Dough ornaments are one of the most fun and inexpensive decorations that you can make for Christmas. In addition, they are a project that can include children of every age. Once you get the hang of making them, you will probably want to make dough ornaments for other holidays, like Valentine’s Day and Halloween.
Ingredients and tools
You probably already have most of the things you need in the kitchen. Be sure that you have:
- Fishing line or other thread for hanging
- Toothpicks, butter knives, a garlic press, and holiday cookie cutters. Use your imagination and gather other interesting tools before you start.
Mix the dough
- 1 cup salt
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup water
Stir the salt and flour together, gradually adding water. Stir until mixed, then knead with your hands until it is soft and pliable. Place the dough on a dry floured surface and press or roll it to a thin, flat sheet. You can use a rolling pin or cover the dough with waxed paper and use a vegetable or soup can for rolling.
Create the Ornaments
When the dough is ½” thick or less, you are ready to cut out the shapes. (Thicker dough makes really heavy ornaments, which sometimes weight down the tree’s limbs. Use holiday cookie cutters or simply make your own shape using a butter knife. Keep pressing the unused dough together and rolling it out flat again until all dough is used. Place your shapes onto a cookie sheet.
Now you’re ready to add the details: Santa will need eyes, a beard, and cotton strips for the hat; trees need balls or ribbons of garland. Use toothpicks to draw designs into the dough or roll out extra pieces and wet them to stick them onto the body of the ornament. The garlic press is a favorite tool for making “hair.”
*Very important: when the ornament is finished, use a tool to punch a hole in the top for hanging. This can be done with a toothpick, a piece of raffia, or a skewer.
Bake the ornaments at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours. If you don’t want them brown, you can use a lower baking temperature and leave them in the oven longer. Remove when they look entirely dry. After the ornaments are completely cool, paint them with acrylics. Let them dry on a rack for a few days, then seal with acrylic spray. Insert the ribbon or fishing line hangers and they’re ready to hang on the tree or on a gift package.