Homemade Christmas Ornaments: Dough Recipes
As long as I can remember, making Christmas ornaments for family and friends has been one of my favorite holiday traditions. Whether made of wood, clay, fabric or dough, I find it a pleasure.
One of the reasons I love making ornaments so much is the ability to personalize each one for the recipient. Another reason I love creating ornaments is the ability to decorate my Christmas tree according to a particular theme, with out spending a small fortune!
Following are three of my favorite dough recipes, for crafting ornaments.
- 1 cup cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon nutmeg
- 3/4 cup applesauce
- 2 tablespoons white glue (such as Elmer's School Glue)
- In medium bowl combine spices. Stir in applesauce and glue.
- Knead mixture for a couple of minutes to form a ball.
- Roll dough 1/4" think and cut with cookie cutters. Use a toothpick to make a hole for hanging.
- Allow to air dry 4-5 days, turning occasionally.
Makes: 4-5 dozen
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 tablespoon baby (mineral) oil
- 1 tablespoon cream of tartar or alum
- 2 cups boiling water
- Mix first four ingredients thoroughly.
- Carefully add boiling water and stir to form a ball of dough.
- Knead for several minutes to form a smooth dough.
This dough can rolled to 1/4" thickness and cut with cookie cutters or shaped free-hand into small sculpted ornaments. These can air dry or bake in a low oven (200 degrees Fahrenheit).
When making flat ornaments, use a toothpick to make a hole for hanging the ornament. When sculpting ornaments, insert a small eye-hook or paperclip into the ornament if they are to hang. Remember, larger ornaments can sit on a shelf.
When the playdough ornaments are dry, they can be painted for further personalization. I like using acrylic craft paint.
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons shortening
- 2 teaspoons each baking soda, ground cloves, ginger, and cinnamon
- 7 cups flour
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In large bowl cream together shortening and 1 cup of sugar. Add remaining ingredients, mix well. Refrigerate for 4-hours.
- Roll dough out on floured surface of wax paper to 1/4-inch thickness. Poke a large hole in the top of each cookie with a pencil.
- Bake on cookies sheets for 20 minutes in 325 degree oven. After 20 minutes, turn the oven off. Leave cookies in the oven for one hour to continue drying. Place cookies on rack and allow to sit untouched for 1-3 days, pr until completely dry.
- When cookies are dry, spray with clear acrylic paint or brush with clear varnish on and allow cookie coating to dry completely. Thread with a ribbon for hanging.
For a simple country theme, hang ornaments using strips of gingham fabric on a tree laced with white lights. Finish the look by adding candy canes and a few wooden ornaments.
For a simple look from the past, use a single color of lights on the tree. Keep the ornaments uniform in color, choosing just a few shapes to display. Hang them using jute, raffia or a single color of ribbon. Garlands made of pop-corn and wooden beads or nuts add a finishing touch.
For a Victorian look, lite the tree with white lights, then go all out with the gold paint and glitter on the ornaments. Use a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Tie the ornaments on with long, thin, romantic ribbons or wide showy bows. Use more ribbon, to trim the tree with. Beads that reflect the light will bring it all together.
For a tree the kids with adore, light with multi-colored lights. Allow the children to choose the shape of the ornaments, and, if using playdough, to paint them. Add small toys, even little dolls, into the mix, hung with thread, ribbon or jute. Make paper chains for garlands, and top with candy canes.
Most of all, do something you really enjoy!
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