I’m not sure when I last posted a crafty post. Have I ever posted one on here? I know it was one of my goals for the site at some point, and given that I used to actually co-run a craft blog, you’d think it would be easy, but for some reason* I’ve never managed to get around to it. But if you’re looking for something which makes a great Christmas present PLUS happens to be a fun activity for a rainy day with a toddler, look no further…
A few weeks ago, I posted up on Instagram that I was desperately scrounging for an indoor activity that didn’t just involve watching TV. Theo’s started to have these huge ‘TV TV TV’ tantrums, so it’s not my favourite thing at the moment. Sarah (whose little boy Jonathan shares Theo’s birthday) suggested that I made some salt dough ornaments to give to relatives with their Christmas presents this year. Perfect!
I’ve not really got out our paints before now with Theo. I think I was mainly just scared of the mess. And to be honest, I still am – unlike when we’re cooking, I monitored this activity like a hawk! But in the end, it actually wasn’t as bad as anticipated. I think he got really excited by it, so didn’t want to run off into the living room with paint-covered hands, and he does a lot of this type of stuff at his nursery, so think he’s used to doing it now. I also, of course, put down loads and loads of newspaper for any accidents.
To make the ornaments, I halved this recipe from AllRecipes. I cut out shapes using some Christmas tree and star shaped cookie cutters that I had lying around from previous years (I don’t think the Christmas trees have ever even actually been used), poked a hole through the top with a chopstick, and then baked for 25 minutes. They are a bit risen in places, which suggests that maybe I should have worked out all the air in the dough a bit more, but we’re going for a rustic look here, right?
I used my bright acrylic paints for one side, then left it to dry. The next day, we went to an art supplies shop to get some child-friendly poster paints, and used those on the other side, but to be honest, I think the acrylics worked better as the colours are just a bit zingier.
The end result is pretty special. They might not be the most tidily painted decorations on my family’s Christmas tree this year, but I think they’re quite beautiful in their own special way. Theo enjoyed getting his hands into the dough and helping me cut out the shapes, and absolutely loved painting them. I can’t wait to see them hung up on the tree!
*I blame babies