December is one of our favorite months, from the glittering lights to the fresh baked cookies and lively atmosphere. It is also one of the months where we are busy creating fun craft projects and baking holiday treats in the kitchen. One of our first DIYs of the season is our own ornaments. These amazing homemade ornaments are perfect for adding a special touch to your tree or as personalized stocking stuffers for family and friends. Keep reading on to learn how you can make these homemade ornaments at home.
What You Need: For Ornaments
- 2 cups of Flour
- 1/2 cup of Salt
- 1 to 1/3 cup of Water
- Extra flour to keep dough from sticking
- Extra water to moisten the dough (optional)
- A baking roller
- A sharp knife
- Any cookie cutter shapes, lids, etc
- A pencil or pen
- Parchment Paper
Making The Dough
Step 1: Combine flour, salt and water in a large bowl. Using a wooden spatula or large spool, mix everything together until you can see a dough forming. If the dough needs a bit more water than gradually add it. However, dough should be stiff not sticky. Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes or until it’s no longer soft. Tip: If your dough is too sticky, simply add increments of 1 tablespoon of flour until your dough is at the right consistency.
Step 2: Take your dough from the bowl and start to cut it in half. And then cut it again in half. You should have four fairly equal sized doughs now. Take one of doughs and cut it into four pieces [ however, depending on the shape you want to create, this will differ]. It’s time roll out the dough.
Preheat Oven to 325 F
Step 3: There are different cookie cutters and lids you can use to make the ornaments. We chose to stick to snowmen, stars, circles and a few custom shapes, but feel free to make any shapes you want.
Using a baking roller (dust it with flour beforehand) roll out one of the dough balls you made earlier. Make sure it’s no more than half an inch thick. For expediency, we rolled out a larger piece of dough so we could make more than one shape at a time.
LINE A BAKING SHEET WITH PARCHMENT PAPER AND SET IT NEXT TO YOUR WORKSPACE SO YOU CAN EASILY PLACE EACH ORNAMENT YOU MAKE ON IT.
As we have said, you don’t need to have a traditional cookie cutter. You can easily recycle your empty bottle lids and use them to make the different shapes you want.
Custom Shapes: It is incredibly easy to make custom shapes. All you need is a knife to cut out the shape you want.
We created a tree, mp3 player, travel suitcase, a book, and a digital camera. The Suitcase: To make the suitcase above, simply cut out a rectangle. Next, cut out a C shape and two thin stripes. Place the C shape you cut out earlier, and place it behind the rectangle and gently press down so they stick together. Finally, lay one thin strip on the left and the other on the right. Again, gently press down so they stick. For the finishing touch, cut out a tag and press it on the ornament so it looks like a luggage tag. Tip: Use a photo of what you want to do as a reference for when you start to recreate your custom shapes.
The mp3 player: This was incredibly easy to do. All we did was custom cut a rectangle shape for the base. Next we cut out 3 small circles. We place two of the circles on the top left hand corner as these would be the headphones. We then placed the last circle shape on the bottom center of the rectangle and pressed down. Finally, we cut out a smaller rectangle shape to make the mp3 screen. We aligned the small rectangle shape to where we wanted it to go and pressed down into the larger rectangle shape.
The Book: Simply cut out two large rectangle shapes. Stack them on top of each other, making sure to make them slightly uneven. Fold one side of the stacked rectangles to the other side. It should resemble a book. Lift one corner to make it look like the page of the book is curling to one side.
Step 4: Once all the shapes are done, take a pencil (or pen) and make a hole in the dough (on top, preferably) so you can run a ribbon or hook through it. This is a crucial step because this will allow you to hang each ornament on the tree. Tip: Make sure the hole is well defined as it can shrink considerably when you put the ornaments to bake.
Now, depending on the size of your oven, you may need to bake the shapes in two batches as this recipe makes approximately 20 to 25 mid size ornaments.
Step 5: Put the Ornaments in the oven and let them bake for 1 hour. However, make sure to check on them midway through baking. You want each ornament to be hard completely hard, but not burned. Some ornaments you may need to remove so they don’t burn while others (larger shapes) will require more baking time.
Step 6: Once the ornaments are done, take them out of the oven and set them aside so they cool completely.
What You Need: To Design Your Ornaments
- Loose Glitter
- Modge Podge
- Painter’s Tape
- Any gems and embellishments of your choice
- Small Painting Brush
- Glue Gun
- Q Tips
- Wired String
- Nail Polishes
- Extra water to moisten the dough (optional)
Designing The Ornaments
We will show different variations we used to decorate our ornaments.
Star Ornaments: Dip your small paint brush in modge podge and paint a thin layer on the entire ornament. Moisten one of your Q-Tips with water so it makes picking up the gems much easier. Cover the entire star ornament with gems, however you like. We chose to work diagonally as this was easier to do. Once you’ve covered the entire ornament, let it dry for five to 10 minutes. When the star ornaments are dry, gently layer a second coat of modge podge over the gems to keep everything in place. While the modge podge is still wet, sprinkle glitter over the entire ornament and set it aside to dry. Tip: Be careful when you apply the second coat of modge podge. You don’t want to drag the brush as this can cause the gems to lift.
For the Suitcase: Cover the center of your suitcase with painter’s tape. Next, apply a thin layer of modge podge on the sides of your suitcase ornament and sprinkle glitter over each side. Let it dry for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the tape afterwards. Take your nail polish (any color you perfer) and carefully paint the center of the suitcase and the thin stripes on each side. Apply a few gems on the sides for added color.
The mp3 player: Cover the screen of the mp3 ornament with painter’s tape. Brush on a layer of modge paint over everything and sprinkle glitter to cover it completely. Let it dry for 10 minutes. Remove the painter’s tape carefully. Take an opaque white nail polish and paint the screen white. To make the mp3 player ornament a bit more realistic, cut off a small length of an old headphone wire (that no longer works of course). Cut off the plugin and carefully extract the wiring from the headphone string. Turn the ornament over. Use your hot glue gun (be careful as this does get very hot) to apply a small drop of glue right behind one of the headphones so it looks like it’s attached to it. Place one end of the string on top of the glue, carefully pressing it in. Apply another small drop of glue over to lock it in place. Do the same for the other end of the string. Let it dry for 5 minutes. Turn the ornament over again. The mp3 player should now have headphones. Add a few gems on the bottom center circle as this will be the play and pause button.
Feel Free to design your Custom Shape ornaments whichever way you like. [This step is optional]: Once your ornaments are done, simply take a antique gold nail polish or any glitter polish you have and apply a layer over your ornaments so they have a vintage feel.
TIME TO MAKE THE HOOKS
Once all your ornaments are done, it is time to cut a piece of your wire. Each wire ribbon should not be more than 5 to 6 inches. To make the hook, put one end of the string through the hole, overlapping each end so they fasten securely. If using regular rope or string, simply make two basic knots.
These homemade ornaments are a great stocking stuffers to give to friends and family. You can easily customize them based on your recipients’ likes and hobbies.
For the Traveler: Dip a toothpick in any nail polish you want, and carefully write out two or three destinations you like to add to the center of the suitcase. Finish the personalization by writing out the first letter of your recipient’s name on the luggage tag.
For the Book Lover: Dip a toothpick in red nail polish, and carefully write out the title of your friend or family member’s favorite book or simply write out “Book” as we have done. Next dip a toothpick in black nail polish and start to create scribbles on the ornament to make the book look like it has writings on the page.
For the Music Lover: Dip a toothpick in white nail polish (the more opaque the better) and start to draw out the pause, fast forward and play buttons on top of the gems located on the bottom middle circle. Next, dip your toothpick in black nail polish and write out your friend or family member’s favorite music artist and song on the white screen. Add a Play and fast forward icon right underneath it.
Let your ornaments dry completely before boxing them as presents or hooking them on your tree. Enjoy!