DIY ornaments

Most of us are familiar with salt dough ornaments. However, thanks to Tips From a Typical Mom on Pinterest I recently attempted a recipe for clay ornaments instead of salt dough. The recipie was extremely easy to make.

1. Ingredients:
-Water
-Cornstarch
-Baking soda

2. Put all ingredients into a pot on medium heat and stir until thickened. The consistency should be similar to mashed potatoes. (This happens pretty quick so be watchful)

3. Take out the dough and place it in a dish with a damp towel on top. Allow to cool completely. (Great time to change a diaper, eat a snack,take a nap)

4. Put cornstarch on a flat surface and roll out your dough to about 1/4 thick. Drizzle cornstarch on your rolling pin as well (or cup if you lack a rolling pin).

5. Use cookie cutters to make ornament shapes or create your own freestyle shapes. I used the cup I used to roll the dough to make circle shapes.

6. Decorate by layering different shapes together. (Do not paint yet). I wanted my ornaments to be of my daughters handprint. I placed her little hand on each circle to make an imprint. (This was much more difficult than expected). I used a chop stick to poke a hole in the top of the ornament to be able to hang it later.

7. Place ornaments on a cookie sheet in an oven on 250 degrees F. Set a timer for 30 minutes, turn the ornaments, and set another 30 minute timer.

8. Take out the ornaments allow them to cool and then decorate with paint or whatever you choose. Modge podge looks great on this type of dough, makes it shiny white. I painted Modge podge on mine and used paint or puff paint to write her name and the year on the back of the handprint.

These were very simple to make and I cannot wait until next year to make them again when she can be more involved. I think this may become a tradition of her making an ornament each year!

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Art Folio: An Easy DIY Gift for Kids

I know a lot of moms these days are trying to veer away from excess and piles of toys this Christmas. With that in mind, I struggled to think of a DIY gift for my 8-year-old cousin that wouldn’t be just another toy in the closet.

I found one of those make-up/jewelry folios for travel (they have that little hook so you can hang it up) and I had an idea. (You can find these in most cosmetic sections in stores like Wal-Mart or Target. The cheapest one I found online was from Target for about $12 here!)

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Zoe just loves to create. So why not make her an art kit she can take anywhere? It can tuck in a back pack, go with her to church, or hang from the seat in front of her in the car!

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You can either buy some things to include from the dollar store or you can look around your craft corner and find little extras you know your little one would enjoy!

I included a bunch of colored pens in the top pocket. The middle section has a pouch for mini scissors and glue, and another with a tiny notebook and pencils.

IMG_5449.JPGIn the larger pockets I stuck small pieces of scrapbook paper for snipping and gluing, as well as a pocket full of stickers.

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By gathering little things from my stash and the dollar store, I was able to complete this gift for about $15.

Let us know if you try it out or post your ideas for other things to include!