For years beyond telling, a favorite holiday craft project for parents and children has been making charming tree ornaments and centerpiece figures from magically simple Baker’s Clay. Lost the recipe? Never heard of it? Mix together:
Baked salt clay dough Christmas ornaments
4 cups unsifted flour
1 cup common table salt
1-1/2 cups water
Mix by hand in a bowl, adding a bit more if dry. Knead on floured surface for 4 to 5 minutes till ball holds shape. Break off pieces and shape as desired, or roll out a piece of dough between sheets of floured wax paper and cut with cookie cutters. (It’s more fun to shape by hand.)
Give figures shape and expressions with forks, spoons, toothpicks, whatever. To make arms and legs or other more complicated figures involving several pieces, moisten joints before attaching.
If making hanging ornaments, insert bent paper clips before baking. Bake figures on a cookie sheet in a 350 F oven for one hour or longer, until perfectly firm. When cool, paint with poster paint or marking pens. Figures are most attractive if some of the natural bisque color shows. For permanence, spray items with clear fixative after they are baked and painted. If working with dough over a long period, keep it in an airtight container.
One last word: Baker’s Clay may look good to eat, but it isn’t.