It's getting close to Christmas!! (I can hear you all groaning now!) Seems like it comes earlier and earlier every year! There are lots of things I LOVE about the season though and one of the biggest is passing down traditions and starting our own with the kids!
One of our traditions is making handmade ornaments each year. The kids have come up with some fun ideas-like the year we took all those mismatched socks (Like the lost ones the washer eats!) and tea dyed them and hung them on the tree with mini clothes pins! We've done beading ornaments, paper ornaments, filled plastic ornaments, painted ornaments, but the one my kids love to do EVERY year is making cinnamon dough ornaments!!
There are TONS of recipes out there for this type of dough-I wanted to provide you with some links and some ideas for these, too! (Just a reminder-make sure you put a hole in the ornament before you bake or air dry them! We had lots of "bowls" of ornaments one year as we forgot that one step!)
This first recipe is one that I use quite a bit. For Christmas, we make some gingerbread ornies and put each one in a bag with a topper with the recipe and send them in with my kids for their classmates! Nothing better than passing a tradition on to another family!
GINGERBREAD DOUGH ORNAMENTS
3 TBS. SHORTENING 3/4 CUP WATER
1/2 CUP MOLASSES 3 1/2 CUPS FLOUR
1/2 CUP SUGAR 1 TSP. BAKING SODA
1 TSP EACH GROUND CLOVES, CINNAMON AND
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES
BEAT SHORTENING AND SUGAR TOGETHER UNTIL LIGHT AND FLUFFY. STIR IN MOLASSES. SIFT THE DRY INGREDIENTS TOGETHER. STIR THEM INTO SHORTENING MIXTURE IN 3 PARTS ALTERNATING WITH A 1/4 CUP OF WATER EACH TIME. DOUGH WILL BE STIFF.
USE CINNAMON TO DUST COUNTERTOP AND ROLL OUT DOUGH TO ABOUT 1/4 INCH THICKNESS...USE COOKIE CUTTERS TO CUT OUT YOUR SHAPES. USE A STRAW TO POKE A HOLE FOR HANGING. COOK ON A COOKIE SHEET FOR 20 MIN. THEN TURN OFF OVEN AND LET COOL IN OVEN-YOU MAY NEED TO FLIP THESE A FEW TIMES. LET COOKIES AIR DRY FOR A DAY OR SO. YOU CAN PAINT THESE WITH ACRYLIC PAINT SEAL THE FRONT (SO YOU CAN STILL SMELL THE BACKS!) WITH MODGE PODGE OR POLYURETHANE SEALER OR (LET MOM OR DAD) DIP INTO MELTED CANDLE WAX TO SEAL AND SCENT.
*If you want a lighter colored gingerman, substitute LIGHT CORN SYRUP for the MOLASSES or go half and half. You can also use WHEAT FLOUR for a different look! If you want some PUFFY ornaments, substitute 1/2 the regular flour with self rising flour!
This second recipe is from Wendy at Simply Cute Crafts...She is in the process of adding more craft projects to her sight but check out her ADORABLE diaper cakes! www.simplycutediapercakes.com
2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Salt (I use Kosher for a coarser look)
1/2 Cup Cinnamon
1 TBS Corn Starch
3/4 to 1 Cup Warm Water
Fragrance Oil (Optional)
I sift all of the dry ingredients together and then add the warm water a little at a time until you get the right consistency. If it's too sticky - add a little more flour. If it's crumbly - add a little more water.
Knead for about 5-10 minutes until dough is smooth......if using Kosher salt it won't feel completely smooth. Then let is sit for about 30 minutes.....either in a zip loc bag or plastic container with a lid. You can let it sit on the counter top or the fridge. Then roll out to desired thickness 1/4 to 3/4 and start cookie cutting away or use a sharp knife and do them freehand.....that's how I do my stars, moons and kitties!
Now I let mine dry on a cookie sheet and flip them about twice a day. Now you can dry them in the oven at a low temp 150 degrees or air dry them.
It usually take about 3-4 days to air dry, but can take longer depending on the thickness of the ornie.
You can wax dip them or I use Modge Podge Glossy and Brush that all over them to give them a glossy waxy look.
Twigs of Twigs & Sprigs has a great recipe on her sight
Susan of Simple Kneads has a recipe on her sight but she also sells a mix that you just add wet ingredients to-check our her sight for TONS of great ideas and patterns!http://www.simplecountrypleasures.com/tipsnhints1.htm Susan's dough smells like cinnamon powder or sticks!
Rochelle from CinnaMinnies also sells her mix from her sight. She also sells kits that include her Cinnamon Clay, oil and a cookie cutter along with her tips and hints! Rochelle's dough is a SPICY cinnamon (think Red Hots)!!
Here are links to some other recipes with some great ideas in there, too:
I like to use mini cookie cutters to cut out small versions of trees, hearts, stars, angels, gingers etc...and then I add them to potpourri or I put them in a mason jar! There are TONS of ideas that you can make besides ornaments!
Another dough that I like to use is Salt Dough. Here is a great site with a recipe and lots of ideas! http://www.multihobbies.com/saltdough/index.htm
You can vary this recipe by using wheat flour and adding cinnamon or ground cloves to it. I find that if I dissolve the salt in hot water first it helps it have a smoother texture! If you want puffier ornaments substitute half the regular flour with SELF RISING flour. You can use some modge podge or polyurethane to seal these or you can dip them in scented wax.