Simple, beautiful baking soda dough decorations.
If your children are about to finish school for the year, and you’re looking for something to keep them occupied, here’s a craft activity that’s easy, fun, and has a lovely end product that you can use as decorations or gifts – scented baking soda ornaments. Their crisp white finish looks stunning, almost snow-like.
Even better – You probably already have the ingredients in your pantry:
- 2 cups baking soda (running low? Top up on our cost-effective natural bicarb)
- 1 cup cornflour
- 1 ¼ cups water
- (optional) essential oils* eg cinnamon and orange for a festively fruity aroma.
- String or ribbon to hang them
* If you do use essential oils, you might want your children to wear protective gloves when handling the dough. Or omit the oil during ‘construction’ and add a drop to the back of your ornament before you hang it.
What to do
- Put the baking soda and cornflour into a medium-sized pan. Add the water (and 20 drops of your chosen essential oil if using) and stir with a wooden spoon.
- ‘Cook’ on medium heat, stirring constantly. The mixture will bubble and thicken. Keep scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to combine well.
- When the mixture looks quite thick and solid, like mashed potatoes, remove the pan from the heat.
- Turn out onto a clean surface dusted with cornflour.
- When the mix has cooled enough, knead it into a smooth dough. If it’s too sticky to work with you can add more cornflour.
- Roll out your dough, between sheets of baking paper, to about 6-8mm thick. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters, or use a knife to cut around cardboard templates. You can add patterns to your ornaments using a textured rolling pin, doilies etc. If you want to hang them up, remember to cut out holes for the string now!
- Transfer your shapes to a baking tray lined with baking paper and leave to dry for a day. Then flip them over to dry the other side. You may need to leave them longer, depending on their thickness, and the humidity level. They are less likely to crack if dried in a cool place.
- They’re ready to hang! Or, if you prefer, you can paint or varnish them first.
You don’t have to be limited to Christmas decorations. You can use this dough as you would other modelling clays.
If you do make some, please share your results with us on Facebook – tag @blantsnz. We’d love to see!