Fortunately, the days of plastic decorations are over! Nowadays everyone is looking for handicrafts, preferably from local production or better yet, for a homemade decoration. Of course, gifts, greeting cards and especially Christmas decor, are no exception to this magnificent trend. That is why we want to draw your attention to something very artistic and relatively easy to make – the pretty Christmas salt dough garland!
Materials needed for a DIY Christmas salt dough garland
For the salt dough:
1 cup of salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups of flour (plus more for sprinkling the countertop)
1/3 cup of cinnamon (plus some more)
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups of lukewarm water
For decoration: hemp or linen thread, natural or colored wooden beads, ribbons of your choice, bells, silver or gold paint etc.
How to prepare the dough?
Start by setting aside a few spoons of flour and cinnamon to dust the counter later. Then, combine the salt, cinnamon and flour in a large bowl. Gradually add water into the bowl and stir until the mixture begins to clump together. This is where you need to start using your hands to really put the dough together.
Keep adding small amounts of water, but be careful not to over wet the dough. It should not be too sticky so that it can be worked well and shaped into the desired shape. However, if the mixture seems rather crumbly, add a little more water and keep kneading. Sometimes the amount of water needed varies depending on the type of flour used, the ambient temperature etc.
When the dough becomes homogeneous, continue kneading the mixture on the counter until it is soft and pliable. To make it easier for you, you can divide the dough in half. Combine the flour and cinnamon that you set aside before, sprinkle it on the work surface, and start rolling out the dough with the rolling pin. By the way, cinnamon is added so that future ornaments do not turn white, but also so that the Christmas salt dough garland is aromatic. Rolling this type of dough requires a good deal of patience. For best results, you need to roll the dough to 0,5 cm thin (1/4 of an inch thin).
Christmas salt dough garland – tips and tricks
One must choose cookie cutters according to the style of decoration and his own personal preferences. Of course, if you already have Christmas cookie cutters such as reindeer, cherubs, mittens and socks, trees, gingerbread men, snowflakes, candy canes etc., you can use them without hesitation.
If your dough starts to crack while rolling, you can simply smooth it out with your fingers and a little water. Once the designs have been chosen and shaped, carefully transfer each of the cut-out figures onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper using a kitchen spatula.
Use a straw to punch holes in each of the ornaments, otherwise, punching them after baking without breaking them will simply be impossible and you will not be able to thread them into a Christmas salt dough garland. Straw can quickly become clogged during this process, so blow the dough out each time.
Bake at 150°C/300F for 30 to 45 minutes. Keep in mind that cookies will continue to harden as they cool. Sometimes the salt dough figures will puff in the oven.
You can also air dry your ornaments so that they are completely flat.
It will take 3-5 days to dry out and the “cookies” for your Christmas salt dough garland will remain lighter.