1. Cold weekends are a huge catalyst for cabin fever, (kids bouncing off walls, making mischief). Crafts contain the mess to one room, and give the kids something to do for at least an hour.
2. Crafty time forces me away from the distractions of the computer, to spend quality time with the kids, really joke around and talk to them, give each other compliments, etc. It’s good old fashioned family time, something that’s too easy to forget to do when you’re busy working hard to get things accomplished all the time.
So, this weekend we decided to make some of the pretty white DIY ornaments that I’ve been seeing around Pinterest lately. These are so much freaking fun to make. One of the main ingredients is corn starch, and I don’t know if you’ve ever made oobleck, but if you have, you know that corn starch is seriously awesome to play with.
While I mixed up the dough, I just gave Brooke a plate of it to dip her hands in, and she loved it! It’s got such a groovy, smooth texture, and it feels cold. She preferred to to call it corn syrup, and said it feels like metal. OK.
I found the recipe on a great blog called The Woodside Kitchen
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup baking soda
- ¾ cup water
- Stir ingredients together over medium-low heat until the dough thickens up. You'll know it's ready to remove from the heat when it's the texture of soft play-doh. Remove from heat and allow it to cool a bit before kneading it out.
- You can sculpt it, roll it and cut it with cookie cutters, make thumbprints, handprints footprints. Use the end of a paintbrush to poke a hole for hanging on the tree.
- To dry the ornaments, place them on a pizza stone or on a pan covered in parchment paper, then cook in a 175 degree oven until they feel hard. Basically you don't want to take them out until they feel hard and brittle. If there's any softness, keep them in there. For thicker ornaments, this could be up to 2 hours. Thinner ornaments harden up in about an hour.
This dough is SO fun to play with (again, cornstarch is awesome). It’s easy to roll out, is extremely smooth, and stays VERY white. The finished ornaments almost look a little sparkly, like snow. It’s lovely.
We made the cute little mitten ornaments we saw on My Buddies and I, and we also did some fun stuff with cookie cutters. Brooke had a cool idea to layer 3 thin stars together, and it created a cool effect.
I used the last remnants of the dough to make some simple little thumprint ornaments, because I need some smaller, filler ornaments to sprinkle throughout the tree.
This was such an amazingly fun project for us, and I’m pretty excited to make more of these really soon. This could just be a year-round kind of project for us.