Over the years I’ve tried lots of holiday projects with my kids. We’ve made some really cool things, and we’ve made some really…messy things that didn’t end up being as cool. No matter what the outcome, we always enjoy making things together! This is such a busy time of year; if you can find a way to spend fun time with family AND help them to make some gifts at the same time, what could be better?
This was one of our favorite projects. It’s just like making cookies, but the results are permanent. Kids love playing with the dough and decorating them, and grandparents (cousins! teachers! neighbors!) love receiving them as gifts. Recipe makes about 2 dozen cookie-sized ornaments, but can be easily doubled.
2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
3/4 cup water
Mix ingredients in a large bowl. Add more water a little at a time if necessary until you have the right consistency. Roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness and cut with floured cookie cutters. Make holes in the top with a drinking straw (we use cocktail straws because they make smaller holes). Bake ornaments on an ungreased pan at 250° for about half an hour. Turn over the ornaments and bake for an additional 1-1/2 hours until the ornaments are hard. You’ll want them to be dried out completely, then allow them to cool.
Once the ornaments have cooled, remove any rough edges with sandpaper. Use acrylic or poster paint to decorate, or you can also use markers. When the paint (or marker) is dry, you can seal the ornaments with clear nail polish or shellac. Add glitter, beads, sequins, ribbons or other decorations to make each unique. Once you’re finished, thread a ribbon or wire through each hole and fasten to hang on the tree.
Use alphabet cookie cutters to create a special ornament for each family member with their initials. Make everyone’s favorite animal, or make them all in gingerbread shapes to look just like cookies (just don’t let anyone take a bite!).