This holiday season is truly bittersweet. No matter what the holidays mean to you, the end of the year usually brings families together through traditions and togetherness. And while the pandemic continues, we still crave all of that—especially to provide our children with a sense of normalcy. What a dilemma to be in. While spending time with loved ones is what we could all use the most, for many of us, it’s just not possible. Making these Home Is Where the Heart Is salt dough ornaments may help you feel connected to those you love who are far apart.
I know it’s tough. While DC has been my home for 20 years, my family lives all over the country. I am especially missing the older members of my family who live alone and are hours apart from anyone else. My thoughts and prayers are constantly with them, hoping that they are feeling that I am thinking of them when we’re not speaking over the phone. (And for those of you who know the struggle of not being able to video chat with family due to technical difficulties, I am with you.)
To show that I’m thinking of them and missing our connection, I decided to make salt dough ornaments with my son to send to them. While we can’t be together, I’m hoping these ornaments can be a reminder that I’m thinking of them and counting down to when the pandemic is behind us and we can visit. My son and I decorated our ornaments in the traditional red and green colors of Christmas, but they can be painted in any color of your holiday tradition.
I received a few different state cookie cutters as a gift from my husband several years ago from Hill’s Kitchen in SE DC. But you can also create your cutouts for these salt dough ornaments by printing out the shape of the state and tracing around the dough with a knife.
Home Is Where the Heart Is Salt Dough Ornaments
Makes about 24 ornaments
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup salt
- 2 cups flour
- Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Knead into a dough and add flour as needed to make the dough less sticky.
2. Sprinkle a board with flour and roll out the dough. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
3. Place shapes on a greased or non-stick baking sheet. Use a straw to cut out a circle at the top of each ornament.
4. Bake at 250 degrees for 3 hours. (You read that right. 3 hours.)
5. Allow your ornaments to cool. Do not be tempted to eat them – they are not edible!
6. Paint the ornaments with a single color.
7. Add a heart in a different color near where your loved one lives.
8. Allow the paint to dry. Again, do not be tempted to eat them – they are not edible!
9. Thread twine or yarn through the hole, and the ornament is complete!
Kids as young as 3 can enjoy making these salt dough ornaments, but make sure they do not eat the dough. And, of course, you can make many different kinds of shapes.
What are you missing this year? Drop your thoughts in the comments to let us know how you are handling missing family during the pandemic during this holiday season. We also invite you to share your salt dough ornament creations with @DCMoms on Instagram.
Check out our gift guide which features local DC area businesses to send some extra cheer to those who are from the area but can’t make it back home for the holidays.