Tuesday, December 25, 2012

In Home Entertainment: Baking Soda Clay Ornaments

We're going to take a little break in our NYC postings to share a holiday project that we've literally been waiting to make since No Monster In My Bed's post last spring. For holiday presents last year, we made friends and family salt dough ornaments and we decided to give the baking soda clay a try this year. I'm not sure why, but we had a lot of trouble. We followed the directions (well, not exactly the first time, but we did the second time!) and tried stamping the dough just with plain, uninked stamps. They looked so cute, but they cracked badly.

We tried again, skipping the oven step this time and trying to roll them out a little thicker (the thin ones seemed to crack worse the first go around, which doesn't entirely make sense). And we tried stamping them using silver ink this time. Cracks again. But not as badly as the first time. We still had plenty to use for presents and we used them first as gift tags, which our family and friends can then hang on their tree as ornaments.

The dough was super silky and smooth and I'm sure we'll be playing around with it some more to figure out the best route. Here's the scoop via No Monsters:

1. Mix 1 cup corn starch, 2 cups baking soda, and 1.25 cups cold water in a non-stick pot, stir until smooth.

2. Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture becomes thick.

3. Remove from the heat and let cool while covered.

4. Create your ornaments -- we rolled ours out, cut a circle with a cup, stamped them, and created a little hole at the top with a skewer for hanging. Let them air dry to hardness at room temperature over 2-3 days (you can try to speed up the process in a 350 degree oven with the heat turned off, but we had bad luck that route).

Given that this project uses basic kitchen ingredients, it might be a good thing to break out after the kiddos have tired of their Christmas gifts and are in need of a quiet activity. Here's wishing everyone Happy Holidays!

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