Baby it’s cold outside! Time to have fun decorating, getting lost in wonder, and spending time indoors. What a better way than to start with making some hard dough ornaments and/or figurines to add to your holiday repertoire. I have a special place in my heart for the snowman family I made for our table when I was a child; we pulled them out every December and marveled at them throughout our meals. Who knows where they ended up, but they made many years so much fun in the 80s.
To start, you’ll need a cookie cutter (or a few). A snowman, tree, Star of David, or whatever fits with your holiday decor will work. My favorite places to go for cookie cutters are Whisk (Williamsburg), Crate and Barrel, and New York Cake.
Here’s a super simple recipe for the dough:
4 cups of all-purpose flour
1.5 cups warm water
1 cup of salt
1 drinking straw for hole making
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Cut into desired shapes and make holes for hanging. Bake for 30 minutes; allow to cool. Decorate with poster paints or tube paints. Allow to dry, then paint and apply glitter if desired… and spray with clear polyurethane on both sides to preserve. Use ribbon or yarn pieces to hang. *Personal note*: I have made the mistake in the recent past of spraying really chemically-smelling clear polyurethane on the pieces and it really pervaded the air for weeks. Try to use something non toxic or good for kids.
Here’s another approach for White Clay ornaments, that can also be really pretty, and dry overnight in most cases, or in the oven on low for a few hours…
Rebecca Conroy is an artist, stylist, and Editor of A Child Grows in Brooklyn. She is from New York City, and has an MFA from Columbia University in screenwriting. Rebecca often finds herself on film and photography sets making things run or look better, and is the mom of two outrageously wonderful kids.