Mom It Down: Homemade Xmas Ornaments

Last week, Emory and I had fun with flour. We made christmas tree ornaments! I hadn’t done this since I was a kid, so my skills were rusty at best. But, boy was it ever fun!

I know this recipe isn’t edible, but if you’re anything like me, you’re looking for ways to amuse a toddler during the cold winter months. So I thought that given the season, I’d share this as today’s Mom It Down.

What you will need

  • Cookie sheet
  • Cookie cutters
  • Cabin fever
  • A little bit of patience


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

Mom It Down!

Sift the flour and salt together. Add the water. Mix it up.

When the dough begins to form, you can start using your hands. If it’s too sticky, add some more flour.

Please note: You’ll want to knead the dough for as long as possible. (At least 10 minutes.) You don’t want the dough to rise while it’s baking.

Roll out some dough for yourself and give some to your little people too. My son made a huge mess. He loved it.

Also, this will happen:

And they will likely make this face:

And they’ll probably go in for seconds. And then you may have to take the dough away from them before they get a bellyache.

But I digress…

Roll the dough out as thin as possible. (The handprint on the far right in the picture below is far too thick and inconsistent; that one rose way too much. I lost the handprint almost entirely.)

We did a few hand prints as well—you know, for the grandparents. (The one below was still a bit on the thick side. I ended up redoing this one and rolling it out even thinner.) Don’t forget to add the ribbon holes!

Preheat oven to 250.

If time permits, let them sit out on the counter for an hour or so to dry out.

Bake for at least an hour. (I let mine bake for a bit longer. I wanted them good and hard.)

We haven’t been able to find any food shellac. (I have no idea if that’s what it’s called.) We used poster paint because that’s what we had.

This week, we’ll buy some ribbon and finalize them. I’ll post pictures of them when we’re finally done!

Overcoming Obstacles

The longer you let them sit out before baking, the lighter in color the dough will be at the end. And the thinner you roll out each ornament, the less of a chance each one will rise and/or crack.

I have to admit, we had several mishaps before we got to anything decent. With the first batch, I hadn’t rolled mine out thin enough so the moisture from the inside began to crack the outsides. It was definitely a learning experience! The good news is, he couldn’t have cared less about all my technical difficulties. He just wanted to play and paint. That said, we’ll probably give it another go this week. I think I have a better understanding as to how this is done and goodness knows we could use the indoor activity!


I read somewhere that someone added a little spice to the dough so they would smell great while baking. I haven’t tried this. I figure if I want to smell that, I’ll make me some homemade applesauce since it’s so freaking easy!

More than ever, I’d love any suggestions and/or pointers on this. Don’t hold back! Learn me something new, people.


  1. This is just like how I like my pancakes. Kind of.


  2. While you’re talking about homemade crafts, have you ever made your own play dough? My mom and I used to make it when I was small and it was tons of fun.


  3. Joanie! I haven’t, but now I simply must. Do you know the recipe?


  4. I have the exact recipe she used written in a cookbook at home and will dig that out for you this evening. This one from seems very similar.

    2 c. flour
    1 c. salt
    1 tbsp. oil
    1 c. water
    Food coloring
    Mix flour and salt, then add oil. Mix the food coloring with the water. Slowly add water until the mixture is soft and pliable. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

    Also, I think I’ve mentioned here before that my mom (who was the bomb!) saved old shower curtains to throw in the floor to save the carpet from my art projects. I think it worked. I grew up to be a graphic designer/painter.


  5. Awesome! Thank you so much! We’ll likely do this week sometime.

    I am gathering from how you’re writing that your mom is no longer around? :[ If so, I am so sorry.


  6. No! I totally must have worded that wrong. My mom’s still around and is still the bomb. When I became a “grown up” and got an apartment of my own, she sold her house two months later and moved to an apartment 3 buildings over from mine. I still spend the night with her at least once a week. =)


  7. how many hand print ornaments would this make? Roughly….


  8. Amy: Hmmm, depending on the size of their hands, 10 or so? Especially if you roll it out thin like it’s meant to be. :]

    Joanie: SO glad to hear! You made it sound all past tense. Good.


  9. Just to let you know because of you 10 kindergarten/grade 1 students will be doing a pretty cool craft on Wednesday:) Thanks for the awesome idea, keep them coming:)


  10. So glad to have found this! Just unpacked two dough ornaments I made as a kid (30 years ago) and hung them on the tree. Have been hoping to repeat the tradition with my daughter. You’ve inspired me to give it a shot. Thanks!


  11. More fun with cookies/ornaments, if you want to experiment:

    (these are good for eating, too!)


  12. We made these ornaments yesterday and had a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing the recipe! We added a little cinnamon which made the kneeding and baking smell great! The whole process did take a lot of time, so be prepared. And we were able to get some decent handprints after a few tries and some trial and error. My two year old daughter enjoyed rolling out the dough and cutting shapes, and then painting the ornaments once they were cool. Thanks for the great idea. We’ll enjoy seeing the little handprint each year as we put up our tree.


  13. Thanks for the idea. We made ours yesterday and painted them today. Great way to spend my vacation time with the kids and create fun memories for them. I’ll post a photo on my facebook if you care to see!


  14. So I just tried these today. I added food coloring to the mixture because we don’t have any paint and figure after I bake them we can spray them with some gloss and be finished. My son didn’t care for playing with the dough, he preferred playing with the measuring cups and the rolling pin. We’ll see how they turn out and or if the food coloring changes how they bake.


  15. Thanks so much for sharing. My son 2yrs loved this project and so did I!


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