salt dough ornaments

I really cannot be trusted to come up with high quality grandparent worthy ornaments on my own. I rely far too heavily on my Stephanie. And Pinterest. But this year I was going to try and make it work solo style and include my sister and sister-in-law as well as my nieces and I thought, such fun. Right? I tried so very hard to be like Steph. But when you are lacking in those skills there is not much that can be done to gain them I'm afraid. I had everything prepped prior to their arrival. I had done a trial run. I had the dough made and chilled. The workspace prepped and floured.... and. Nada. Disappointment. It be running rampant.

Also? If you are my mother click the 'x' in the top right hand corner.

I decided to do salt dough ornaments. Those are economical, the possibilities are endless, the kids can paint their own should they see fit and it fits all sizes of kids. My children's hands are becoming mammoth and so this is the last year they will grace anyone's tree. I know. I needed a moment after that to regain composure as well.

Salt Dough Recipe:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
3/4 water (maybe more, maybe less)

Combine the salt and the flour and then slowly add the water until it's all mixed nicely. Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

This is where mistake number one comes in. Recipes range in temperature and baking time from anywhere to 30 minutes at 300 degrees to 12 hours at 100 degrees. Now that's a big discrepancy. My trial run I stuck towards temps under 300 and baked roughly an hour. Those seemed to be okay, although they could have probably stood more baking time. The real deal with the sisters was over 300 and more like 30-40 minutes and well. Air bubbles. Brown spots. Buckled ornaments. You name it. Stick with lower temps for longer times and thin ornaments. That's my advice.

I wanted a pair of mittens. One mitten for each kid. Strung together. Beth and Ash went the more traditional route with hands and feet and that's best because hands and feet are just so stinking adorable when they are baby hands and feet. Also?  Mikayla's hat. 

While the ornaments were baking we were eating. It was quite a tasty spread prepared for us by Chef Matteo and my sister Beth. And then we got back to work....painting. Trying to salvage what we could.

Here be my finished products. I'm only happy with the golden stars. Letty is happy with every single one that she painted and glittered and quickly hung up on the basement tree. I wish I had her optimism sometimes, I truly do.

Moral of the story? Never try anything new. The end.