As a child, I had a German friend whose mother was a very talented salt dough artist. When I'd go to her house often times we'd end up at the kitchen table completely surrounded by salt dough and our plethora of creations. It has remained a favorite medium of mine but now I try to put my own spin on the craft.
First, you need the dough.
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
3/4 - 1 cup warm water
Mix the salt and flour until combined, and then slowly add the water and mix until the dough pulls together. Too sticky? add small amounts of flour. Too crumbly? Add little bits of water.
If you'd like to color your dough add a drop or two of food coloring to the water BEFORE mixing with the flour. A marbled effect? Add the food coloring directly to the dough as you kneed it. You can also use acrylic paints to color your dough.
Kneed the dough for approx 10 minutes. (this is tough work.. set the timer as you'll want to stop part way through!) Cut off a chunk of dough to work with and place the rest in under a damp paper towel or wrap it in plastic wrap.
Roll the dough out nice and thin. (atleast that is how I like my tags/ornaments) They dry quicker and feel more delicate/elegant to me. Now, take out your rubber stamps, an ink pad and get stamping! Stamp directly onto the rolled dough. To smooth out the surface of the dough after you stamped, you can gently roll over your image with a rolling pin. (I really like the small plastic rollers that came with my daughter's playdough)
Cut out your images with a sharp knife, I like to give mine a tag look by beveling the top corners. Eyeball it! Use a straw to cut out a small hole for the string. The pieces above I had placed on a cookie sheet. Don't do this! :)
Put them on parchment paper, on top of a drying rack and flip them often over the next few hours to dry them evenly. You can bake them in the oven but I have found, even at a low temp, some have the tendency to 'puff'. Not a nice feature. They will take a few days to dry completely. I brushed a small amount of white glue to certain spots (ie.. the tree stems, the snowflake) and sprinkled them with glitter. I am not a huge glitter fan, but the fine glitter adds a nice little sparkle.
These are limited only by the rubber stamps you have. Although, even without stamps there are plenty of things with texture that you can use to 'stamp' onto the dough. Coins, you can lightly draw with a sharp pencil, small dots with a fork, use cookie cutters to cut them out, ( my tools are only a knife and a wine glass for the circles).
They are great tags for gifts.. you can use a fine tipped sharpie to write on the reverse side. Small messages of love and friendship never get old, especially when handmade!