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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Corn Starch Dough Ornaments

When I was a little girl my Vova made these one year with all of us (the grand kids). We got to make our own ornaments any way we wanted to. She made very specific ones with hearts to represent each person in the family. Hers looked like little mobiles that hung from her Swedish tree. Over the years they have all become broken which makes sense since there were nine of us children living in that house at the time, and it has been over 30 years since we made them together. But the memory has long out lasted the ornament themselves. So I thought others might like to make some memories with their children or grandchildren this time of year.

  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups wateringredients plus water
Optional supplies:
  • toothpick to poke a hole in ornament
  • food coloring
  • paint
  • cookie cutters ( to cut out if not doing free form)
  • wax paper or foil to lay on work surface for children
  • cookie sheet to lay them on to dry
  • oven not needed but quicker than air drying
How to:
  1. In a large saucepan, mix corn starch and baking soda. Add water and stir until smooth.cook
  2. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is the consistency of slightly dry mashed potatoes.texture
  3. Remove from heat and cover with a damp cloth.
  4. When cool enough to handle, coat hands and surface lightly with corn starch and knead until dough is smooth and pliable.
  5. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with holiday cookie cutters. You can also just form them in your hands for free form shapes (that is what we did as children). You can add food coloring at this time; we left ours white in my youth which I will did today, as well.cut
  6. To dry, place on a baking sheet in a 250 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until hard, or set them on a cookies sheet or wax paper and place in a nice dry place to cool over many days (that is what we did years ago). We placed them on top of the refrigerator 'till dry either way works, one is just quicker than the other.bake
  7. If using oven method, allow to cool and brush loose powder off ornaments before painting. Makes about 16-20 medium size ornaments; if using mini cookie cutters like we did, we got over 70 ornaments.
This is a much smoother dough than salt dough and it is a brighter white, too; it also has a sheen sort of like snow. Hard to explain other than snow sort of has little sparkling spots that reflect light and so does this clay which makes it real nice for snowmen and such because the white is nice and bright.


  1. Vavo~what nationality is that? I am Portuguese and we call grandparents vovo. Is it anything close to that or am I way off?

  2. Vavo grandma Portuguese
    Vovo grandfather Portuguese

    i am 1/4 Portuguese and 1/4 Italian the rest is Heinz 57

  3. Wow what a fun recipe. I used to do lots of salt dough ornaments.
    Have a happy holiday season

  4. Thank you for posting we just made them and they turned out beautiful!

  5. your welcome I am glad others are having fun with this too.


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