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I was searching for handprint ornaments (for myself as keepsakes, as well as for family gifts) but I didn’t want to use flour/salt dough. Flour dough is typically grainy, beige (I wanted bright white), and raw flour isn’t something that I wanted to mess around with due to the risks of e-coli contamination. Enter – clay dough. Here’s how I made them:
All you need is 1 cup cornstarch – 1 cup baking soda – 1 ¼ cup cool water.
Combine your baking soda and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Stir in the cool water and mix completely. Set pan over medium heat and stir constantly. At about the 5-7 minute mark, the mixture will begin to turn slightly golden and start bubbling. Continue stirring for another 2-3 minutes as it thickens and comes together. When it looks like mashed potatoes, remove from the heat immediately.
Transfer to a bowl and cover with a damp cloth for about 30-45 minutes (enough time for the dough to cool down so you can handle it. Then, sprinkle cornstarch on your counter and knead dough until smooth. Roll out to your desired thickness (using more cornstarch if you notice any stickiness). Stamp or press rolled dough if desired (kid hands, stamps, cookie cutters), and use a straw to poke holes for future hanging. You can use a glass or circle cookie cutter to have a clean edge around your ornament, or freehand cut with a paring knife like I did. Whatever works best for you!
Let ornaments air dry for 24-48 hours (maybe longer, depending on how thick you rolled your dough out to). Once dry, I sealed my ornaments (both sides and trim) with extreme glitter modge podge. You can use any modge podge, or white glue if you prefer. Add kraft string or ribbon for hanging, and label child’s name/age/year on the back with a sharpie!
Find this post on my Instagram page for more photos and videos of the process!