Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Homemade Ornaments

I am slightly obsessed with making sure I do as many cute and lasting "Baby's First Christmas" activities as possible so that when Reaghan is grown and gone we can look back and reminisce about all of the precious things we did with her during her first holiday season. At that future time, 50 year old me will most likely get a lump in her throat and tears in her eyes and blubber on and on about our wonderful first Christmas as parents! But in order for that to happen - activities like today have to happen!

Enter homemade handprint ornaments!

I looked up different recipes {on Pinterest of course} and decided on this one because it looked from the pictures to come out the most smooth and white of all of the choices.

1 1/2 cups Water
1 cup Corn starch
2 cups Baking Soda

The How To:
Mix all of the ingredients in a pot and heat on medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture has the consistency of mashed potatoes.

It took about 10-12 minutes before my mixture really started to change consistencies and towards the end I turned up the heat because I was getting a bit impatient. But it eventually started thickening so just keep stirring!

After it thickens to the desired consistency, remove it from the heat and just let it cool in the pot until it's cool enough to touch. Once you can get it out, form it into a "dough" ball, place it on some wax or parchment paper and then cover it with a damp cloth to allow it too cool further until it is comfortable enough to roll out/mold/shape etc.

The dough isn't too sticky but you can sprinkle some cornstarch on it if it's too sticky to roll out. It should be about 1/4 inch thick, but if you're going to do a handprint just make sure it's not too thin! We used some round biscuit cutters to make our circles for the handprints and then made a few with cookie cutter shapes as well.

We had to have a couple of do-overs when doing Reaghan's. It's not too easy to get an almost 3 month old to press their hand flat down on a surface with their fingers spread! 

As you can see, she wasn't exactly thrilled at the idea! And it took my mom and me to get the job done!

Quick Tip - transfer the ornament to the pan before doing the handprints so you don't mess up the handprint! 

The little girl my sister watches is 1 years old and it was much easier to get her sweet chubby hand print on the dough!

After you've made your shapes, {and poked a hole in the top to thread a string through} stick them in the oven at 175* and let them bake for about 2 hours. I know. It's a long time... But you want to make sure they are fully dry.

In the meantime, you can keep yourself occupied by taking pictures of a cute baby in a Santa hat! 

Once they are out of the oven and cooled it's time to start decorating! 

These are great for painting but I wanted to keep it super simple and keep all of the focus on Reaghan's tiny little hand and footprint. 

And since my mom has way better handwriting than myself, I asked her to do the honors :)

Thanks for letting us invade your kitchen today mom! 

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