SoBo Mama's Tips & Tricks

{December 27, 2013}   Crafting with the Monkeys: Salt Dough Ornaments

I woke several mornings this week to frost on the pimp-mobile.  Ironic feature to the 2013 Altima: the dashboard warns me that the outside temp is dangerously low.  Really?  Had to share that one with Jeepnmom.

Nesting mode has kicked in.  The holidays are coming, I’m totally homesick, and my crafty side is kicking in.  I called my mom, because I remember my grandma Bet’s tree being covered in homemade salt-dough ornaments.  Of course she doesn’t have the recipe and told me to call Aunt Sus.  Whose phone was busy.  So I called Gram.  Who doesn’t have the recipe and told me to call Sus.  Whose phone was no longer busy and whose voicemail picked up.

Mind you, there are recipes all over the internet and and Pinterest. Unfortunately, none of them are the one from Aunt Sus.

Eventually, my Facebook messenger alert went off on my phone and there was the recipe from Aunt Sus! Apparently, it came from a magazine years ago, and the yellowish color isn’t from old age but mustard powder. Go figure!

Grizzly and St. Yoda had a hunting date the Saturday during Thanksgiving, and I knew Real Chick would be yanking her hair out, so I invited her to bring the girls for an artsy morning. Then, because we’d tried unsuccessfully forever for a crafting date, I also reached out to Gifted Teacher, who had never heard of salt dough ornaments.

A trip to the grocery for flour and salt, and I was ready to create! Before the rest of the crew arrived, I had filled a huge bowl with dough.


I think the grown up ladies had as much fun as the little monkeys. Our only problems were how long to bake them at what temperature, and I totally overdid the dough! There is still a big bag in my fridge and Christmas has already passed.

I didn’t get picture of them after painting and Real Chick’s oldest made a tree I truly love, but I think you get the idea. This was such inexpensive, fun, monkey entertainment that I see us trying again on a rainy day.

Here is the recipe:
Cookie Clay Recipe- Sus
4 Cups flour
1 Cup salt
2 teaspoons mustard powder (there’s your yellow!)
1 1/4 Cups water

insert your wire hangers into the ornaments before baking.

bake at 300 for 2 – 3 hours, or until a toothpick can’t go into them any more. start at 2 hours, and if they are still softish, go for 3.

Thicker ones will take longer.

After cooling, use acrylic paint to add color if you want. Let air dry about 24 hours and spray with clear coat.

The ornaments on my tree, Sus made when I was a baby. These can last for a looooong time!

I’ve contemplated different cookie cutters for different seasonal ornaments, as well as magnets.

What do you think? Have you tried salt dough?

~ Katie


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