Friday, October 21, 2011

Christmas Craft: Salt Dough Nativity Scene

Every year at Christmas I stroll the aisles of department stores trying to find something, anything that actually relates to the real meaning of Christmas. I usually leave with only a star and get sucked in to buying a reindeer because they are cute. So this year I decided to to do some DIY Christmas decorations and have created a Nativity scene from salt dough. It looks special but is super easy...just takes a little time. I did it myself but if you have older children they would love making and painting the figures.

I started by making the Salt dough which is made with basic items from your pantry.

Salt Dough:
(makes enough for the Scene plus a little extra for the kids to eat play with)

You will need:
  • 400g plain flour
  • 200g salt
  • 4 tsp cooking oil
  • 320ml water
  • mixing bowl
    Mix together the flour, salt and cooking oil in a bowl using your fingers. Add a little water and mix it thoroughly until you have a smooth and thick dough which does not stick to the bowl. Add flour or water if needed.

    Sprinkle some flour into the bench or a board and knead until it is a smooth lump. You can use it now or it will keep in a airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days.

    Pre-heat your oven to 120 degrees

    Mold a fist size piece of the dough into a cave shape, then make five thumb shaped pieces (which will be Mary, Joseph, and three shepherds). Also make a small ball and press in the middle for a manger and a little oval shape for baby Jesus. Finally shape five or so sheep shapes.

    Place on a baking tray and bake at 120 degrees for about three hours (large pieces may take longer and small pieces cook more quickly). Ensure that each piece is cooked through.

    In case you are wondering the one at the back is a sheep Emily made.

    Once they are cooked and cooled you can start painting. You can decide on colours and styles but this is what I did.

    I am not the most crafty person so I am pretty happy with this result. I hope this idea works for you too.

    I would love to know how you go and see your creations on our facebook page