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Beaded Ornaments from Homemade Salt Dough

uncooked playdough beads Christmas ornaments for kids

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This past Friday, I was keen on Pari and I making some ornaments to decorate our Christmas tree and other corners in the house. But, I also wanted to integrate some sensory and cooking fun with it. It had been a while since she had indulged in her favourite activity  -kneading the dough and rolling out 'rotis'.

When I offered to her that we make our own playdough, she jumped at it. We had two options – cooked and un-cooked. Pari was excited about the cooked playdough, but I thought, making un-cooked dough will allow her to do it mostly by herself and I knew she would enjoy the whole process – with just a tad bit help from me.

In this post, though, I won't get into the nitty gritty of making the un-cooked playdough. It turned out to be such an ordeal, I must dedicate a 'whole' post to it! Ah, well, seriously, we had to tinker with it quite a bit to ensure it would roll out super smooth – without a crack – for the ornaments that we would 'cut' out from it.

Eventually, the consistency and texture did turn out fine and Pari had a satisfying evening rolling it out, cutting out shapes and decorating them!

Midway through it, my mom as well as Pari's friends joined the activity and everyone was having a blast. Or, should I honestly say – a tussle! Each was trying to have a go at cutting! I must agree – it is such a satisfying and gratifying feeling to see the shapes 'emerge' from the rolled dough.

We spread them over a butter paper, on our dining table, as the second round of the activity – decorating the ornaments – was to ensue. I had recently seen these beaded playdough ornaments at The Artful Parent and knew Pari would love to make something like these.

Ah, our treasure box of beads and stones was going to see the light of the day. This was originally a part of the jewellery making kit but Pari hadn't done much with it. 

Embedding them into the playdough ornaments, while they were still soft, is an easier activity then beading them through wires to make jewellery. The latter needs lot of hand-holding, which is no fun – for her or for me.

homemade beaded playdough ornaments

So, she set about 'pushing the beads into the playdough, with contribution from one of her friends and a little excited 'chipping-in' by me.

What a bunch we had – ready to be dried over night and then the next afternoon. Well, yes, our ornaments have taken three days to dry! I'm not sure if it's supposed to take that long? Or, is it just the weather? Winter has finally set-in in its peak form – the mist, the fog, the chill – it's all here! 

Today, we're going to string them with ribbons etc so we can hang them and admire our hand-made effort!

What Christmas crafts are you making or you've made at your home? 

Update on Dec. 20 2011:

Here's the recipe for this aromatic salt dough. Do check it out for the innovative twist that resulted in a very elastic and pliable dough!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Arawynn Eveningstar December 19, 2011, 8:05 am

    Too cute. I loved doing this type of thing as a child. Never considered using beads to decorate them before. Thanks for sharing :D Enjoy hanging them 

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 20, 2011, 12:39 pm

      @twitter-375846937:disqus So glad to have you connect here :) Playing with playdough must be every kid’s fav activity. I’m so tempted to have my daughter make in every possible colour and flavour/aroma! 

  • Param December 19, 2011, 8:20 am

    Wow, this is a  super duper fun activity for kids. Your Christmas tree is definitely gonna look pretty with these play dough ornaments they are just sooooooo cute . Please do share the recipe for the dough too…My daughter is gonna love doing this.

  • Chhavi34 December 19, 2011, 12:24 pm

    excellent idea! we’ll definitely try it in winter hols and share the results with u.
    so was it playdough or was it home-made dough dyed in pink colour?
    we also did the ‘pulses’ activity this weekend; though a li’l differently:)
    i’m planning to do another one with different types of cereals now.
    ideas flow on this blog……thanks to u!

  • Kristīne Dūdiņa December 19, 2011, 12:51 pm

    Beautiful! Looking forward to hear Your recipe! Our decorations from no-cooking dough turned out to be fragile after drying and we made another ones with cooking.

  • Valerie December 19, 2011, 1:26 pm

    What lovely ornaments– well worth the wait time for drying! They are beautiful!!

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 20, 2011, 12:31 pm

      @twitter-64327289:disqus Thank you, dear, for your lovely comment!

  • Art4littlehands December 19, 2011, 2:58 pm

    We have so many beads.  I need to do this soon.  I love the pink too.  I think these would be fun for valentines day too!

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 20, 2011, 12:30 pm

      @a6d2c95cad0484da64e2d02f0ee07156:disqus You’re right – these will be apt for Valentines. Especially the pink beaded hearts! :)
      Thank you Laura for stopping by…

  • Rachelle December 19, 2011, 4:26 pm

    Gasp! Rashmie, these are beautiful. I just pinned them, and we’ll have to make them this way next year. Love the pink and the beads! Oh, and yes, they do take that long to dry! You can expedite it next time by putting them in a 100 C oven for 2-3 hours.

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 20, 2011, 12:29 pm

      @TinkerLab:disqus Glad you liked our beaded ornaments :) Yeah, air drying is a long process. But then, I was concerned that baking them with the beads embedded may damage the beads…
      What do you think?
      I think it may be possible if they are glass beads instead…

  • Melissa Taylor December 19, 2011, 5:32 pm

    love these

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 20, 2011, 12:27 pm

      @twitter-56929066:disqus Thank you :)

  • Rebekah Patel December 19, 2011, 8:54 pm

    So lovely!!  It never occurred to me let the salt dough air dry.  That makes the possibilities greater with ornament making. 

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 20, 2011, 12:26 pm

      @google-480808cad0197bc9ad682b1572119e4a:disqus Yeah, air-drying means you have far more options. And then, baking can sometimes ‘puff’ them up and may spoil the look and even the colour…
      Though, I might try baking at very low heat. But, not the plastic-beaded ones though…
      Like I mentioned to @8c0a173a892a204b4ecbbf5d61952825:disqus if the beads are glass, baking at low heat may be possible…We’ll have to try…

  • The Monko December 19, 2011, 10:09 pm

    wow these are lovely. I wonder if you could bake them dry or whether that would destroy the beads – I may have to experiment. 

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 20, 2011, 12:24 pm

      @8c0a173a892a204b4ecbbf5d61952825:disqus I think baking them will melt the plastic beads. Unless they are glass…
      Thank you for stopping by to connect :)

  • Ann December 20, 2011, 2:11 am

    These are stunning – I think we will try a version of this!  Also a good use for left-over beads!

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 20, 2011, 12:23 pm

      @Anntrea:disqus Welcome to Mommy Labs :) Glad you liked. And, you’re right – this is a good way to put those left-over beads to use….

  • Ashu December 20, 2011, 5:46 am

    These ornaments are so beautiful.Loved it very much.Good job to Pari and friends…

  • Emma December 20, 2011, 9:25 am

    They are just beautiful!

  • maryanne @ mamasmiles December 20, 2011, 6:46 pm

    The beads are such a nice touch!

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 22, 2011, 5:13 am

      Thank you, @6608a8759cf05a766f3519749f042f82:disqus :)

  • maggy, red ted art December 21, 2011, 9:16 pm

    So beautiful! I love them! And yes, saltdough takes AGES to dry… three days seems quite quick!!!!

    Thank you for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!


    • Rashmie Jaaju December 22, 2011, 5:12 am

      @95a54dbc1c8f5c3e303f9e7999adce52:disqus Oh, so it does take that long. Then, did adding starch speeden up the drying process? May be..!
      Thanks, Maggy, for stopping by….

  • Anonymous December 22, 2011, 7:53 pm

    Oh these are lovely. I was planning to make some salt dough this Christmas but have ran out of time. Oh well. Maybe Easter?

  • Natalie December 22, 2011, 10:42 pm

    These turned out very pretty. I didn’t read your recipe post yet, but in general you are supposed to bake a salt dough for durability. Did beads end up sticking to the ornament well?

  • The Iowa Farmer's Wife December 24, 2011, 4:29 am

    Love these!