Looking for an easy parent gift during the holiday season? These cookie cutter ornaments are so easy to make (plus they are super cheap) and parents just love them! Make the dough at home for an even easier time in the classroom! Keep reading to find out just how easy it is to make these ornaments.
First, you will need to gather your ingredients. I recommend making your dough at home, storing in an airtight container and just hauling that to school instead of hauling all of the individual ingredients. To make the dough you will need flour, salt, cinnamon and some water. To make the ornaments you will need cookie cutters, a rolling pin (if you don't have one, students can just push the dough flat with their hands), a spatula and some flour to keep the dough from sticking to the table.
Making the Dough:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup cinnamon
3/4 cup very warm water
As you can see in the picture above, I went totally generic with my ingredients. I have found that buying quality ingredients doesn't change the end result... so cheap it is!
Start by adding all of your ingredients together in a bowl and mix well. If the dough seems sticky, add a little flour. If the dough seems crumbly or hard, add a little more water. The consistency should be very similar to play-doh. After mixing a bit with the spoon, you might have to just dig in a mix with your hands!
If you are pre-making your dough, then place it in an airtight container to store overnight. You may need to add a bit of extra flour at school when you go to use the dough. Sometimes the dough gets a bit sticky after it sits overnight.
Making the Ornaments:
Start by sprinkling some flour on your work surface to prevent the dough from sticking. Then roll out a chunk of dough. If you don't have a rolling pin, have students use their palms to squish the dough down so it is between a 1/2" and a 1/4" thick. If the dough gets too thin, the ornaments will break very easily. If the dough gets to thick, the ornaments will take forever to dry.
Use the cookie cutters to cut shapes out of the dough. If the dough is stuck to the counter, use a spatula to gently scoop it off. Then, use a straw to carefully cut a hole in the top of the ornament for the string/ribbon to go through. Make sure you do not place the hole too close to the edge (you don't want your ornament to break when you go to hang it). Make sure you get all of the dough out of the hole.
After cutting out your ornaments, have students place them on a piece of wax paper to dry. You can use sticky-notes to label each ornament so you know who's is who's. They will take between 24-36 hours to dry. I have found it easiest to make the ornaments on a Friday and plan on painting them later the next week. This gives them plenty of time to dry. You can see in the following picture that when the dough starts to dry, it turns into a lighter brown color. This will be how you tell if they are dry or not.
Once your ornaments have dried, have students use acrylic paint to paint them. If they want to add more than one color (i.e. paint the tree green and then add ornaments), they will need to wait for the paint to dry before adding more.
Let the paint dry overnight. Then add a ribbon or a string through the hole and wrap up your ornaments! So easy and fast. I usually allow each of my students to make two ornaments unless they have what we call a "perfect situation" which means that they have more parents they need to make ornaments for. The best part about these ornaments is that they continue to smell delicious for weeks to come!
Pin the image below to save this blog post for later and share with your friends!
What gifts do you make for your parents during the holiday season?