Time spent in the kitchen around Christmas usually means yummo treats for all the gang. While you’re at it, you can knock out a tray of traditional salt dough decorations to paint up and hang on your tree this year. They’re made from ingredients you probably already have in the pantry – handy!
Gather your supplies:
• 1⁄2 cup salt
• 1⁄2 cup plain flour
• Cinnamon, to lightly colour dough
• 1⁄4 cup water
• Stand mixer with dough hook attachment (optional)
You’ll also need:
Rolling pin; cookie cutters in various shapes; oven tray; baking paper; scrap paper; acrylic paint in white and gold; medium and fine paintbrushes; painter’s tape; leather thonging; coloured thread
Preheat oven to 100°C. Line oven tray with baking paper. Put all ingredients in bowl of mixer with dough hook attachment fitted. Knead until combined. If dough feels too dry, add a small amount of water and continue to mix through until dough feels soft and springy. If dough is too sticky, add a little more flour and mix through.
TipIf you don’t have a stand mixer, knead the dough by hand on a clean bench.
Sprinkle a small amount of flour on a clean, dry work surface. Transfer dough to work surface and use rolling pin to roll dough to a thickness of 5mm.
Using cookie cutters, cut out a variety of shapes from dough. Set aside.
Using the handle of fine paintbrush, gently pierce a hanging hole at the top of each shape.
Transfer shapes to lined oven tray. Bake for about 2 hours, checking progress every 5–10 minutes in the last 30 minutes. When firm to touch, remove tray from oven and set aside to cool.
Cover work surface with scrap paper. Using medium paintbrush, paint one side of ornaments white. Allow to dry. Turn over and paint other side and let dry.
Using fine paintbrush, embellish with gold paint. Paint dashes around border of stars, ribbons on present shapes, or fill shapes with a series of dashes or dots. To create the dipped effect, apply paint tape to mask sections of other decorations, paint gold, then remove tape. Allow to dry.
For hangers for decorations, cut 1 length of leather thonging for each decoration, approximately 12–14cm long, or shorter for smaller decorations.
Thread 1 end of leather thonging through hole in each decoration Bring ends of leather thonging together so they sit evenly, then bind ends together by wrapping coloured thread around the leather, about 1cm from ends. Tie off thread with a knot to secure. Repeat for each decoration.
Hang your new collection of handmade decorations on the tree.