How to Make Dough Ornaments for Christmas

Learn how to make dough ornaments to hang on your Christmas tree or to sell at craft fairs for profit using these easy instructions.

| November/December 1977

  • Learn how to make dough ornaments for the Christmas tree.
    Learn how to make dough ornaments for the Christmas tree.
    PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • Making a loop to hang the dough ornaments.
    Making a loop to hang the dough ornaments.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • Learn how to make dough ornaments for the Christmas tree.
  • Making a loop to hang the dough ornaments.

Learn how to make dough ornaments to sell or to decorate your Christmas tree.

How to Make Dough Ornaments

For the last couple of years, we've been making extra seasonal cash with what we think is an interesting and a fun craft making project . . . the fabrication of Christmas ornaments from flour, salt, and water.

Now some of you may object to "cashing in" on the glittery materialism of Christmas. But we feel that anything which is a step away from the plastic minds of the big corporations is a step in the right direction. And we also like the idea that our small enterprise is one that the whole family — right down to the youngest member — can share.

Our raw materials are inexpensive and easy to obtain: flour, salt, water, fine copper wire, toothpicks, tempera paints, several small brushes, and varnish. Any kind of flour (except self-rising) will work, but if you plan to really go into this craft, buy cheap refined white flour (in our opinion, this is one of the best uses for the stuff). And the tempera paints are optional, since the natural, warm, golden brown color of the finished dough babies is beautiful enough all by itself. We make both kinds: painted and unpainted.



To construct approximately 25 ornaments, each two to three inches high and about 1/4 inch thick, mix three cups of flour with one cup of salt and slowly add water until you have a good consistency to work with. Too much water will make the dough sticky, but that's easy to fix: just leave the sponge exposed to the air about five minutes or until it dries out enough to be kneaded. Then wrap the worked dough in plastic to keep it moist while you pinch off pieces of the mixture and shape them into ornaments (it's best, obviously, to use a whole batch of the dough at one sitting).

If you'll form your creations on a square of plastic, you'll find it easy to transfer each finished baby to a cookie sheet or square of aluminum foil for baking. Whenever possible, make rounded basic shapes with your palms and then flatten them to the desired 1/4 inch thickness. This — and using a toothpick to create any lines or "cuts" that are wanted — eliminates all sharp edges on the final baked pieces.






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