
1 T. Oil (vegetable oil or olive oil is fine)
Warm water - about 1 c.
Food coloring (optional)
Cookie cutters with patterns in the middle
Acrylic or children's water color paints
(acrylic doesn't wash out of clothes like the watercolor paints will)
Glitter paint (optional) - makes Christmas ornaments sparkly
Combine the flour and salt; add oil and combine
Add water a little at a time. Start by using about 3/4 c. of the water, mix the dough with your hands, and add more water as you need it a little at a time. Dough should be moist but not sticky - just like the store-bought Play Doh.
If you want to paint your creations, keep the dough white. If you don't care and just want the kids to play with it, separate the dough into parts and use food coloring and make dough of different colors. Now let 'em play for hours. Store the dough in zipper baggies in the fridge so it will last longer.
TO MAKE ORNAMENTS:
Roll out the dough, cut out your creations, and poke a hole with a toothpick where you want your string to hang from - and give yourself plenty of room for the string/ribbon. Keep in mind that the thicker your cut-out is, the longer it has to bake. Try to keep your cut-outs somewhat thin and uniform in thickness.
Place the ornaments on a cookie sheet (ungreased, of course) and bake them between 200 degrees and 250 degrees for about an hour. Ours were baked at 250 degrees and they were fine, but your oven might be different. Your oven is too hot if your ornaments get bubbles in them. Turn the ornaments over and let the other side bake for a while - maybe 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how hardened they are.
To check for doneness, tap on the ornaments and if they sound crisp, dry, and light, then they're done. If you tap on them and they feel dense and heavy, then they need a little bit longer. Just keep checking them.
When done, let the ornaments cool for a minute, and they're ready to paint. After the paint has dried, spray varnish them and the colors will become more vibrant and the ornaments will last a very long time.