….Dawn we now our Christmas ornaments, fa-la-la, la-la-la, la..la…laaaaaaah.

Christmas is literally around the corner. Most trees are up, yards and homes are lit, and seasoned shoppers, like Angela, are out grabbing the latest and greatest hot items for the season – Hatchimals. (Don’t hold your breath Haarrmaan kids, she sold your goodies for a nice little profit. Supply and demand is Angela’s game. Enjoy your crayons).

Me? Well shucks – I get nostalgic. I like to reminisce about days of yor and remember cool crafty holiday things I did (or made) as a kid that my mom used to put up all over the house and decorate the tree with. Who remembers this guy?

Yeah! Pringles can man! Too bad your kids aren’t allowed to bring outside food into school. No can man for you.

Or how about the always popular – “Ashtray Ornament”. Jarrod and Adam (my brothers, I’ll go ahead and admit it) have some sweet ones. Take a little aluminum ashtrays from McDonald’s, cut out a polaroid picture of yourself with special scissors and glue it to the center – then using a hole puncher, punch a hole at the top and tie yard through it. Maybe add glitter. Poof! Hanging ornament! No? Oh yeah. No smoking indoors! (I do have to agree with that turn of events though).

Ok, so I’ll share my favorite with you. Something my mommy and I did together when I was just a small fry. The everlasting, cost effective, and EASY salt & flour ornaments. If you can boil water, you can make these. Ok so they might be a step or two more advanced, but seriously. It is a fun activity to do with your kids, nieces or nephews, that is in expensive and fun!

Your ingredients include:

4 cups All Purpose Flour

1 Cup salt

1.5 cups warm water

Beer/Wine/Liquor

Lg Spoon

Rolling pin

Extras could include:

Food coloring – to color batches of flour mixture

Paint & brushes – we chose to paint our ornaments; you can go to Michaels, or Target. Don’t get crazy and make sure it is water soluble or you will have no one to blame but yourself for the catastrophic mess. Remember this is supposed to be safe for kids.

Glitter – DUH

Glue

Clear varnish

Tiny fluffy ball thingies for eyes

Tooth picks

Cookie cutters if you or your kids are not creative

To execute:

  • Grab your beverage of choice.
  • Preheat your hotbox 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  • Have the kids dump the flour and salt ingredients into a bowl and mix it well. Once you have finished your drink, they can stop stirring.
  • Get a new drink.
  • Hand your child the spoon, and with your free hand grab the cup of water and slooooowly start pouring it into the dry mixture. Note: be prepared to pause and say “What are you doing??? STIR!!!” as child will slow down during this process.
  • Once child complains that it is too hard to mix, or breaks off the handle of the spoon in the mixture then you are ready to hand knead the mixture until it is nice and soft and stretchy.
  • Grab a new drink.
  • Now the fun part! Get creative! Roll, smash, twist up shapes to create your own holiday ornaments or, roll out the dough on a floured surface and use your handy-dandy cookie cutters to make ornaments. In order to bake properly do not make them over 1/8” thick. I made a killer Black Snake ornament – a favorite of my mother’s as she HATES snakes. (Such a sweet girl I was)
  • Use the toothpick to make a hole in the ornament where you plan to thread it.
  • Bake on a cookie sheet for an hour.
  • Let cool.
  • Once cooled jazz up those ornaments with some fun festive paint jobs, through some glitter – make it rain!
  • Let dry, varnish if you choose, dry again.
  • String ‘em up and hang on tree OR better yet, give them as gifts to relatives then harass them the following year when you go to their house and don’t see your child’s beloved homemade gift on their tree.

In all seriousness, what better way to make memories with your kids, or your nieces and/or nephews. Or help your kids make memories for their favorite grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends. For official directions visit http://allrecipes.com/recipe/11126/dough-ornament-recipe/

Sidenote: The Black Snake will hopefully make an appearance on this year’s Celuch Family Tree this year.

Article written by

art director/design master/dog whisperer