This week on Our Time of Gifts (my year-long experiment in weekly giving), we made over 40 salt dough Christmas tree decorations, (mostly) to give away.
We’ve been making them all week…..
I used a basic salt dough recipe: one measure of flour, to half a measure of salt and half a measure of water. So, if you’re using cups as measurement, that would mean one cup of flour, half a cup of salt and half a cup of water.
Tip: add the water slowly. We ended up not using it all for most of our batches. And, if you do add too much and need to put more flour into the dough to dry it out again, add a bit more salt, too. This helps bind the mixture together nicely.
We just kneaded it all together for about ten minutes; used cutters to make shapes; pierced a hole in the top of the decorations with a skewer; and baked them on a super-low heat for a couple of hours.
We experimented by adding food colouring. Different colours produced varying results. Red worked well, although (despite adding tons to one batch) we couldn’t get the dough any darker than a deep, hot pink.
Blue wasn’t so successful; it faded out during the baking, so some decorations ended up the original dough colour.
We added glitter to some batches. This worked best when it was a contrasting colour; pink glitter in pink dough, for instance, didn’t stand out enough. But the silver stuff sparkled nicely.
I spray-painted some dried pumpkin seeds left over from Halloween, which Austin and Gwen enjoyed pressing into the cutout shapes. Some fell off after baking, but I just stuck them back on with glitter glue.
I then coated the deceptively delicious-looking baked ornaments with spray varnish. This took some of the lustre off the silver pumpkin seeds, but it gave the decorations a nice sheen, and it means they’ll last beyond this Christmas.
And finally: the giving. Some are destined for party bags at Austin’s birthday bash. The rest will be given out today (on Giving Tuesday) to friends and neighbours, including the couple next door (who presented Austin with a proper, grown-up cricket bat on his first day at pre-school), and Martin, our neighbour who was taken ill after the Big Lunch.
Our Time of Gifts is my year-long adventure in sharing. Each week, I will loan or give something away, then see what the universe brings to my doorstep….
Click here to find out more about Our Time of Gifts.
I’m hosting a Britmums Carnival on 17 December, and would love to include any posts you’ve written from the month before. Have you shared any stuff with neighbours or friends? Given to charity? Or passed something on to a complete stranger? Tweet your posts to @NellHeshram or email firstname.lastname@example.org