A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: DIY Baking Soda Clay Ornaments

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21 November 2013

DIY Baking Soda Clay Ornaments

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As part of our advent activities this year, I wanted to make ornaments and first on my list were some pretty, white, baking soda ornaments.  The recipe is as old as baking soda itself, but I first read of it on THIS RECIPE and THIS RECIPE.  I made a few tiny changes (see below), but basically the recipe is the same one your teacher used in Kindergarten back in 1982.

A traditional recipe calls for 2 cups of baking soda, but after making several batches 
I realized that 2 cups of baking soda is very VERY close to a full box of this:

Looked at the box and HELLO, it is 16 oz.  16 oz = 2 cups!

SO.  grab the small box of baking soda and save yourself 20 seconds of measuring ok?

Step 1 -- Add your 16 oz. box of baking soda to a regular old cooking pot

Step 2 -- Add 1 cup of cornstarch (gently, don't make it "poof" in the air like flour!)

Step 3 -- Add 1 1/4 cup of water

Step 4 -- Stir Gently

Step 5 -- Put your pot on medium high heat and stir stir stir.  Don't stop.

The mixture will start to bubble just a little (keep stirring!) and thicken up.

As soon as it clumps up and moves with the spoon (like mashed potatoes), take the pot off the heat and...

PLOP it onto a cool, flat surface.

Cover with a damp cloth until it is cool enough to handle.  
We enjoyed working with the warm clay, so use it as soon as you are able! 

This clay is soft and has a lovely texture.  You can cut it with cookie cutters or a knife,
 make impressions with feet, hands and thumbprints or use a letter stamping kit (like THIS ONE) to write words.

Make sure you make a hole in the ornament before baking for a string to go through for hanging. 
I used a simple bamboo skewer.  Make sure you support the clay while piercing it.

DIY Baking soda Clay Ornaments on Make A Gif

This clay can also be molded free form (we made snowmen!)
Bake at 200 degrees for 30-60 minutes to dry the clay or allow them to air dry.

Some minor cracking may occur, but overall this clay was cheap, lovely to mold and the ornaments turned out beautifully!

 If you liked this tutorial, then you might enjoy the BOOK!

Make your own coconut oil.
Gather your own sea salt.
Grow your own grapevines for wreaths.
Give gifts naturally grown and crafted from your backyard garden.

Each chapter focuses on a plant or groups of plants and how to grow them in your home garden.  Then, gather up those natural ingredients and get crafting! From lavender wreaths and hypertufa planters to lambsear angels and pickled tomatoes, there are projects for beginners on up!

Crafting with Nature is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a MillionPOWELL's! (!!!!)  Booktopia (Australia!), IndieBoundAlibrisGlose.comThe Book Depository and Walmart.com.  Books are also rolling out to retailers and libraries, so check for them there. 
 If your library does NOT have it yet, this is why you should talk to your librarian!


Julia Konya Thursday, November 21, 2013  

I should try this with my daughter. I used to make baked salt ornaments with my mom when I was a kid but they weren't white. Love that these are a fresh white ;)

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam Thursday, November 21, 2013  

What fun! Love the footprints!

Amy Renea Thursday, November 21, 2013  

Julia, the "white-white" of them is totally what sold me! ...and Jill I have bee nicking myself to get some footprints done before she gets to big and I wasn't planning on making them with this clay, but they totally worked out :)

Julie redheadcandecorate.com Tuesday, November 26, 2013  

The photos are precious Amy! I would love to make this. It sounds like a great activity even with my teens. Hope you are doing well, and I know you are enjoying your beautiful new baby, Penny :) Happy Thanksgiving!!! XO

Amy Renea Wednesday, November 27, 2013  

I totally loved it Jules -- I think teens might?? You have a VERY merry Thanksgiving :) much love to you!!

Angel King Wednesday, December 04, 2013  

is there a way to prevent the cracking? I made last year, and they're all crumbled when I pulled them out this year. I want then to last.

Angel King Wednesday, December 04, 2013  

is there a way to prevent the cracking? I made last year, and they're all crumbled when I pulled them out this year. I want then to last.

Amy Renea Thursday, December 05, 2013  

Hi Angel! The thicker I made mine the better when it came to cracking, though the REALLY thick ones seemed to be prone to breaking in half, so a nice medium sized dough (around 1/2 inch thick) seemed to work best. Perhaps wrapping them in newspaper to keep them safe and dry?

BlommisLis Friday, December 25, 2015  

Could I sculpt a variety of figurines with this? I'm new to this and want to keep it simple.

Amy Renea Monday, December 28, 2015  

You could certainly try! We made the small snowmen and they turned out fine, but I am not sure how the clay would hold up with larger figurines. It is a very cheap clay though, so it is worth a solid try :)

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