We woke up on this past Friday morning to ice-covered roads and closed schools. My school-aged twins were bummed, because the school day, whose agenda included a Christmas gift exchange and gingerbread house making, promised to be super fun. I vowed to make our stay-at-home agenda rival the excitement of their lost school day.
We made hot chocolate and watched a marathon of Christmas movies. In a lull during the day, I recalled a Christmas craft idea I saw on Pinterest that looked relatively easy. Save our Christmas cookies (which I ended up doing almost all by myself this year after my “helpers” retired), holiday crafting has never been something my 8-year old boys got excited about. Actually they’ve never been big crafters in general. But, I have hope in 2-year old Jax. I have my craft cabinet loaded, and I’m bent on introducing him to the creative world of glue, glitter and googly eyes.
When I told the big boys we would be making clay Christmas tree ornaments, I got the usual eye-roll, “Mom, do we have to” reactions. But, they were troopers and pitched in. And, you know what, when we were all done they both admitted they had fun! Score.
Clay Dough Ornaments
I rarely pre-plan my crafting, so I’m usually stuck finding an idea for which I have all the supplies in house. I discovered the idea here: Happy Holligans. (Jackie is a home daycare provider. Seriously, if I had my kids in daycare, I’d want them with her!) These ornaments require 2 ingredients: baking soda and corn starch. And you can decorate them with any bling you have lying in your craft bins.
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup corn starch
3/4 cup water
In a medium sauce pan, combine the dry ingredients, and mix in the water. Stir on the stove top over medium heat until mixture creates a blob in the pan and starts to pull away from the sides. Remove from heat. When cool enough to touch, knead briefly on a flat surface until dough becomes smooth.
1. Roll dough as you would cut-out cookies and use cookie cutters to cut your desired shapes. I liked my ornaments on the thicker side, but roll into a thickness that fits your needs. The recipe yielded 12 ornaments for us. You’ll make more or less depending on the size of your cookie cutters and the thickness you choose for your ornaments. Don’t forget to add the hole for a string: The end of a straw works great for that purpose.
2. Decorate your ornaments with whatever you choose. Because we had them in our craft cabinet, we opted for:
Silver glitter glue
Metal letter circles
Broken glass (from a previous stepping stone project)
3. Bake at 200º for 1-2 hours (depending on the thickness of your dough).
We decided to use our ornaments as decorations on our Christmas packages. I used a Sharpie to write the boys’ names and year on the back of each, and we attached them to gifts for the grandparents, aunts and uncles. I mean, how many clay ornaments can one family have hanging on the tree right? We know that the recipients of these hand-made goodies will love them.
Really, this is an easy-peasy project that takes no time at all. Go ahead, give it a shot. Adding a little Christmas music in the background is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Put some hot chocolate on the stove for the kids, and don’t forget to add a little Irish Cream to yours. Merry Christmas from our family to yours!