I have been seeing gorgeous ornaments using home made clay all over lately so I had to give it a go!
It is made with bicarb soda (baking soda) and cornflour (cornstarch) so quite it’s very easy to get all the supplies you need! 

And it’s much easier to make than I though it would be, and while using this home made clay, it brought back memories of being in 2nd grade where we made these too but with our handprints – I still have mine all these years later, so I’m fairly certain these ornaments will last a while {unlike, unfortunately, the salt dough ones which I have found start to crumble after about 5 years}
I have made a couple of batches of this now so I know it works well {I wanted to be sure before sharing with you!} and I also tried out a few different things with the clay so I could eliminate a lot of trial and error for you!

Firstly to make your clay you need 

  • a pot 
  • a spoon
  • 2 cups bicarb soda
  • 1 cup cornflour
  • 1 1/4 cup water

Mix the bicarb and cornflour and water in the pot over medium heat.

Stir continuously (like you were making a béchamel sauce) until the mixture starts to thicken – about 2-3 minutes. 

It happens pretty fast, and will start getting hard to stir. When it’s all sticking together in a big clump, dump out onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and cover with a damp tea towel and allow to cool. 

Once cooled enough to handle, knead until nice and smooth and then roll out using a rolling pin. 
Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes, make sure to make a hole for string if you’re planning on hanging them.

Then you can get fancy and use stamps to decorate your ornaments :o}

The kids made some with me as part of our advent calendar activities last week

To dry them I just put ours in the sun – they dried in no time at all, and stayed pure white. I turned them over so the undersides would dry properly too. 

I did try some in the oven just so I could share the results here and you definitely don’t want a hot oven, more like the ‘defrost’ function and keep an eye on it, too long and they will start to colour and won’t be white anymore. 

Don’t put another pan on top of them to keep them flat when drying in the oven either as they’ll go a yucky yellowy brown from too much heat. 

I stamped some with names and red ink but they failed big time! The ink bled first then faded so much and left just a pink tinge once the ornaments were dry!

I had meant to do a whole heap of names for family and friends but it gets a bit tedious so I only did family and for friends and the kids stockings I did an ornament with a stamped initial. 
I also did these with the ink which didn’t work on these either, but since the letters were much bigger I was able to fill the indentation from the stamped letter with glitter glue. Next time I make them I will do them like this again and forget the ink, I think they look much more effective than the name ones above!

I then used modge podge all over them to ‘seal’ them and give them a little bit of a matt sheen. They also feel a little smoother with this coat of modge podge but it’s really optional and I don’t think will make much of a difference to how your ornament lasts.

I also painted a few pieces with acrylic paint and this works really well, so perfect for the kids to paint and decorate their creations once dry.

We used some of the ones the kids made to decorate the gifts they gave to their teachers last week.

This clay is really easy to work with and you can keep any extra stored in the fridge in an airtight container. I did find it a little harder to use if from the fridge though so make it that day if you can. If you made it ahead allow it to come to room temp before playing with it. 

Clean up is also really easy with warm water! It kind of just dissolves :o}

Happy creating!