Turn your baby's handprint into the cutest DIY Christmas tree ornament
As far as Christmas ornaments go, there's no way to beat having a little piece of your baby up on the tree. No, I don't mean the umbilical stump or a glittery piece of petrified meconium. There's no Christmas joy in that.
A far better addition is a clay ornament featuring your baby's tiny hand- or footprint, name and the year. Not only will it be something you'll treasure forever, but it's super easy to make and to personalize. Here's how:
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 cup water
- Cookie letterpress
- Felt-tip pen
- Mod Podge or liquid glue
- Ribbon or string
- Sandpaper or nail file (optional)
1. Heat the oven
Heat the oven to 200 degrees C (gas mark 6, 400 degrees F)
2. Mix the clay
In a small pot, mix together the baking soda, cornstarch and water over medium heat, stirring constantly.
3. Stir, stir, stir
When the mixture thickens and begins to resemble creamy mashed potatoes, take it off the heat, and keep stirring.
Once it has cooled enough to be comfortable to touch, knead the dough until it is the consistency of Play-Doh.
Place it on a sheet of baking paper, and roll it out to a width of about 1 centimetre.
6. Make the print
Working as fast as you can, press your baby's hand (or foot) into the middle. Do not be too hard; a light indent will do.
7. Cut it out
Cut the shape you want your ornament to be around your baby's hand- or footprint.
8. Press the letters
Using a cookie letterpress, spell out your baby's name, the year or any message you like.
When you're happy with the result, turn the oven down to the lowest setting (ideally around 100 degrees C, 1/4 gas mark, 225 degrees F), and place the ornament inside. Flip the ornament over every 15 minutes until it is completely dry and hard. If you skip this step, there's a chance it will crack.
10. File (optional)
Once your ornament is ready, allow it to cool, and then file down the edges or any rough spots. I don't mind my ornaments looking a bit homemade, so I skip this step.
Using a felt-tip pen, colour the inside of the letters in your chosen shade.
Paint the hand- or footprint in a colour that matches the paper or napkin you've chosen, and allow it to dry.
13. Stick the paper
Cut your chosen paper or napkin into small pieces and, working one by one, stick them over the painted area using generous amounts of glue or Mod Podge. Keep working until the whole handprint is covered. Allow it to dry.
14. Add felt
Stick a piece of felt to the back, and cut it to size.
Make a corresponding hole in the felt, and pass your string or ribbon through it to form a hanger. Et voilà! Your special keepsake is ready.