Monday, December 3, 2012

December 3: Salt-dough ornaments

I'd come across a few salt-dough recipes during my adventures in Pinterest-land - to add vegetable oil or not, to add lemon juice or not, to add food-dye or not, to ink before baking or not, to bake or not - so I averaged out the difference on the amounts, decided to add a little lemon juice on the promise of extra hard ornaments but leave out the oil, and couldn't be arsed waiting for these things to air dry for several days so baking it is.

This was my first attempt so I halved the recipe and then halved the dough to experiment with just a small wodge. This was also my first attempt at stamping dough so it took a few tries and a few re-rolls to apply just enough pressure to get the indented shape but not enough to press in the rim of the stamp itself. Not easy. I've discovered I'm fairly unskilled with a rolling pin - no matter which way and how long or how careful I worked it, my flat dough always ended up slightly uneven. So my first ornaments are marginally lop-sided. I'm guessing no-one even notices.

These ones need to be sanded down and then threaded with ribbon but overall, I'm pleased with the results.

Crafty Triumphs:
  • I have a handful of ornaments and tags, including one embellished with Dear Boy's footprint.
  • The dough proportions turned out to be pretty spot on (only needed an extra sprinkle or too of flour/salt while kneeding).
  • Got the hang of the stamping eventually and just smoothed out the bits that weren't too bad.
  • Managed to avoid them puffing up. One started to, but I pierced the back and flattened it down.
Rookie Mistakes:
  • Not having the right size cookie cutters. I'd searched for a small circle but ended up using a lid. 
  • I tried stamping with ink prior to baking and it did not go well. Not only was my allegedly red ink quite orange but the stamp was overwhelmed and I ended up with an orange blob rather than any detail.
  • Not converting Fahrenheit to Celsius before I had dough covered hands (FYI - 200F is approx 100C).
  • Forgot to punch a hole in one of the tags before baking.
  • They were still baking after 5 hours, even though the recipes all said 4. They still felt soft to me so I left them in. That may be why they now look more like cookies than ornaments.
  • Should have taken photos before they went into the oven.

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