Slow Cooker Christmas Ornaments

salt dough christmas ornaments made in the crockpot slow cooker
Day 345.

Katy, a long-time reader emailed me yesterday and shared that she made salt dough ornaments with her kids, and asked if I knew a slow cooker recipe for the dough.

What a great idea!!

 The kids and I got to work at once making some salt dough. Ours aren't Magazine Quality, but we had a bunch of fun rolling out the dough while singing (loudly!) to carols playing on the satellite TV channel.

The Ingredients.
simple gluten free salt dough ingredients
1 cup salt
3 cups all purpose flour, or rice flour (I used a gluten-free all purpose because we were out of the inexpensive stuff)
1 cup luke warm water
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

The Directions.

Mix dough with hand or stand mixer until it reaches a ball. If needed, add 1 tablespoon more water while mixing. The dough will be sticky, but will hold shape when molded.

Make ornaments (or beads for stringing). We made a bunch of beads to create a garland, and a few cut-out shapes for regular ornaments with playdough cookie cutters. 

Use a chopstick to make a hole in the center of the ornaments--you need to have a good amount of dough surrounding the hole so it doesn't crumble when hung.

Line the bottom of your crockpot with parchment paper. I did not do this, and it was a bad idea. 
Place dough creations into the bottom of your crockpot. I used both of my 6 quart crockpots for this project. 

Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours, flipping once.

The ornaments are done when they are hard to the touch and have browned slightly. I did overcook a few, but after a coat of paint you can't tell.

After they have cooled completely, paint. 

We only had crayola poster paint in the house, so that's what we used. A paint that dries with a shiny coat would look better. 

Seal with a varnish or Mod Podge. I haven't done this yet, but I'll get some Mod Podge next time I'm at Michael's.

The Verdict.

These were a lot of fun for us. My four-year-old kept eating the dough which was a little weird, but we were all in a good mood, and made memories. I like salt dough a lot, and have used it to make hand and foot prints. 

I liked using the crockpot instead of the oven this year because we ended up with NO casualties---none of the pieces cracked, and the slow cooking meant I could fuss around with the pieces and move them around to ensure an even bake.

 I have a half-batch of the dough left wrapped up in the fridge, so this weekend we'll get some nicer paint and make some more ornaments to give as gifts.

more fun slow cooker stuff:
shrinky dinks

Make and bake salt dough creations easily using your crockpot slow cooker. This is a great way for kids to bake safely -- no need to worry about standing around the oven getting burnt! Perfect rainy or snowy day craft; ideal for preschool or daycare centers with no oven access!

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at December 10, 2008

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What they say about this article

  1. cute idea! I like this one :)

  2. This would be fun to do with my kids.

  3. Anonymous12/10/2008

    Sounds fun! We had a snow day yesterday and did some loud singing of satellite christmas carols ourselves!

  4. How fun! We are going to have to do this!!! Thanks!

  5. This is really cute---got a project for the weekend!

  6. Anonymous12/10/2008

    What an extremely cool idea! You are so smart.
    Are you getting excited about reaching the end of the year?

  7. Hi Stephanie... I have some packaged dough for crescent rolls. Do u have any idea if i could make crescent rolls in my crockpot. I am new to crockpotting & ur site is definitely going to get me started.

  8. they LOOK good enough to eat...just add some cinnamon and sugar...peanut butter...chocolate...cream cheese... I haven't had breakfast yet today, can you tell?

  9. Is the varnish essential? Will they rot otherrwise! ;-) I do not have access to varnish I would trust around my kids.

  10. Hi Connie,

    Mod Podge is a decopauge glue and that would be the best bet, or you could use a white glue and water wash. I've never had salt dough NOT rot after a year or two, lol, so it probably doesn't really matter if you seal it or not. The longest-lasting ornaments I've had have been the kids' foot prints and I didn't paint them, but colored the dough with some food coloring.

  11. We decided to make thumbprint/handprint ornaments for the grandparents with your inspiration. We aren't nearly as crafty. Well, I say we, but I mean I. The girls just donated their hands for the imprints. I also made little baby Jesuses and crosses. I have to admitthat punching holes in baby Jesus felt wrong. I figure that teaching the kids the meaning of Christmas is a good enough reason to chance it.

  12. Oh Steph...I was just waiting for this one ;-) Thanks once again.You know that all of your loyal blogosphere fans will be looking for new recipes next year right?!?!

  13. Promise you won't take this site down at the end of the year :-)

  14. Could you color the dough before you make the shapes? You know, put it together like Play-Doh!

  15. thanks for linking the playdough recipe to this one because when I read this one I was wondering "could you make playdough in the crockpot?" YEA!!!

    thanks again for all your great recipes!

  16. I am so excited I found you blog. I use my crock pot a lot and it looks like I'm going to find a lot of good stuff on here. Thanks!!!

  17. I have really enjoyed your blog for a few months now and am starting to panic that your "year" is only 20 days away! Will you continue? My granddaughter will be here over Christmas and I may do the salt dough to make her hand prints for her mommy and daddy for a surprise gift. Thanks for the idea!

  18. I cannot believe the amazing things you've made in your crockpot this year. Simply amazing!

  19. Anonymous12/10/2008

    I just made cinnamon dough ornaments with the students at school today. That might be a good alternative to wheat flour, since all you need is cinnamon, applesauce and white glue. Plus they smell great. Too bad I didn't see your post earlier, because I came home and baked them all when I could have baked them in the crockpot at school.

  20. love your blog & all the recipes, I found through someone who had posted on my blog she(Carol) has you on her blog list, wehn I saw your coconut chicken curry recipe I almost got excited lol there is a Chinese resterant here that makes the best coconut chicken,chicken breast nuggets lightly battered & fried, topped off with pineapple chunks/bellpepper/coconut smootered with a coconut sauce which he claims is just coconut ,well I don't think so for I've tried several times to make coconut milk taste like that lol , almost like the sweetness of a funnel cake, oh well didn't mean to rambel so lol

  21. I used to love salt dough.

  22. Anonymous12/11/2008

    My sister and I just found your blog and love it! We both tried the Macaroni 'n Cheese recipe and it was wonderful.

    Are you starting to think of a special dinner for your last day, New Years Eve?

  23. Anonymous12/13/2008

    Love this recipe! Thank you!!!
    Do you just stack the cookies in the crock pot? Don't they stick together? And when you paint/varnish, do you do both sides or just one? This is my first time making ornaments and it'll be fun with daddy and the kids, THANK YOU!

  24. Anonymous12/26/2008

    Not quite understanding this...doesn't seem like you can "cook" more than two or three ornaments at a time.

  25. Hi Anon, it depends on the size. I used 2 crockpots and we got about 30 ornaments.

    Many were smallish doughnut-shaped ones that we strung together a few at a time and sprinkled with glitter.