Saturday, December 10, 2005

Homemade ornaments

Yesterday Haddonfield left a comment and said:

These sound delicious.  Where do you come up with such great ideas ??  You are very creative."

Aww, shucks, thanks for the compliment.  Well, some of the ideas I have just done for a long time and don't remember where I got the origianl recipes.  I also look for cookbooks that have sections or are completely about homemade gifts from the kitchen.  Other things I just find when I am looking around on the internet.   

Okay, this first one is another homemade ornaments idea.  Mmm, and this one smells good too.  This would be a great project to do with the kids one afternoon.  I just love projects that fill the house with wonderful aroma's!

Spiced Ornaments/Magnets  

1 C ground cinnamon

1 tbsp ground allspice

1 tbsp ground nutmeg

Fine decorativeglitter (optional)

Unsweetened applesauce

White craft glue  

Drinking straw

Butchers string, jute twine or ribbon

Glue gun (optional)

Magnetic strips (optional)

Combine spices and glitter in medium bowl.  Stir, adding applesauce 1 tbsp at a time, as needed to make soft dough.  Makes about 1 2/3 cups dough.    Divide dough into smaller portions.  roll out each portion between sheets of waxed paper to 1/4 inch thickness.  

Cut with cookie cutters (Christmas shapes for the holidays or any others for year round use) into desired shapes.  Use a drinking straw to puch a hole, or holes, to thread string for hanging.    Place on lightly greased baking sheets.  Bake in 200 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes until dry.  (There is no need to turn at half-time)  Thread with string or glue magnets onto back.  

~Also thread on a long string with dried apple and orange slices to make a wonderfully scented garland.  

This is another recipe for homemade ornaments that I use to do with the kids when they were little.  The kids were loved being creative with these, and I loved spending the time with them.

Bakers Clay Dough  

This dough is intended for craft projects.  Please do NOT eat it.  

2 1/2 C all-purpose flour

1 C salt

1 C water  

In large mixing bowl combine flour, salt and water.  Mix thoroughly with spoon till all the flour is moistened.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead till smooth, about 10 minutes.   Shape into a ball; return to bowl.  Keep covered with a damp cloth or paper towel till ready to use. 

Before beginning project, check the consistency of dough.  If the dough is too sticky, add a small amount of additional flour.  If dough is too stiff, knead in several teaspoons additional water.   

Roll dough on floured surface 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut with cookie cutters, or let the kids create their own shapes.  Place ornaments on lightly greased cookie sheets.  Make hole in top of ornaments for hangers.  Brush ornaments with 1 beaten egg.  Bake at 325 degrees till hard, 25-30 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.  Makes about 2 dozen.  

After we made our ornaments I let the kids decorate them with acrylic paint.  When that dried I sprayed them with clear coat . 

*Word of warning for those with pets.  My sister in-law said that her dog just loved the ornament I gave her, yep, he ate it.  Although it is all natural, so perhaps it's also a good recipe for doggie biscuits too.  

Another ornament would be one that I can still remember mom having on the tree.  They looked like little strawberries.

Paint some walnuts red.  Using clear glue, glue little white seed beads in a scattered pattern over the (now dry) red walnut.  While the glue is drying cut some small lenghts of ribbon or thin cording and some small leaf shapes from green felt.  When the glue is completely dry and the beads are secure, glue the cord or ribbon to the top (this is your hanger) also glue your little felt leaf to the top.  Viola!  Some cute little red ornaments. 

I was just sitting here trying to think of something else for the kids to do and came up with Another ornament that would be easy, and would help capture your child's personality this year. 

Go to the dollar store and pick up someof thosesmall, cheap, clear acrylic picture frames.  You know the ones where you just slide the picture in between the acrylic.

You can use whatever size you would feel comfortable with 2x3 (might be a bit small) or 4x6 (probably a good size).  Now have your child color a picture, write a poem, write a memory, whatever they want to do on a piece of paper or index card that is cut to fit the frame.  Be sure to mark the date and year in the corner.

Take their picture while they are working on the project (if you have a home printer go print it out, or you can go online and send it out to a nearby store for one hour printing). 

If you don't have a printer or camera, or your out of film, just use this years school picture.  Now take the coloring/poem/story/whatever and glue the  picture of the child onto the back.  Put the pictures into the frame.  Make sure you put the pictures in upside down, so that you can use the "foot" of the frame to glue the ribbon to.

Let your child decide whether they want to decorate the frame further by gluing on a bit of glitter, ribbon, maybe a small silk flower in the corner, or just putting small Christmas stickers around the edges.  Now just glue on a ribbon for hanging and you are ready to go.

Oh! I was just thinking about how Rylie was too young for this type of thing yet, she is only 20 months.  Then I realized that she isn't.  I could put her hand in paint and make her handprint, or trace her hand, or just give her some crayons and she would love it too!

I think you may be right Haddonfield, I may be a bit creative.  I really like that last idea, and it just came out of those dusty corners of my head.

Well that's all for now.  I may be back with a recipe or two.  It just depends on how my day goes and what projects I am working on around here.  Have a super Saturday!

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