We bought a second Christmas tree during the after Christmas sales last year. The main reason is that I wanted to preserve my "pretty tree" and let the kids decorate a "fun tree" filled with their homemade ornaments. So far it's been a great compromise, but the fun tree is a bit bare. We are using a mini-Santa hat in place of a tree topper!
The fun tree has potential but needed some help so I thought we I'd make some ornaments. I found a very simple recipe for making handprint ornaments here.
What you need:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
7 Tbsp water
Round cookie cutter (I used a bowl and cut around it with a knife)
1 drinking straw
Mod Podge (I used a matte finish but glossy would turn out great too)
What you do:
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Mix together flour, salt, and water. Knead with your hands until combined (~5 minutes).
3. Roll out the dough to ~1/4-inch thick and press child's hand into dough. If you’re doing this with really little ones, you may have to go back and make deeper impressions of their hands with your fingers or a kitchen utensil – the deeper the impression, the better your ornaments will turn out.
4. Use the cookie cutter (or other tool) to cut out the circles around the handprints.
5. Use a straw to poke a hole in each ornament (this is where the ribbon will go later).
Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden.
6. Wait for ornaments to cool, then paint as desired. I also sprinkled glitter on the handprints while the paint was still wet. Once dry, I wrote each child's name on the back and the year. Then I covered both sides of the ornament with Mod Podge.
7. When dry, thread a ribbon through each straw hole to create ornament hangers.
I was able to make 3 ornaments from the dough and had a bit of dough left over.