Sure, you could absolutely just waltz into a store and buy some really gorgeous holiday ornaments and hang them on your tree and around the house. And yes, that probably would give a cheery holiday feel to your home. But it's nothing compared to the special feeling you'll get from making your own holiday ornaments with your loved ones. And homemade ornaments need not be limited to the Christmas season. I like to make homemade decorations for Easter, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July as well. After a while, making ornaments can become addictive.
Most people don't realize just how easy it can be to make old-fashioned homemade ornaments out of simple supplies. Nor do they appreciate the potential for the warm, fuzzy holiday memories it will create. I like to use my toaster oven to make the ornaments; I find it dries them more evenly than a regular oven.
Here is what you will need:
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 a cup of salt
3/4 of a cup of warm water
Craft or poster paints, plus brushes for painting
Clear Polyurethane spray
Yarn or ribbon for hanging
Heat your toaster oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the flour, salt and water in a large mixing bowl. Stir well, then knead. This should take about 10 minutes by hand or 3 minutes in a stand mixer or food processor fitted with the multi-purpose blade.
Place the dough on a floured board and dust with flour. Roll until it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. This can be done with cookie cutters or free-hand with a knife. Don't forget to include a hole for hanging the ornaments later.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for thirty minutes. Allow to cool completely.
Use the paints to decorate the cooled ornaments. After the paint has dried, spray with the clear polyurethane spray to preserve.
Make Scented Ornaments
It is easy to make your ornaments scented. Substitute two tablespoons of the all-purpose flour for two tablespoons of your favorite holiday spice. My favorites to use include cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice, although the possibilities don't end there. Another way to scent your homemade ornaments is by substituting one tablespoon of the warm water for an extract, such as vanilla or peppermint. Either way, as long as you keep the dry to wet ratio the same, your ornaments will bake up perfectly.