Make Salt-Dough Holiday Jewelry (plus a Giveaway of Snowman Earrings!) … a special Craft Gossip guest blog post!December 14, 2010, 18:00 pm Posted by Lark Jewelry & Beading
[Stacie Hooder is the fantastic jewelry making editor for Craft Gossip at http://jewelrymaking.craftgossip.com, and she abounds in the holiday spirit! Stacie generously agreed to share her secrets for making salt-dough jewelry with holiday style.]
North Little Rock, Arkansas — Each year when it starts to turn frosty outside, I love to turn on my oven and bake. The warmth from the oven and good smells make me reminisce about holidays spent in my grandma’s kitchen.
Since I love to eat cookies and other baked confections, I’ve found an alternative to expanding my waistline each winter — baking salt dough. For several years I’ve made salt-dough holiday ornaments for my friends and coworkers. Not only are these ornaments inexpensive to make, it’s tons of fun to gather your friends and have a day of crafting, since everyone needs a few little gifts and stocking stuffers to complete their holiday gift list.
This year I’ve done something a little different. Instead of making holiday trimmings for the home, I’ve added findings to make holiday jewelry adornment for you!
Take a look at the tutorial below to learn how to craft some wearable holiday cheer all your own. And while you’re here, leave a comment by 9 p.m. EST on Monday, December 20, to enter for a chance to win the snowman earrings pictured above! One winner will be selected at random and announced on Wednesday, December 22. Click through for the official rules.
- Salt dough
- Head pins (or wire to make your own loops)
- Paints and brushes
- Varnish (I prefer spray varnish since it’s easier to use)
- Earring findings or jump rings to form a pendant
- Assorted beads
To make salt dough, you’ll need:
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 cup of salt
- 1 cup of water
If you’re going to use cookie cutters to make your pieces, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface at about ¼-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to make the desired shapes or use your imagination to form your own.
I’ve found the thicker an object is, the more likely it is to crack during baking. I typically roll out the dough and cut shapes or form canes that can be sliced or rolled thin.
Since salt dough can be tinted with food coloring and shaped into canes (just as you would with polymer clay), you can quickly make a batch of “candy canes” or “peppermint sticks.” Using a slightly different technique, you could make “starlight mints.” As long as your canes are sliced to a consistent thickness and kept on the thin side, you shouldn’t have any problems with cracks when baking.
Bake at 250°F (120°C) until your piece has completely hardened. Baking time will vary depending on the thickness of the objects you’ve made. (I baked these small pieces for about 30 minutes.) To test, press the thickest part of your piece. If there is any give, bake longer. (Keep watch, though. If you over-bake, your pieces may burn.)
Paint each piece, then seal with varnish on both sides, allowing each side to dry in between. If you varnish after you embellish, some things won’t do well. For example, glitter will lose its shine when varnished.
Embellish your pieces with ribbon, glitter, sparkles, or feathers as desired.
To form earrings, add beads and ear wires to form drop earrings or simply glue a post on the back. To form a pendant, add a jump ring. You can also glue pin backs onto your pieces to make holiday pins.
Now you’re ready to wrap your gifts. I wish you happy holidays, and hope to see you over at http://jewelrymaking.craftgossip.com!
– Stacie Hooder, jewelry making editor, Craft Gossip