We made some of these decorations a few years ago, but decided we would like to make some more. What prompted this was seeing some ornaments in a shop recently that I knew we could replicate…for a fraction of the cost.
In the shop I saw a set of three white decorations with the words Peace, Love, and Joy written on them in gold. This all turned over very slowly in my mind, too slowly for me to think that I should have at least taken a photo. And a visit to the shop’s website doesn’t show them. However, judging by the cost of their other decorations, I would say this set would be at least $20. For three ornaments. Yes, they were probably a little less ‘delicate’ than the ones we can make, but I can live with that!
On my Christmas board on Pinterest I’ve got a couple of pins of this recipe. But it is the same on each website I’ve visited, and plenty of people have used it. It uses only three ingredients, is easy to make, and gives the most beautifully white decorations. The ones we made some years ago are still beautifully white.
If you are looking for a Christmas activity that the kids can help with, this could be the one for you! My son has asked if we can make some more this weekend!
1/2 cup cornflour (cornstarch)
1 cup bicarb (baking soda)
3/4 cup water
Place all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, and stir continuously until the mixture thickens.
When it has thickened, remove from the heat, form into a ball, and place in a bowl to cool. Keep it covered with a damp towel to stop it drying out.
In fact, I think I have cooked it a little too long here 😦 But it is very forgiving!
When the dough is cool enough to handle, place it on a (corn)floured surface and knead it gently. You can add more cornflour if it is a little sticky.
When it is lovely and smooth, roll it out on your non-stick or floured board. About half a centimetre thickness is good. If it’s a little thinner or thicker then that’s fine too. I found it easier to work with half of the dough at a time. Leave the rest covered by the damp towel until you are ready to use it.
Use cookie cutters to make your shapes. We used a straw to make the holes for hanging the decorations, which worked very well. Lift the shapes carefully off your board and smooth the edges with your finger. You might like to dip your finger in some water to help with this. It’s important to note that any imperfections in the dough, for example cracks or bumps, will be magnified once baked. Cracks will also be a weak spot in your decoration. Be sure to allow extras as there is likely to be some breakages! Place your decorations on a baking tray lined with baking paper, silicone sheet, or whatever you like to use. I used baking paper.
Preheat your oven to 80 degrees C (175F).
Here is our first tray ready for the oven:
Notice the two stars in the bottom right-hand corner? They have a few lumps and bumps for some reason.
Bake your ornaments for 40 mins to an hour, depending on your oven. Mine took 40 minutes, and I turned them every 10 minutes. Sometimes they can curl up at the edges. Just gently press them down when you turn them over. Gently. I broke a few doing this.
You can also leave your decorations to air dry. We’ve done that before. It works just as well, but it takes a couple of days in Sydney summer. Mind you, with the extreme temperatures we sometimes get, they could be ready much quicker!
Here is that tray after they have been baked:
You can really notice the bumps on the stars, can’t you?
Here are some other imperfections.
Once they are completely dry you can decorate your decorations. Or leave them plain. They are beautiful either way! Imperfections may be covered by glitter, sequins, beads, paint – whatever you like! Get out your crafting supplies and go wild!
Make hangers from ribbon, lace, twine, or a strip of net fabric, whatever you like.
I made three in the style of the ones I saw in the shop that started this project:
I picked three of the smoothest, most perfect looking hearts for this. I think they look pretty good! I’ll make some more sets of these when we make our next batch of dough. They will make good gifts for various friends and family.
Of course, you don’t have to make these exclusively as Christmas decorations. We have used some as tags on birthday or other gifts as well. Maybe tie some around your kitchen jars to show what’s kept inside. Or tie them to storage boxes. Remember that they are quite delicate, so best not to use them where they may get clunked around a bit.
What do you think? Have you made ornaments using this recipe before? Please share your tips if you have!
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