Wednesday, 18 December 2013

White dough Christmas decorations - Pin It Do It

by Bex

I'd bought all the ingredients to make these ornaments last year but ran out of time to do it.  Then I planned to do it at Craft Club last week but Roz and D were both happy making glittery cards and gift tags and I just wasn't in the mood.

Last Monday, however I really wanted to get it done, after getting everything else I needed for the idea and I was running out of time before Christmas!  Nik decided to help me out, although after measuring out the water precisely for me using a syringe - always the doctor - he got on with another crafty job taping a giant map of the UK together to plot where all the jobs are for next year as we'll soon have to rank them!  :-/

Anyway, I found lots of inspiration for this idea on Pinterest...

It was much easier and more fun than I thought making these decorations, although for the less crafty among you (Anna K), 2 of those links are for Etsy sellers who've done the crafting for you!  Or you could just ask me nicely if you would like me to make you some to a less professional standard.  The only slight problem was having to use cups to measure as all the recipes I found were on American blogs.  I needed to halve the quantities as I didn't have enough bicarb so halving 1 1/2 cups of water was tricky - hence Nik's assistance and a quick google to work out how many mls to use.  To make it easier for you if you decide to make these, here's the recipe I made in grams and mls...

220g bicarbonate of soda
70g corn flour
147.5 mls water (I'm sure 150 would probably be fine)
cookie cutters

Add all the ingredients to a large pan and heat gently while stirring constantly.  The texture will change from being milky to sandy to like mashed potato.

It will soon form a doughy ball so turn off the heat and when it's cool enough to handle remove the dough from the pan.

Place under a damp cloth while it cools to room temperature.

I couldn't wait that long so as soon as it was cool enough to play with I rolled it out to about 1/4" thick and started cutting shapes.

I used a few snowflake stamps and some evergreen trimmings to press into the dough to make patterns in some of them and I made a few different shapes, stars, snowflakes and baubles using my cookie cutters.

Trimmings from FIL's garden - they'd dried out a bit but worked well.

Nik decided to join in again at this point and made a couple himself.

Use a toothpick or skewer to make holes in the tops of the ornaments and place on baking parchment.

The recipe I used said to bake them in the oven at 175 degrees (I suspect Fahrenheit as it's American) for 1 hour, flipping them half way through.  Another blog said the same but that you could also air dry them and she tried both and found it gave a better finish when they were air dried overnight so I decided to do that.

A few tips I discovered:

Instead of rolling the dough out on parchment, it was easier to just do this on the kitchen worktop.  It stuck more to the parchment after a while as the paper got soggy, it didn't stick to the worktop at all.

If it starts drying up while you punch out your shapes, just take what's left and spray a little water over it and knead again and it should stop crumbling.  You can also place your damp cloth over it while making the holes to prevent too much drying.

Make the holes as you go as the punched out shapes do start drying out and are more likely to crack when you skewer them.

I used a toothpick to make the holes, feeding it right through meant less breakages than pushing it in and bringing it back out the same way.

Any breakages are easily fixed while still damp - just spray the broken bit with water and smooth it back together - you still get a really good finish!

I was laying them on parchment to dry as well but they seemed to be curling at the edge due to the paper wrinkling as it became damp so I moved them all to a glass surface protector to ensure they dried flat and turned them over after a couple of hours of drying.

I am really pleased with the finished products...

All dried the next morning...

You'll have to come back this afternoon to see what I did with them!  ;)


Gwen - TheFoodieHistorian said...

I love these! So pretty. Putting them on the to-make-next-year list :)

Vonnie said...

Where did you get the white cookie cutters from? They are just gorgeous!

When I'm making clay decorations I use a straw to make my holes - primarily because I need to string them onto thick wire to fire them, but also it seems to cause less stress to the ornament as it only cuts, rather than pushes. Does that make sense? x

M-J said...

These are AMAZING! Definitely going to give these a go. I have pinned similar ornaments in the past and never got round to making them, but now my exams are over, may get crafty this weekend! x

Unknown said...

These are super pretty!

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