Salt dough Christmas decorations, which were all the rage in the 1980s, deserve to be updated for the 21st century. The dough is very quick and easy to make and hugely fun for children to work with in the pre-Christmas season. Salt dough decorations also make great gifts, but it’s just as much fun to stash them away for a year, only to rediscover and reminisce over them next Christmas.
Salt Dough Christmas Decorations
2 cups (300g) flour – white type 405 flour for light-coloured decorations or wholemeal type 1050 flour for darker ones
1 cup (220g) fine salt
1 cup (250ml) water
1 tbsp sunflower or canola oil
½ cup (90g) potato flour (optional, but it makes the dough more pliable)
Ribbons for threading
Colour for painting (optional)
Preheat the oven to 130°C (250°F). Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl, combine and knead very well. Once the dough is soft and pliable, roll it out about 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick. Cut out your favourite cookie shapes and transfer them to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Use a toothpick to make holes for attaching ribbons or twine later. Make sure you leave enough distance to the edges so that they won’t tear.
Transfer your little works of art to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Once cooled, the decorations turn hard so you can paint them or decorate them with your favourite ribbons.
Add a few nice beads for a lovely decorative effect. Pull a ribbon through the prepared hole and string a bead onto it on either side. Hold the beads in place by tying the ribbon in knots, then tie the ribbon ends together.
Project from Advent by Kerstin Niehoff and Laura Fleiter. Murdoch Books, £12.99. Photography by Laura Fleiter.