Thursday, 17 December 2009

A first crack at making salt dough decorations

Until this year I hadn't even heard of salt dough decorations  but, inspired by my Make it and Mend it colleague Hilary, I decided to have a try at making some. What a satisfying way to spend a morning it was too - and it got me right into the Christmas spirit.

Hilary's step by step instructions are on our website here

My efforts were not as finessed as Hilary's but I am quite proud of them. I decided to stick with 2 basic colours - a deep rose and a cobalt blue - as I have lights on my tree in those colours - and it made a change from my usual shop-bought uniform gold decorations. I've kept some of these on the tree but the new salt dough ones now stand out, looking vibrant and more energetic.

As I didn't have any cookie cutters to hand, I used a glass jar to make circles and the base of a plastic lemon squeezer to make a star indentation, then did the rest free-style, deciding to abandon any attempts at perfect literal shapes. I used acrylic paint and added some bits of mirror glass and some coloured glass beads. I made some small indentations - sometimes in a heart shape, sometimes random and filled these in with gold paint.

Hilary warned in her article about making the hole for the ribbon big enough. I used a metal skewer and wiggled it about a bit to make the hole larger but I had to use a sewing needle to feed the thread through a couple of them as the holes were too small after baking - there's no give in them at all once they are baked hard.

I finished off my decorations with some lacquer spray and a light sprinkling of glitter. I think they look fabulous - and the best thing is that every one is different. Definitely worth having a go. Stick the radio on and get stuck in - there's still plenty of time!

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