Day 5 ~ Pretty Dough Ornaments

19 Nov

I hope you are enjoying this series so far, I would love to hear your comments!  Day 5 is my handcrafted dough ornaments ~ I have made dough ornaments on several occasions now and I think I have finally perfected the salt to flour ratio to get a smooth dough, so I really wanted to share that with you!

Today’s ad sponsor is Paper Elf, a great Etsy shop with some really cute paper crafting items (love their “handmade” and craft tags). Paper Elf is also going to be participating in our giveaway on November 30th!

I created PaperElf a few months ago to share my love of cute and colorful paper items with others. My shop is now filled with Japanese-style washi tape and fabric tape, as well as a variety of paper tags and stickers to decorate gifts and handmade creations. I am always on the lookout for cute and fun items that can bring a smile to someone’s face, and I am continually adding new things to my shop.  Here is the link to their Etsy shop: Paper Elf

Do you have a favorite ornament that you love to put on your Christmas tree each year?  I remember when I was little, my aunt made us some beautiful dough ornaments for Christmas one year.  They were hands down my favorites!  When it was time to put the tree up I loved to find special places to display them.  Remembering these special ornaments helped me to decide what to make for some of my friends for Christmas this year. Hopefully my friends will think they are special too!

I have made dough ornaments for Easter, and for my son’s preschool to decorate.  My first couple of trials went okay, but I found that the dough could get a little lumpy when it was baking.  I am happy to say that I think I have now found the perfect ratio for a dough recipe!  When I made these Christmas ornaments, there were no strange bumps that formed on them.

Here are the supplies that you will need:




Paper Clips ~ you will need one for each ornament

Acrylic Paint (I used various colours, plus some beautiful sparkle and glitter paints)

A high gloss clear varnish

Various sculpting tools ~ I used cookie cutters, fondant tools, imprint mats, rolling pin (see picture)

Also if your kids have any play-doh sets, they have some awesome tools for this craft!

Dough Recipe:

1 Cup Flour

1/2 Cup Salt

1/2 Cup Water

Mix flour and salt in a bowl, add water, mix first with spoon and then knead with hand until it forms a ball. If the dough is really sticky, add a bit more flour.

Bake at 225 fahrenheit for several hours.  My ornaments baked for 4 hours.  If they are really thick, big ornaments they may take a bit longer, just make sure they are very hard when you take them out of the oven.

You can shape and mold your ornaments any way you like, I am going to show you how I made my baby Jesus ornament.

First I used a circle cookie cutter to make a round base. Next I made the hay with my son’s tow-mater play-doh press.  You could also just roll some strands of hay with your hands.  Place your strands of hay around the circle; do a second layer of shorter strands on top.    Press down in the middle of your circle to make a little “nest” for your baby.  Roll a circular piece of dough for the head and an oval piece for the body.  You will notice that I have placed the ornament on a piece of saran wrap~ it was starting to stick to the table.  You could also use wax paper to prevent sticking if you have some.  Next add some character by giving him a nose, I poked a couple of eye holes and gave him a little smile.  I also added a swaddling blanket over the body.  Insert a paper clip into the top of the ornament ~ this will be used to hang the ornament later.  Here are all of the ornaments I made, ready to go in the oven.  There were a few that I just made with Christmas cookie cutters ~ these are for my son’s to paint later (of course they are going to want to get in on the painting!)  After your ornaments are thoroughly baked, it is time for painting!  Let the paint dry completely and then you need to varnish them.  Here is the varnish I used, and my highly technical hang-to-dry system (aka my husband’s old Louisville Slugger, string, and newspaper)   I did two coats of varnish.  Dip your ornaments in the varnish once, let dry completely, and then dip them a second time.  There may be some varnish drips dried to the bottom of your ornament, I used an exacto knife to cut them off.  You should now have some nice beautiful shiny Christmas ornaments.  Store them in an air-tight container at room temperature to make sure they last a long time!

Here are some more pictures ~ and my wonderful little helper (when he’s not throwing snowballs at me!) 

Thanks again for reading this Handmade Christmas gift idea, I hope you have enjoyed it!

~Lisa K


3 Responses to “Day 5 ~ Pretty Dough Ornaments”


  1. Woodland Sparkle Ornaments « Sweet Benanna&Sam - December 18, 2012

    […] While we are on the topic of ornaments, I want to share with you this cute Handmade Ornament exchange that I participated in this year (click on the picture to the left to be directed to the link party).  The exchange was created by the fantastic ladies who collectively call themselves “The Creative Headquarters”.  Their individual blogs are Chase The Star, Becoming Martha, Create Craft Love, and Wait Til Your Father Gets Home.  The ornament swap was facilitated by the website “Elfster” and we were each given a name and address to secretly send a handmade ornament to.  I sent my secret friend the plump little angel that you may have seen in a previous post ~ Pretty Dough Ornaments […]

  2. The Christmas Roundup « Sweet Benanna&Sam - December 29, 2012

    […] ~Pretty Dough Ornaments: Some gifts I made for friends.  This post includes a recipe for dough ornaments, plus some tips on painting and making them shine! […]

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