Homemade Christmas clay decorations

Our Advent activity yesterday was to make clay decorations (you can read all about our Advent calendar, and some of the ‘things to do’ here).

This is the post from The Woodside Kitchen, that is the inspiration, and this is what we are aiming for….

The Woodside Kitchen's very stylish and sophisticated looking decorations

The Woodside Kitchen’s very stylish and sophisticated looking decorations

They are similar to the salt dough decorations that I’m sure everyone has done at some point, but I think a bit nicer!

I was a little concerned how they would come out, having read some of the comments on the blog post, reporting cracked decorations and things, but they were actually surprisingly easy (child’s play even!).

This is what you need: (The original post is American I think, so I am ‘Anglicising’ the ingredients..)

  • 1/2 cup cornflour
  • 1 cup bicarbonate of soda
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • Food colouring (optional-we left ours plain) Add it to the water if you want to use some

This is what you do:

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a medium saucepan over a low-medium heat, stirring continuously
  • It will gradually (and then quite suddenly!) start to thicken
  • Once it is the consistency of mashed potato turn off the heat and leave it to cool

Cornflour decs1

  • Once it has cooled, knead it well (it may have formed a crust on top, don’t panic if it has, mine did. I kneaded it and it all disappeared). You can add a little more cornflour if it is a bit sticky
  • Then roll it out (I didn’t flour the surface and it was fine) to about 5mm thick, and stamp out your shapes-you can use anything you have to hand-we used playdough cutters, and these toys from SmallSmall’s shape sorter car!

Cornflour decs41

  • You can then decorate them using rubber stamps (with no ink!)
  • Make a hole for hanging them-either use a straw, or we used an emptied out BIC type biro
  • Transfer them carefully to a lined baking sheet
  • Bake them in the oven at 80C for an hour, turning them over halfway through
  • Allow to cool, and then I think you can paint them and glaze them with clear varnish-various comments on the original Woodside Kitchen post describe painting them with acrylic paints, water colours etc. I am going to leave mine plain, but given half a chance, I suspect BigSmall will want to decorate his!

This is my attempt at replicating the sophistication of the Woodside Kitchen’s decs:

Cornflour decs31

Cornflour decs21

And these are BigSmall’s:

A dog "with a plaster on his leg"

A dog “with a plaster on his leg”

Random shape, but nice helicopter stamp!

Random shape, but nice helicopter stamp!

And I think this is my favourite, a fish with a steam train stamp...!

And I think this is my favourite, a fish with a steam train stamp…!

Apparently the unbaked dough will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for a couple of weeks, just bring it up to room temperature and knead it well before you use it. You can easily double the amounts if you want to make more, and I was contemplating adding a bit of glitter too…

20 thoughts on “Homemade Christmas clay decorations

  1. Fab, I used to make stuff out of salt dough, but you had to bake it for hours and hours, I like this reciepie much better, they will look great on the ‘egg box’ tree (have I missed the pics of the tree yet?)

    • Not yet Jo. Being contructed this weekend! Hopefully these decs will be light enough for it. Give it a go-it’s easy peasy, and I think they look quite stylish!

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