December 4, 2008

Play Doh Ornaments


In my desperate search for a kids' Christmas craft that does not involve the use of foam stickers, I came across a recipe for "Family Face Ornaments" in a magazine from a doctor's office waiting room.

Instead of making dinner yesterday afternoon, I decided to make ornaments. After mixing the ingredients, however, I realized that I had been tricked into making something at home that I could buy for twice as much at the store. What the magazine called "salt dough" was really play-doh. Despite feeling deeply betrayed, I decided against throwing the mixture into the garbage can. Instead, I helped my kids shape the dough into golf ball-sized likenesses of family members and friends. People who we like got big heads and all of their facial features; people who we like less got small heads without noses.

Toward the end of the activity, Camber held up a mound of dough that she called "mommy." I was happy to see that "mommy" had nostrils. When I asked her why the ornament looked like it also sported an impressive set of dredlocks, she didn't answer. A brief peek in the bathroom mirror answered the question.


I can't remember the name of the magazine where I got this recipe (Parents? Family Fun?) but if I can do it, then you know it's pretty much foolproof. The recipe makes a small city worth of people, so beware.

3 c flour
1 c salt
1-1 1/2 c water

Beat ingredients together on medium and knead dough until it is smooth. Roll the dough into golf ball-size balls and then flatten them with hand. Make noses, ears, etc. out of small pieces of dough. Poke a hole through the top of the ornament (for the string). Bake at 275 degrees for 2 hours on a foil-lined cookie sheet.

After people are cooled, paint with acrylic paint. Seal with Mod Podge.

This was my first time using Mod Podge. I liked it immensely. There are so many things one potentially could do with liquid glue, especially the kind with glitter added to it. I couldn't sleep last night thinking about all of them.

19 comments

Blog Buddy said...

Awesome gift idea Jana-love it ♥ I'll be building family faces today instead of making lunch!

Sants said...

Those are cute!

I LOVE Mod Podge too! It is SO addicting!

Helen said...

One of our nieces gave us some of those "ornaments" a couple of Christmases ago. This year when we pulled out our ornaments were grossed out... the play doh ornaments had molded and had even attached themselves (with mold of course) to a few non-play doh ornaments. Nasty!

Ilana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ilana said...

Who are the badly charred heads with pointy ears? Pets or just people you REALLY don't like?

Ally in Wonderland said...

That's it. I've decided I'm moving in. I can't live with just the daily postings. I need more. More playdough heads and 5-year-old fits. Do you want me to wait until after Christmas?

Riahli said...

Awesome idea,I have a in-home childcare, and I was trying to come up with something new for the kids to make as gifts for their families...I think the kids will really enjoy making and giving these as their gift. As will I for our own tree!

Liz said...

Love those!!! I too crave for crafts other than self-adhesive foam. Just not creative enough for me.
Mod Podge.. gotta love it. Super cute idea... saw in a scrapbooking mag and made for Xmas last year. Buy a white square plate at Target ($2) cut 4 skinny black strips of construction paper and adhere to the plate with Mod Podge. Buy those medium size clear pebbles, flat on bottom (used mostly to decorate with flower arrangements and such) print any types of photos (I did one with Star Wars characters for my brother-in-law and his wife) print them as thumbnails.. cut out and adhere to the bottom of the pebbles with Mod Podge.. let dry over night upside down.
You're basically making a Tic Tac Toe board with photo pebbles.. so cute and easy to do! Makes GREAT gifts! Key is.. just remember how ever many photos you choose to use, since only one photo represents a "player" you have to make at least 5 of each.. so you have enough to play them on the board. Example: you against your husband, you would have 5 Jana and 5 Tim faces on the pebbles. Respresenting the X's and O's.
Just thought I'd share too!

Makayla said...

That's a very fun idea! My mom used to do stuff like that with us a lot when we were little. In fact, since her "baby" is still under the age of 10, maybe I'll pass this along to her. I'm sure my youngest brother would be delighted with it. :)

Maria said...

Another good one is to buy those clear glass ornament balls, remove the top hanger thingy and squirt acrylic paint inside the ball. Have children pick the colors and you squirt. replace cover hangers and shake until desired effect is reached. We have done this and they turn out great. Not too much paint and not too much shaking yeild best results in our house. The best part is the painting without the mess.

Hagan Wagon said...

I saw that one- Mod Podge sounds addictive... I can imagine my kids using it on the carpet, the dog...

Stoker Family said...

Mod podge is the greatest. My kids would love if we made those.

Shel @ Life With Seven said...

What a cute idea! Thanks for sharing that.

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

OOOH Mod Podge. Fun, fun, fun.

Mindy said...

I have some that Laurin and I made the year before we were married...this is our 30 yr mark! That Mod Podge is some stuff... :

Tina said...

great idea, and for what it's worth dreds can be quite chic!

Jana said...

They turn moldy after a year? Even better!

Blog Buddy said...

Jana- We made our faces yesterday and painted them this morning. I took a picture for ya'. We're taking these to Jaden's preschool program tonight for his gift to his teachers. Thanks for a great idea! We'll do this every year :)

Jocelyn said...

I'm an elementary school teacher looking for new ideas. I'm excited to try this one!! Thanks!