Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
This Christmas why not let your children or child make his or her own personal clay Christmas ornaments. The child will even make the clay himself. This clay has no harmful ingredients and will not cause harm if your little one is tempted to taste it. It is made from a mixture of natural kitchen food items, salt, flour and cooking oil.
This is a perfect project to make family Christmas ornaments that will last for years to come. Allow each child to make his own ornament and perhaps a special ornament for mom, dad, grandma, etc. These salt clay ornaments are made to last but should be handled with care.
To make a batch of salt clay you will need the following ingredients:
1-1/2 cup salt
2 cups flour
1/2 cup Crisco cooking oil
1 cup cold water
2 or 3 cookie cutters in different shapes (optional)**
1 plastic drinking straw
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Mix salt, flour and oil in large mixing bowl. Stir to blend well.
Divide mixture into 3 batches for coloring. Food coloring* usually comes in primary colors; red, blue and yellow. If you want additional colors follow this formula: Red + yellow = orange; blue + red = purple; yellow + blue = green.
Divide the cup of water evenly by three. Then, let your child add one color to each small bit of water and mix. Next, slowly add the colored water to each batch of salt-flour mixture and knead the dough until the color is even.
Roll clay with a rolling pin or bottle. It should be a little thicker than pie crust dough. Use cookie cutters to cut different shapes; stars, bells, or a gingerbread man, etc. Or let child make his own free-hand design. Add initials and date to the back. Don't forget that the ornament will need a hole for stringing. That is easily done with a plastic drinking straw. Then bake ornaments at 300 degrees for 1-1/2 hours in your oven.
**If you do not have cookie cutters, you can cut the clay into different shapes or use different sized jar tops to make an ornament. You can also cut a square of clay 2 X 2 inches and press buttons, a fork or different sized coins into the soft clay, use anything that has a design.