This decoration was inspired by Pinterest, as always, except now I have addicted my sister, too! She found these beautiful homemade Christmas ornaments, and we thought we’d get a jump start on holiday gifts by making some for our loved ones from the kids.
Will we succeed? You be the judge!
First, make the dough. Here are the directions for clay Christmas decorations from The Woodside Kitchen, which my niece and I followed to a T.
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup baking soda
3/4 cup water
In a medium sized pot combine the cornstarch, baking soda, and water. With an adult’s help the kids can stir this mixture over medium-low heat. After a couple of minutes, the mixture will begin to thicken. When it looks like smooth, mashed potatoes, remove the pot from the heat. (Ours didn’t look this way until we added a bit more cornstarch and baking soda, which we did by sight. May have been a mistake). Spoon the ball of dough into a bowl and cover it with a damp cloth until it’s cool. When it’s cool, knead it on a smooth surface, adding a little more cornstarch if it feels sticky.
Rolling, Cutting, and Baking
Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out clay to 1/4 inch thick on a surface lightly dusted with cornstarch. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Transfer shapes to the prepared baking sheet. Use a straw or needle to poke a hole in the center top of each decoration. Place them in the oven at 175 degrees for about an hour, turning them over halfway through cooking.
Paint or decorate them and thread a piece of ribbon, twine or yarn through the holes.
Now, this is where things varied from our inspiration. No matter how long we waited–we even put them in the freezer!–the cookies stayed somewhat soft and doughlike and some even broke. Was it our extra cornstarch and baking soda? I certainly don’t know, but we decorated them anyway and hoped that over time they would harden.
We could have added food coloring to the dough, but we wanted an array of colors so we stuck with paint. And glitter. Lots of glitter!
Then since they were starting to break (I even used a hot glue gun to try to salvage them) we put them outside and hoped they would cool down and harden.
No luck. They still broke. But I bet it was something that I did in my experience/impatience. They were still fun and beautiful, and worth a try if you think that dough isn’t beyond your expertise–unlike myself! Get in the holiday spirit–especially if you’re about to be stuck indoors with all this rain!–and give this beautiful holiday decoration a try!