Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Christmas Salt Dough Table Decorations

One of the things we really enjoyed doing in preparation for Christmas last year was making salt dough decorations to hang on the tree, so I thought it would be good to make some fresh ones for this year.   Little Chick chose some star cutters and we set about making salt dough and cutting out the shapes.  But as ever my strong-minded daughter had her own ideas of what we should be doing.  And she was adamant that she did not want any holes in her lovely stars and she wanted me to make some hedgehogs and owls too (we've been reading a fair few of the Percy the Park Keeper stories recently).  So we had lots of fun making and shaping the salt dough and making a collection of salt dough table decorations together.

I love using salt dough, the possibilities with it are endless and it's really quick and simple to make.  Also I like using American cups for measuring so that Little Chick can do all the measuring, mixing and making herself. The recipe we used is from The Imagination Tree.

Salt dough recipe:
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • half a cup of water
Mix it all together and knead it, until it forms a pliable stretchy dough.  Then get creative with it, shaping it, rolling it, cutting it, moulding it.  When you're finished place on a baking sheet in the oven at 100 degrees C/ 200 F for 2-3 hours.

Little Chick loved being in charge of all the measuring.

There was lots of squishing and squashing to get the dough to come together.

Little Chick is not usually a huge fan of messy activities, but I think she really likes it if getting messy is part of the process of something else, like making biscuits or salt dough models.

We turned it out onto a floured worktop and she set about kneading it until it was a good texture for rolling out.

She then did lots of rolling out and cutting out stars.  Whilst I was instructed to make some hedgehogs and some owls.

We used some currants to decorate our creations (although as these have water in them it does mean that the salt dough models won't last as long and may go soft in the area around the currant.  I'm thinking of maybe trying some lentils next time for decoration.)

And here are some of our creations ready to go in the oven.  Little Chick did lots of stars and also a few mice and a snake (in the middle), whilst I did the owls and the hedgehogs.  Making the hedgehogs would have been a lovely activity for her to do, but she said she was too busy making stars - so maybe we'll do that together another day.

These are the owls I made.  The eyes are currants and the wings are made from two scales from a large fir cone.

These would also be great for a small world play scene or a story-telling time.  I think the little owls would be perfect for re-telling the story of Owl Babies by Martin Waddell, something we definitely need to do with them.  For the brown hedgehog I added some cocoa powder to the salt dough and kneaded it in.

Once they were dried we added them to a bowl with a few fir cones we'd decorated with glitter paint the other week.  You can paint and decorate salt dough, but this time we just left them plain.  Little Chick absolutely loves having her art on display around the house, so she loved having a bowlful of it on the table and I like it too!

With a bit of tinsel and some tea lights we've made a lovely centre piece for our Christmas table.  

So what to make with salt dough next? Has anyone made a salt dough nativity scene?

Come and share ideas and play at:


  1. These are adorable! I love the sticks and salt dough combination!

  2. They look beautiful! And we are rather partial to twig hedgehogs too!

    Thank you for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!


  3. Thanks Maggy and Melissa, I just love that there are so many things you can do with salt dough.


  4. What a super cute idea! It turned out great! I am your newest follower. If you haven' already, I'd love for you to follow me back =-) I also shared this idea with my facebook readers here - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Living-Life-Intentionally/261252997248957
    Beth (TGIF)

  5. We used cloves for the nose and eyes and they work well since they have a longer end. I also brushed the goodies with egg yolk before baking and that helped make the cloves and sticks stay in place.
    Thank you for the awesome idea ... we had so much fun with this!

  6. Cloves and brushing with egg yolk before baking, what great ideas, thanks for letting me know we'll definitely be doing that next time we made some salt dough creatures.


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