As much as I wish I was, I am not crafty.  I attempt to fool myself into thinking I am by spending an inordinate amount of time on Pinterest searching for arts and crafts projects to do with Lil’ K.  I found a pin on salt dough handprint ornaments that piqued my interest since I am all about trying to capture moments in time, and I am particularly fond of handprints.

Here’s the recipe that we used from the blog Under the Table and Dreaming:

Ingredients:
4 cups flour
1 cup salt 
Water
Food coloring (optional)
Oil (to lightly oil the baking sheet)
Drinking Straw (to make a hole for the ribbon)
Cute ribbon to hang your ornament 

The recipe did not indicate how much water to use, but to use your judgment and add water gradually.  Unfortunately, I am one of those people that need specific instructions and I wasn’t sure what the exact consistency should be.  As Murphy’s Law would dictate, we added too much water, so we ended up trying to “fix” it by adding more flour and salt to the mix.  In the end, I think it turned out okay.

Use a straw to make a hole for hanging. The original blog suggests making the hole prior to having your child press in their handprint, which is probably a good idea.

The instructions in the post indicated to bake the dough at 150F for an hour or air dry for 24-hours. When I took it out of the oven and cooled it for a bit, the dough was still not completely hard.  The next day, I took it off the baking sheet and put it on wire cooling racks, which helped the underside to dry and harden better.  I’m not sure if it’s because of our humid Hawaii weather, but I suspect it will take several days before these ornaments are completely hard.

Since this is our first attempt, I know there’s room for improvement.  On our next go-around I will try a different salt dough recipe and we won’t make the ornaments as thick.  (I like how the light penetrates the ornaments that are pictured on the original blog post.)  And, maybe we’ll leave it uncolored and paint it after it cools.  If you’re going to paint the salt dough, be sure to seal with a clear varnish.

Check me out on Pinterest – and if you have a Pinterest account, let me know what it is so I can follow you, too!

Originally posted on my (now-private) blog, Champuru.net in October 2011.

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