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While out on a nature walk, have you ever come across a cool leaf on the ground? Maybe a sprig of cedar caught your eye or the unique shape of a twig. Finding a gift from nature can now become a permanent part of your art collection. By making a simple salt dough, you can turn your treasure into something to display year-round.
- Mixing bowl
- (1) Cup of salt
- (2) Cups of flour
- (1) Cup of warm water
- Parchment paper
- Cookie sheet
- Nature items
- Cookie cutter (if you only want circles cups can work as cutters)
- String, ribbon, twine, etc. – for hanging the ornament
- Straw or skewer to make holes
- Optional: spray acrylic or Mod Podge for shine
- Optional: paint or permanent markers
- Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.
- Mix salt and flour together in mixing bowl.
- Slowly add warm water, mixing as you go until the dough isn’t sticky. (You may not need all the water.)
- Roll out dough on parchment paper.
- Roll the dough about ½ inch thick. Any thinner and ornaments may crack while baking.
- Use cookie cutters to make desired shapes.
- Make a small hole at the top of the shape for the string to go through later.
- A straw makes a perfect hole.
- Place natural treasures into the salt dough – press it in firmly.
- Note: the item will only be leaving an imprint and should not be left in the dough. Do not put sticks, twigs, etc., in the oven due to fire hazard.
- Bake ornaments for two to three hours.
- Time will vary based on thickness of dough.
- With an adult’s help, carefully check ornaments frequently to avoid burning.
- If not displaying the ornaments right away, store them wrapped in paper towels in a zipper locking plastic bag.
This is just a framework and should launch your creativity. What if you added food coloring to the dough? Or maybe cinnamon for a scented ornament? Could you use the dough like modeling clay and turn pinecones into animals by making heads, tails, feet, legs, etc.? What other things can you do to enhance your ornament?