Making handmade Christmas ornaments has been an American tradition since the beginning of this country. Decorating the Christmas home with homemade items can add that special touch to the holiday that no store bought item can lend. Making handmade items gives the home an individual flavor for the season.
These easy dough ornaments can be made by anyone in the household, including children. The antiquing method is easy and fast drying, making it possible to display the ornament only hours after it is completed.
Materials for the Ornaments
- Two cups of applesauce
- Two tablespoons of white craft glue for ornaments
- Three or four 2.37 ounce containers of cinnamon—any budget brand
- Cookie sheets for drying ornaments
- Cookie cutters
- Rolling pin
- Wax paper
- Extra cinnamon for rolling out clay
- Cookie Cutters
- Finger nail file for sanding ornaments
- Four tablespoons of white glue for finish
- Antique White acrylic craft paint
- Paint brush
- Paper plate
- Straw or nail for cutting holes in ornaments
- Hooks or ribbon for hanging ornaments
Making the Clay
Line the strainer with cheesecloth. Pour two cups of applesauce into the strainer for approximately thirty minute and allow liquid to drain out. Discard liquid. In a bowl, mix applesauce, two tablespoons of glue and just enough cinnamon to make a clay that is easy to handle. Approximately two and a half containers should be enough.
Prepare Area to Make Ornaments
On a flat surface, such as a table or bar, spread pieces of wax paper and sprinkle with cinnamon to keep clay from sticking.
Rolling the Clay
Remove approximately half of the clay from the bowl and place it on the pieces of waxed paper. Dust the rolling pin with cinnamon and roll dough to approximately one quarter of an inch, keeping the dough at a consistent thickness.
Cutting the Ornaments
Dip cookie cutters into cinnamon and press onto clay. Other objects may be put on top of the clay and cut around for shapes other than cookie cutters. After cutting each ornament, make a hole in the top of the ornament with a straw or nail for hanging after it is dry. Roll out clay dough a little at a time, keeping the uncut clay covered with a cloth.
Drying the Ornaments
Carefully place the cut ornaments on a cookie sheet, spacing slightly apart. Allow the ornaments to dry for approximately two days, or longer if necessary. Turn the ornaments several times a day to promote even drying.
Sanding the Ornaments
The dry ornaments will have slightly rough edges that need to be evened out before finishing. Using the finger nail file, gently file off the rough edges, being careful not to gouge the ornaments.
Antiquing the Ornaments
Put a small amount of Antique White craft paint on the paper plate. Dip paint brush into paint and immediately brush most of the paint off of the brush. Lightly brush tips of paint brush across the ornament. This should leave a worn, antiqued appearance to the ornament. Brush more paint off of the ornament until the desired effect is achieved. Allow ornament to dry.
Finishing the Ornaments
Mix four tablespoons of the glue with four tablespoons of water. Brush the mixture onto the dry ornaments and allow mixture to dry completely. Apply as many coats as desired, but usually two coats will suffice.
Displaying the Ornaments
These antiqued ornaments look beautiful on a Christmas tree or strung up as a garland across a window or door opening.
Storing the Ornaments
To store the ornaments, wrap carefully in tissue paper and put in a sealed box. These ornaments should last for years with proper care.