I found a fantastic clay dough recipe from a blog called ‘The Woodside Kitchen’, here’s the link (http://woodsidekitchen.blogspot.com/2010/11/clay-christmas-decorations.html). I really liked this clay, it was easy to work with. When baked, it’s a nice bright white.
I made Christmas ornaments from the clay with the word ‘Thankful’ stamped on the front. I gave them to my family members during Thanksgiving dinner. It was our first Thanksgiving without my mom. I wanted to remind everyone how blessed we are, even though we all miss her terribly.
You will need:
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup baking soda
- 3/4 cup water
- Parchment paper
- Sand paper
- Decorative stamp (I used an ‘office desk’ style stamper. It had a canal where letters can be fed through, so you are able to make your own words. Purchased at an estate sale. I had to hold it up to the mirror to make sure I had all the letters going the correct way.)
- Ribbon or string for hanging
- In a medium-sized pot combine cornstarch, baking soda, and water. Stir mixture over medium-low heat. After a couple of minutes, the mixture will begin to thicken (about 10 minutes). When it looks like smooth, mashed potatoes, remove the pot from the heat. 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 cornstarch if it feels too sticky.
- 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 (I used a small juice glass for my shape). Transfer shapes to the prepared baking sheet. Use a straw to poke a hole in the center top of each decoration, this will be where the ribbon or string will go for hanging.
- Bake for about an hour, turning them over halfway through cooking. (My oven is a little fickle and I had to cook my ornaments a bit longer, about 30 minutes longer).
- When cooled, lightly sand ornaments. Attach ribbon.
If you want to make colored clay just add food coloring to the water before you mix it with the cornstarch and baking soda. The clay can be sealed in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Just bring it to room temperature before you use it. This recipe can also be doubled to make a larger batch of decorations.
The blog mentions that they can be painted.
I do recommend paying close attention to the thickness of your ornament. I read the comments from the blog and some users had trouble with the dough breaking or cracking during the baking process.
This was an easy, inexpensive project and the kiddos loved it.
This could also be used for other holidays and craft projects: magnets, beads, plaques, frames, bowls. Just imagine all the unique finishes you could experiment with: glue and tissue paper, Mod Podge®, glitter, metallic paint, etc.