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Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments
The art of making objects using salt dough is a popular way to make
Christmas ornaments and is fun for all the family the only requirements
needed to get started are flour, salt, water and basic equipment found
in the kitchen
To make salt dough Christmas ornaments I have found the following recipe to be a good all round recipe for most projects.
Fresh dough is best for shaping your Christmas ornaments. However, if you find you have any leftover dough it can be wrapped in cling wrap or an airtight container and stored in a cool place for a few days
For flat or rolled projects it is best to roll out the dough straight onto a baking sheet then it can be put straight into the oven.
Models or larger pieces can be assembled on a piece of hardboard that has been oiled with vegetable oil to prevent it sticking to the board
When finished and happy with your results you have a choice of Air Drying or baking your project in the oven. Ensuring your projects are correctly dried ensures they will last a long time so it is important that this is not hurried
Air drying is suitable for flat, small pieces or for colored pieces where baking will alter the color of the finished project.
Oven drying is the most popular method and requires careful attention to accurate temperature control to avoid burning. Bake for approx 2 hours using a low temperature setting 50-70 C for the first half hour then increase temperature slowly to 90-100 C and cook until the piece is uniform in color.
While baking if any air bubbles appear pierce the bubbles with a pin and gently depress the dough. If the dough starts to darken before cooking is complete cover with a piece of aluminum foil
The dough is cooked when it hard and sounds hollow when tapped. Turn the oven off and leave in oven until cool.
Any burns can be sand-papered off with fine to medium grade sandpaper. An Emery board or small file can be used for delicate or intricate sanding on objects.
Your finished projects can be left unpainted but they must be sealed on all sides (including underneath) with varnish, gloss or matt, for protection otherwise they will not last long when exposed to air.
When thoroughly dry sand any imperfections. At this stage you can paint your projects then seal with a final coat of varnish.
Brightly colored pieces will look more vibrant painted with a glossy finish and neutral muted colors are suited to a matt finish.
Using a polyurethane varnish on food colored models instead of water-based varnish helps to intensify the color.
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