Anyone that knows me would know that I’m not into arts and crafts or mess in general. So what in god’s name was I thinking making these Christmas keepsake ornaments? I don’t know what got into me but I did it – admittedly I got granny over to help! Let’s just say my toddler’s excitement at the vast opportunities for making a major mess know no bounds! And in the end it wasn’t too bad at all. So if you are trying to think of a good last minute gift for the grandparents or godparents, and you just can’t face the shops, maybe this might be worth a go!
Firstly, it is lovely to keep hand and foot prints of your babies so they can compare them as they grow. So I decided to combine this with a couple of simple santa and snowman designs (thanks pinterest!). That was the master plan. In reality, getting a hand or footprint from a 4 month old and a 21 month old is just as much hassle as it sounds but after many attempts – that’s the beauty of it, you can just redo it as much as needed until you get it right (or realise it’s as good as it’s going to get so it will do).
Instructions for making the Christmas Keepsake Ornaments
There are lots of different salt dough recipes online so I just picked this one and it seemed to work out fine:
1 cup plain flour
1 cup table salt
3/4 of a cup of water
Acrylic Paints – Amazon link for the paint I got
Mod Podge (to seal them after painting) – Amazon link for the mod podge I got
- Combine the flour, salt and water until you get a consistency similar to playdough, add more flour if it’s sticky.
- Roll out the salt dough until it is approx 1cm thick.
- I left it as one big piece then got the hand prints and foot prints I could and cut around them. I would advise you to use a sharp knife or cookie cutter (I didn’t) as if the edges are rough they stay that way when hardened.
- When you’re happy with your shapes, use a straw to pierce a hole at the top of each one – really important!.
- Put them on a tray lined with a baking sheet and put in over for approx 4 hours at 140C. Keep an eye on them as they can burn, and depending on thickness, you might need to adjust cooking time to less or more. I also turned mine over after 3 hours. Just make sure they are fully hard before removing.
- Wait until completely cool and then paint with acrylic paint – mine needed 2 layers. I did santa and snowmen but you could also do reindeer or anything your imagination wants! As you can see by my attempt, you don’t need to be a Van Gogh to make it work, and if all else fails just say your toddler painted them…
- Leave to dry and then seal with mod podge (if you haven’t time to get this then don’t worry, you can do it after Christmas just to make sure they last long term).
- I used a permanent marker over the top to write in their names and the year.
- Pop a piece of ribbon or twine through the top and they are ready for the tree. Or put them in a box ready to give as a gift like below!
Easy peasy! I won’t be giving up the day job! Pin it for later!
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