Hello and Happy Monday to all of you out there from me, Christine! Today I’m bringing you a delightful way to use your stamps for the Christmas Season in decorating or gift giving; creating stamped dough ornaments! They are easy to make and the finished ornaments are so pretty, perfect for your own tree, or for a sweet little gift.
First I’ll begin with the recipe. I really love how the dough turned out, it is very soft, easy to roll out, and to cut and stamp. It’s very white and dries almost like clay or porcelain, and best of all, you probably have all the ingredients already in your home.
Cornstarch Dough Ornaments
1/2 C Cornstarch
1 C Baking Soda
3/4 C Water
Instructions: Add ingredients together into a saucepan, heat over medium heat stirring constantly. Initially it will look like you’re warming up milk. As the heat builds the cornstarch will begin to thicken. As it gets thicker it will take on the texture of mashed potatoes, Once it’s reached this texture and there’s no runny liquid, remove from heat and cover with a wet cloth (so it doesn’t dry out). You could put it into another bowl to cool, I just kept it into the saucepan sitting on the cool part of my stovetop. You want it to cool enough that you can handle it. Mine was ready in about 30 minutes.
In the mean time get all your cutting and stamping parts ready.
Begin by kneading the dough into a ball onto a surface dusted with cornstarch. With a cornstarch dusted rolling pin, roll out to 1/4 inch thick. It’s important to have a nice smooth even dough surface. It all makes a difference in the quality of your finished ornament.
Here’s how mine rolled out dough looked. Getting your dough thickness even throughout really helps improve your finished ornaments. Then, use cookie cutters to cut out ornament shapes you would like to use. I found that larger shapes that aren’t intricate work much better.
**Have your stamps ready in the background so that as your shapes are cut you can stamp them quickly before your dough begins to dry. That way you’ll get the best stamped impression in your dough.
After you’ve cut out your shapes take your stamp (here I’ve used Merry Littles), and gently and evenly press your stamp into the dough. You want to get a good impression that has some depth, but not push it all the way through. When you press it into the dough it may change the shape of the ornament shape a little. I found that the first one or two I did I didn’t get the pressure quite right, so I had to roll them back into the dough and redo them. Place on a cookie sheet when finished. I had them on baking paper, but you really don’t need it. The cornstarch really keeps them from sticking to the pan.
After I had practised a bit with stamping the ornaments I tried a different technique. What’s REALLY cool about stamping your ornaments is that you can also ink your stamps before you place them in the dough and the dough takes on the colour of the ink. Nice deep colours of ink really work well. In total, out of one batch of dough I made 8 large ornaments and 10 small ones.
What’s fantastic about polymer stamps is that they’re easy to clean, all you need to do is run them under a little water and let them dry. You’ll have dough and cornstarch all over so a quick clean-up is nice.
Bake ornaments in a 185 degree oven for 60 minutes. Check at that time if they are dry on both sides. If not, add 15 minutes at a time until they are dry. At 60 minutes I turned my ornaments over so that the back would dry. In total they took about 1 1/2 hours of baking time.
After the ornaments were completely cooled I used an emery board to sand off any rough edges and make them look a bit more polished.
Then comes the fun part! Decorating!
I used a few different applications on the ornaments to give different effects.
Above are the larger ornaments. Sorry about the light...the sun was starting to go down and I wanted to take some pictures in the more natural light so you could get a feel for how it looked.
Here are the smaller ornaments with all their little ribbon hangers. They are so cute!
With a number of the ornaments, I decided to leave them very rustic and plain, so I painted them lightly with a coat of white acrylic glaze, like this design above. You could use Mod Podge to finish them off as well.
Next, I took a few close up pictures of different ornaments so you could see some of the colouring treatments I used.
On this ornament I used our lovely Heaven and Nature Sing stamp set. For colour I took out my watercolour crayons and a waterbrush and added soft washes of colour directly onto the ornament. Because they are so porous they take on the colour easily, so use a light hand. Once the ornament was dry I spritzed some Mr. Huey’s Shine Color Mist overtop to give it that shimmer. It totally MAKES the ornament! This picture really doesn’t do it justice. :)
On this Poinsettia stamped ornament, I inked the stamped with Memento Rhubarb Stalk before baking, then spritzed with Mr. Huey’s Spritz after.
This lovely one is also from Heaven and Nature Sing and the dough was stamped with Pear Tart ink then Mr. Huey’s Spritz after the oven.
This Church design from the beautiful O Holy Night set was also watercoloured and spritzed. I love the effect of the soft blues on the Church, trees and snow.
Here’s an even closer look at the effect of the shimmer and watercolouring.
Here’s a little ornament that I spritzed first with Mr. Huey’s Mist in Water Cooler and then over top in Mr Huey’s Shine.
And finally the pretty Church again from O Holy Night , this ornament is only stamped with Memento Rhubarb Stalk ink in the dough and then left without any spritz. I love the different effects you can get making each one unique. Can you imagine how a nice deep navy ink would look with this set? I’m going to try that with the next batch.
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and I hope you try it! You’ll get so much more mileage out of your stamps and create some special ornaments along the way. Thanks for joining me today!