Monday, November 26, 2012

A "Handy" Keepsake Ornament

This little hand print ornament would be a great gift to give anyone in your family.  Wrap it up or use it as a gift tag to dress up a present under the tree.  It is the perfect keepsake.

Image and Idea:  Clayful Impressions

My kids and I used the following clay recipe for ornaments that we cut out and decorated for a fundraiser.  The clay is white which is a great starting point for projects such as this. 

Clay Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 3/4 cup water

Directions for making the clay:

  1.  In a medium sized pot combine the cornstarch, baking soda, and water.
  2. Stir over medium-low heat.
  3. The mixture will begin to thicken.
  4. When it begins to take shape, remove the pot from the heat.
  5. Place the ball of dough into a bowl and cover it with a damp cloth until it's cool.
  6. Once cooled, knead it on a smooth surface, adding a little more cornstarch if it feels sticky.

 Direction for making ornaments:

  1.  Preheat oven to 175 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Roll out clay to 1/4 inch thick on a surface lightly dusted with cornstarch.
  4. Have your child press their hand firmly in the clay to get a good imprint.
  5. Using a knife, cut around the shape of their hand leaving about a 1/2" border.  Smooth the edges if necessary.
  6. Transfer the hand print to the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Use a straw to poke a hole in the center top of each decoration.
  8. Place the tray in the oven at 175 degrees for about an hour, turning the ornaments over halfway through cooking.
  9. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
  10. Once cool, paint the heel of their hand and thumb red for Santa's hat and use white paint for his fur trim, and beard. 
  11. A fine tip permanent marker works best for the details.
  12. Thread a piece of ribbon or twine through the hole.
 * I bought a can of glossy clear spray paint at the local hardware store.  I sprayed our ornaments when they had dried which gave them a really nice professional look.  You might want to do this too!

Do you have any ornaments that you made as a kid still hanging on your tree each year?


  1. This is such a neat idea! My daughter is only 10 months old, so I don't know if she'd sit still long enough for me to do this, but it's def on my list for next year.


    1. It would be great to try and get one year after year to see Santa grow!

  2. I'm totally going to make this. Did you notice the clay cracked at all?

    1. The kids and I made other ornaments and a few did crack if they tried to stamp them and went too deep. Otherwise the clay held up beautifully.

  3. I am going to do this with both kids! I remember making one in kindergarten but I'm not sure where my parents put it or if they even kept it. It would definitely make a great keepsake. :)

    Thanks for the recipe Susannah!

  4. I'm looking to make enough dough for four hand print ornaments - kids range in age from 2 to 7. Would one batch of dough be enough? Thanks for sharing - this is great!

    1. One batch should definitely be enough for 4 ornaments but you can double the recipe with no problem if you want to be safe. Have a wonderful holiday!

  5. I did this with 6 kids and baked it then let it air dry for a few days. Now that they are dry they are really cracked and I don't think they'll hold up at all. Pretty disappointed.
    C. Olsen

    1. I'm really sorry you had a problem with cracking. The kids and I made lots of ornaments with this recipe and they held up perfectly. The only time I found they cracked was if we stamped (we used rubber stamps for designs) them too deeply so there were really thin areas and thick areas. I understand how frustrating it is to do a project and have it fail.


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