By Karen Swan
I got a little creative the other day.
Maybe I’ve been using Pinterest for too long and decided that I was, in fact, craftier than I thought?
Maybe I was just looking for something that my little boy and I could do together on another long day at home?
Either way, we got busy and I have to say, I’m thrilled with the results! All those sweet little stamps I couldn’t help but buy even though I have absolutely no use for them, suddenly reached their full potential! While I happily created my trees and swirls, my son made aeroplanes and butterflies with his dough, which are, as I type, being painted in vibrant primary colours, in readiness for hanging on our DIY Christmas tree next week.
Here are three recipes for different types of dough – all of them using things you will have in your cupboard already. My favourite is the baking soda dough for its pure white colour, and my heart breaks a little looking at the salt doughcreations of my 3 year old son……these are the little things that will be unpacked each Christmas as we decorate the tree and I will always remember that November day when he was little. Nostalgic? Who me?
1. Baking Soda & Cornflour Dough
1/2 cup of cornflour
1 cup of baking soda
3/4 of a cup of water
- Stir the ingredients in a saucepan over medium/high heat.
- Keep mixing until it resembles mashed potato.
- Transfer the mix into a bowl and cover with a damp mamabake tea towel until it cools.
- When cool, knead, then roll it out ready for cutting. You can add some more cornflour if it feels sticky.
- Stamp, cut or shape your dough then place on a baking tray lined with waxed paper. Don’t forget to poke little holes in the top for your ribbons!
I let mine air dry (it takes weeks), but you can put then in a 80 degrees C oven for about an hour, turning halfway.
You can add some colour to the mix in step one, but I just love the clean, white dough of the finished product. This dough can be a little more fragile than sturdy salt dough, so handle gently. Store in an airtight container when dry.
2. Basic Salt Dough Recipe
1 cup salt (just use table salt)
2 cups of plain flour
3/4 cup of water
- Simply combine the flour and salt in a bowl, then add the water gradually. Knead the mixture until it becomes a dough-like consistency. It will feel very grainy because of the high salt content. If it’s on the sticky side, add a touch more flour. If it won’t hold together, add a little more water, a teaspoon at a time.
- You can add glitter, dried flower or herbs to the mix for a nice touch too!
- Knead the dough and roll out ready for cutting, stamping and shaping. For kids decorations, keep the dough quite thick. It dries rock hard, so it’s very sturdy!
- If you have time, you can air dry, meaning the dough will retain its pale colour. If not, or for decorations you’re going to paint, bake them in a very low oven for around 2 hours, turning halfway. (Mine pictured above were air dried.)
- When dry and cool, they’re ready to paint!
3. Cinnamon Dough Recipe
1 cup of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup applesauce (tinned is fine)
1/2 cup of craft glue
- Mix the cinnamon and the applesauce with a spatula until combined
- Stir in the craft glue and continue to mix until the dough is smooth and dry.
- Let it stand for an hour.
- The applesauce makes the dough pliable, the glue makes it firm and the cinnamon makes it smell delicious!
- Roll out the mix (keep a water spray bottle handy if it starts to get too dry) and shape however you please!
- Air-dry ornaments on a wire rack lined with paper towels for 24 hours, turning them over every 6 hours or so to keep them flat. Alternatively, preheat oven to 200 degrees. Transfer ornaments to a baking sheet; bake, flipping once, until dry, about 2 hours.
(Image and recipe from here )
Do you DIY your decorations? What do you make?