Making your own homemade Christmas ornaments is a lot of fun and personalizing your tree with your own ornaments is a great tradition to share with your family. If you have kids that you are making homemade Christmas ornaments with, why not make a bunch of them that they can give out as gifts to family and friends. This can be a great way to help your kids understand the true happiness in giving. They will be proud of what they have made, and delighted to see the smile on someone’s face as they open this wonderful gift.
Here is a simple homemade Christmas ornament dough recipe, don’t forget to read the tips that I have picked up over the years, as this can save you the hassle of making the same mistakes – and don’t forget to share your own comments and suggestions below.
Christmas Ornament Dough Recipe
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
Preheat your oven? I usually wait for this step, because it can take a while to cut out your ornaments. Once you start cutting your ornaments, you will get an idea of how long it will take you before your ready.
I bake my ornaments at 200 degrees F for 1-2 hours, or until they are dry and hardened. This will vary depending on the thickness or your ornaments. I have seen some other Christmas ornament dough recipes suggest baking at a higher temperature, but this really isn’t a good idea, as the dough will puff up (like a muffin, thicker in the middle and not as high around the edges) – The goal here to to dry the dough out, your not really baking them.
- Mix flour and salt well.
- Gradually add water, stirring with a large spoon.
- Finish by mixing with hands, knead until soft and pliable.
- If your dough feels a little too moist after kneading (pieces of it stick to your hand while kneading), sprinkle more flour onto your lump of dough and knead it again – You want it to be good manageable dough, but the more moisture, the longer it takes in the oven.
Rolling and Cutting Your Dough
- Sprinkle a tiny dusting of flour out onto a smooth surface that you are going to roll out your dough on, this will help your dough to not stick to the surface and allow you to get it on the cookie sheet still looking like the shape you intended it to be.
- Roll out your dough onto the floured surface, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut shapes with cookie cutters. Place your cut outs onto your cookie sheets (you can spray pam on your cookie sheet if it is not a non-stick pan).
- Think of how you would like to hang them, and decide if you need a hole in your ornaments before baking. With a toothpick (helps to cut the tip off to make sure the hole goes through all the way, or use a thick spaghetti/bbq skewer). Unfolded paperclips works for great hooks, and you can hot glue them to the back – I prefer this method, your Christmas ornaments will look nicer, and also the gingerbread men wont have a hole taking up a good amount of decorating area of their face.
Baking Your Homemade Christmas Ornaments
- Bake until hard. You can also flip them half way through to speed up the bake time an ensure that they are completely dried. Periodically I opened my oven to check on the Christmas ornament dough, and I noticed that a big whoosh of moist hot air came out, this might have helped to release the moisture in the oven, and speed up the drying process.
- Decorate with paint and varnish to preserve. For kids, be creative with age appropriate supplies: Markers, finger-paints, googly eyes, pom-poms, colorful pipe cleaners, glitter, popsicle sticks, beads or anything else lying around the house that would be interesting – share your own creative decorating ideas in the comments below.
Tips and Suggestions for Homemade Christmas Ornaments
- Don’t forget to add the hole before you bake them if you will be using string to hang them, they will be hard as a rock when your done. Although if you do forget, use the paperclip idea described above.
- Use a garlic press to create hair and beards for your Christmas ornaments.
- Try adding cinnamon to add a great holiday smell.