Saturday, December 1, 2012

Painted Homemade Ornaments--Easy Gift Idea!



With the holidays quickly approaching, the kids and I worked on a special gift idea. I’ve made the cinnamon applesauce ornaments in the past but I was anxious to try something new! Both recipes are fairly easy and use ingredients you most likely have on hand. The directions are simple too, so little hands can help! Both of my kiddos had fun stamping, painting and decorating their ornaments.

We tried two different recipes—both turned out equally well, so I can’t recommend one over the other according to the appearance. If you want the “easiest” recipe—that would be the salt dough recipe (#1)—this one doesn’t require using the stove top and cooling, you simply mix up, roll out, cut and decorate. If you want crisp white ornaments, I’d go with the clay-type recipe (#2)—this would be good if you decided not to paint or decorate and wanted a clean and simple look.

Here are the two recipes:

Salt Dough Ornaments (#1)
2 c. flour
1 c. salt
1 c. luke warm water

Combine ingredients in large bowl and mix together until the dough forms. Lightly flour the surface and roll out to about ¼ inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to make the shape. Use a straw to make the hole for the ribbon to hang the ornament. We used craft paint and stamps to decorate our ornaments, but you can leave them undecorated too. Once you make all your ornaments, you can allow them to air dry or bake them at a low setting (200 degrees) for 30-60 minutes, rotating after 15 minutes and checking to make sure they do not start to brown. After they are cool and dry, spray with a clear coating spray to preserve the ornament. Tie a string and hang!

Clay Ornaments (#2)
½ c. corn starch
1 c. baking soda
¾ c. water

Combine ingredients in a saucepan and heat over med-low heat. Keep stirring until it forms a mushy dough, similar to mashed potatoes. Once that consistency is formed, place dough on a surface to cool (we put it on a cutting board). Once cool, roll dough out to about ¼ inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to make the shape. Use a straw to make the hole for the ribbon to hang the ornament. We used craft paint and stamps to decorate our ornaments, but you can leave them undecorated too. Once you make all your ornaments, bake them at a low setting (200 degrees) for 30-60 minutes, rotating after 15 minutes and checking to make sure they do not start to brown. After they are cool and dry, spray with a clear coating spray to preserve the ornament. Tie a string and hang!

Have fun making these with your kids—we sure did! (We even had a neighbor friend come over and join us!)

I've featured this project over at www.rockfordparent.com--come check it out!

Cindy

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