Several weeks ago, my daughter’s teacher sent home a note in her planner.
The class was doing a holiday gift exchange and whoever wanted to participate could sign up. The rules were simple. The gifts had to be handmade and they had to be created out of every-day household items that were already available.
“Oh mom, let’s do it!” Nat said.
With some trepidation I signed the permission slip and agreed to give it a shot.
Although I enjoy scrolling through Pinterest as much as the next mom, my attempts at crafting seem to always fall short. Far short. Nat’s enthusiasm, however, had rubbed off on me and it didn’t take long to come up with an idea. We decided to make ornaments using three simple ingredients already in our kitchen: Flour, water and salt.
It doesn’t get much easier than that and a fresh snowfall from the day before created the perfect atmosphere for holiday crafting. We turned on the Christmas music and spent the afternoon creating in our cozy kitchen.
Together, we measured out the flour and salt and mixed it together and then slowly added warm water until we had a thick paste. We had to roll up our sleeves and get our hands in it to get it mixed completely and I had to use a little extra water to get the right consistency, but eventually we had a nice firm ball of dough. Natalie was tempted to try it and pinched off a tiny bit to taste but ended up spitting it out in the trash. It was salty enough to melt ice.
Once the dough was smooth with no lumps or dry flour remaining I broke it into several smaller balls and added food coloring to each one. You can also cut out shapes, bake and then paint but I liked the baked in color better. Using a pie/cookie cutter, I created green leaves, plain stars and blue snowflakes and then punched a hole in the top with a drinking straw. We baked them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for approximately an hour and then cooled them on the counter before spraying them with a clear coat spray to protect them. I love the way they turned out and not only will Natalie be bringing one to school for her gift exchange but I plan to give them out at Christmas as gifts as well. It was an easy craft that allowed my daughter and I to spend a cozy afternoon baking in the kitchen. And it was pretty easy cleanup as well.
For all of you parents looking for a way to keep the kids busy and create a lasting memory that can be brought out each Christmas, here is the recipe:
Four cups of flour
One cup of salt
One and a half cups of warm water
Then either add a few drops of food coloring beforehand and then bake or pop them in the oven and then decorate them after. Either way you’ll have a beautiful, handcrafted ornament with lasting memories!