Last week when T was off school with the 48 hours after a stomach bug she and I started to get some Christmas crafts ready for the following weeks. I love decorating the house with homemade decorations and natural ornaments, as well as making little decorations for the tree like our baker's clay snowmen and salt dough decorations that we can keep and remind us of different years we spent together creating. So we got creative, invented our own salt dough recipe based on my favourite quick and easy salt dough recipe and produced a Christmas Scented Salt Dough Star Garland.
For a while, I've been looking at cinnamon ornaments like these from Completly Delicious but with the quantities of cinnamon used and apple sauce something that we haven't got around the house they would be expensive to make, but the idea of them being scented so that the smell is released into the home is something that I wanted to try and capture as well as create a pretty decoration that we could use for Christmas and possibly throughout winter. I love the smell of Christmas Spices - cloves, orange, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and of course, pine so raiding my spices cupboard and the baking shelf we got mixing to see what would appear.
125g plain flour
273g table salt
Up to 1 cup of water
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon orange essence (or 5 drops of Wild Orange Essential Oil)
Straw or chopstick or knitting needle
Star shaped cookie cutter
Out Now! - Countdown to Christmas Ebook
When life gets hectic in the lead up to Christmas wouldn't it be great to be able to spend a little time with the family creating gifts for others, food to enjoy together and traditions that make magical Christmas Memories?
But what actually happens is you spend hours searching through Pinterest looking for ideas and realise halfway through saying you are going to start that you have only 1 thing on the materials list!
I've been there!
So that is why we've put together our 24 favourite Christmas Activities, Crafts and Recipes with full materials lists and step-by-step instructions so that you have everything at your fingertips.
Produced as a PDF you can download, print and use these ideas throughout the festive season with your children and families.
Find out more as we share with your our Favourite Ways to Countdown to Christmas.
Making the Christmas Scented Salt Dough
In a large bowl add the flour, salt, ground spices and the orange - add in half of the cup of water and mix together, as the dough forms add more water until you have collected together all of the dough in a good ball that isn't too dry or wet.
If it is too wet then add a little more flour to the mix.
Once you have the dough transfer to a lightly flowered surface and knead well.
Roll out and use a cookie cutter to create the shapes. We used a star shaped cutter.
Once they are cut out take either a straw, chopstick or knitting needle and poke two holes into each star as if you were turning it into a button.
On a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and lay out the stars. They will not spread or grow so you can lay them quite close together.
Place in the oven between 50C and 100C and leave for 1 hour.
Turn over the stars and return to the oven for at least another hour - the stars will change colour from a brown to a beige. The smell whilst they are drying in the oven are amazing.
Leave to cool.
You may find when they come out of the oven you need to reopen the holes a little bit - a chopstick or knitting needle gentle pushed through will clear any salt dough from the holes and allow you to easily thread the ribbon through.
Once they are cool thread the ribbon onto the needle - I used a wool needle and T found this really easy to thread through the holes.
Decide how long you wish your garland to be - I wanted ours to wind a couple of times around the tree so measured it out with a swag and cut the ribbon a little longer to put some ties in place.
T then threaded the ribbon through the holes leaving a small gap between each star and we hung it onto our tree.
Christmas Scented Salt Dough Recipe
- Put the dry ingredients and orange essence or essential oil into a bowl
- Slowly add the water
- Mix to a smooth dough
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface
- Roll out
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes
- Place on a lined baking tray
- Put in the oven at the lowest settings for 1 hour
- Turn over and return to the oven till they are <g class="gr_ gr_3260 gr-alert gr_spell gr_disable_anim_appear undefined ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="3260" data-gr-id="3260">completly</g> dry