A hard-as-rock recipe for a keepsake that will last for decades.
Here’s the recipe for white Christmas ornaments, that will last well-beyond a decade:
- 1 cup Argo® or Kingsford’s® Corn Starch
- 1 pound (2 cups) baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups cold water
- In medium saucepan stir corn starch and baking soda. Add water and stir until smooth.
- Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture reaches the consistency of SLIGHTLY dry mashed potatoes. (Mixture will come to a boil, then start to thicken, first in lumps and then in a thick mass; it should hold its shape.) If Play Clay is overcooked, crafts may crack.
- Turn out onto plate and cover with damp cloth; cool.
- When cool enough to handle, turn play clay onto work surface dusted with corn starch; knead until smooth and pliable.
- Keep a portion of the dough covered with a white paper towel so it won’t dry out as you work. If it does dry out, just add a few drops of water and knead it in. The dough is very forgiving.
- Roll dough out on freezer paper.
- Use cookie cutters to cut ornament shapes, using a knife to break away the edges.
- Use a small screwdriver or screwer to make a hole for the ribbon.
- Slide freezer paper (I cut around each shape to make them small enough to lift) onto cookie sheet and put cookie sheet high to dry overnight. You could also just roll and cut directly on the cookie sheet, and skip that step.
- Store left-over clay in tightly closed plastic bag or container.
White ornaments stand out crisp and clean-looking on a green Christmas tree. To get the full effect, white ornaments must be the only color on the tree. An all-white tree is difficult to pull-off with our wide variety of sentimental keepsakes, Christmas vacation ornament souvenirs, and you name it.
I wanted a “skinny” tree for the kitchen. Artificial trees try so hard to be full and bushy, believing fullness will make up for what that lack in “life.” Just a narrow tree with a few branches that allow enough light in to see the ornaments will do. I spotted one, a real treasure at Big Lots. It was standing in the window, and I asked the store manager to take me to that tree. It was $24, and it came with three skinny trees in the box. What a find. This is a tree that does not pretend to be something it’s not.
I placed the fake tree in a terra-cotta pot, and covered the base with burlap, my favorite fabric for decorating. I decorated the tree, with the white farm animal ornaments I made about 10 years ago with my now 12-year-old son. We made them from the cornstarch and baking soda dough I use to make the ghost footprints. These 10-year-old ornaments are hard as a rock, and still pristine white. You can see here, that the boys have loaded up the tree with those colorful Nutcracker Advent Books, but the white still shines through — thanks to those skinny branches. And, this tree, because it’s fake, can stay up a little longer.
The sparse Big Lot tree inspired me to make even more ornaments,
these big stars are my favorites.
My elf-helper here was so cold he insisted on wearing his coat.
Here you can see the elf-screwdriver we used to make the hole for the ribbons.
Souvenir and Hallmark keepsake ornaments have their place; but I think the ones you make with little hands in the kitchen that bitterly cold Sunday afternoon will be treasured the most as time moves on.