Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Making Christmas, making Christmas


Yes, its still October and yes, I've said the C word.  I admit that I'm a bit of a Christmas maniac - I'm the type of person to put a tree in every space of our house and I fully intend to infect the small one with this fever so by the time she is a women in her 30s she will still get excited at the first holidays are coming advert on the tv.

We've actually been quite busy crafting over the last few weeks on Christmas gifts from Milly, but nothing is finished.  This is one of those spanning lots of weeks project so you will have to come back if you want to see the final product.  Its the lord of the rings of craft projects, if you will, only with fewer potential endings and no elves.  Ok, maybe elves.

Not bread again

...said Milly when I announced we were making salt dough

1 cup flour plus some for rolling
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup salt
1 tbsp oil (optional - I find it makes the dough easier to work with)

to make that in to a Christmas decoration

absolutely anything to cut out a shape
absolutely anything to make impressions in the dough (optional)
a rolling pin
assorted paint (we used a metallic paint from tesco, a gold glitter paint from ELC and some white paint from asda)
a decision on how to hang it and either rings or string depending on what you choose

Mix everything together and that's it really!  If its too dry shove in some more water, too wet add flour.  

We decided to make some impressions in the dough using some snowflake cutters I had for last years Christmas cakes and then cut out shapes with cookie cutters, but you could use just about anything really - finger print impressions and a circle cut using an egg cup would be great.

Once cut decide how you're going to hang them.  We're trying a combination of ribbons which require cuts in the shape, string requiring a hole (I used a cocktail stick to form this), and rings which I will buy at some point in the next couple of days and glue in place.  We had rather a lot of dough left at the end of our cutting so we made little beads too so miss can have a princess necklace.  Not sure Kate would wear a salt dough necklace but you never know.

Salt dough Christmas decorations

There are lots of cooking instructions on the web for salt dough.  I normally bake mine at 100 degrees for 3 hours (or until they are firm but not coloured in any way) but I wanted to try the microwave method.  For this you apparently simply place in the microwave for 1 - 2 minutes and bing they're done. Unfortunately I bing almost set my microwave on fire and bing made my kitchen smell of bonfires.   If you know how to do this without causing a major crisis then go for it.

Once cooked and cooled, its time to paint, and that's what today's activity was for us

Witch costume also optional

Next I will varnish them and then we will put them all together and attach them to the labels we've made (instructions coming soon).  But that's an activity for another day!  One without witches I imagine.

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