We ended up having a change of plans today and didn’t get the chane to make the cheez-its. We’ll just have to try again tomorrow. Until then, I’ll keep posting previous crafts.
Both my Dad’s family and my Father in law’s family have a tradition of giving ornaments to the kids at Christmas. I always loved getting to pick out a handmade ornament from grandma and another from one of my aunts. By the time we got married my wife and I could have each had a pretty full Christmas tree and even with a decently large tree we had to choose which ones were going to make it onto the tree. So, once we had our son I knew that I had to start a tradition of making ornaments with him to give out to family members. Even though we had a few months since he was born in August we were too overwhelmed to try to make anything that first year. Luckily we’ve gotten into a nice groove and have been blessed with an exceptionally mild tempered little man.
I’ve found out that you can never overestimate the time that you’ll need to do a craft with a one year old helping you. Since we were doing about 20 of them I gave myself a few months and still barely got them all finished in time. We’re about to start on the ones for this year and hope that we don’t end up finishing at the last minute again.
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup water
You may have to add a little more water to get the right consistency. You want it slightly damp so that it can be rolled out without cracking, but you don’t want it to be sticky either.
Knead everything into a dough ball and then roll it out. I found that putting a little more flour on it like I was rolling out pizza dough helped.
Now, this is the part that you want to have help if you can get it. It’s much easier to have someone else hold your child in a Superman pose while you press their hand into the dough. You want a nice deep impression, but make sure that you leave a decently thick amount of dough under the handprint or it will tear when you try to move it. Pressing on top of wax paper worked well for me. That let me pick up the print and just peel the paper off the back before putting it on the cookie sheet.
Next poke a straw into the dough about where the wrist would be to make a hole for the ribbon. Then I used a paring knife to trim around the hand print.
Bake at 200 for about 3 hours and then flip them and bake for another couple of hours. Once they have dried out pull them out of the oven and let them cool.
A cheap set of paint brushes, some small bottles of acrylic paint (white, red, black, and beige), brush on Mod Podge, spray on Mod Podge, and a small spool of ribbon completed the project.
Luckily I had some clean milk caps the I had saved to let my boy use as coins in his “piggy bank”, which was just an old wipe container. They worked great to hold the paint since I was only using a small amount at a time. For each color I would do one coat on each print and by the time I was done the first print was ready for a second print. I gave myself extra time between colors just to make sure that they didn’t bleed, but if you don’t slop it on there it doesn’t take long to dry.
Getting “the look” was easier once I had done the first one and could have it sitting there as a reference when I painted the subsequent batches.
A small strip of beige across the “face” to make the skin.
Then I did the white in the tip of the thumb on top of the beige for the fur trim and along all the fingers for the beard (put a little bump in the center of the beard for his mustache).
Next came the red for his hat and a small dot at the top of the mustache bump for his nose.
A thin paint brush for the black to use to outline parts of his face, make the mustache, and hide any mistakes along the fur trim. Plus a couple of eyes.
Lastly mix a bit of the red and white to make some pink to give Santa his rosy cheeks.
I used a black sharpie to put my son’s name on the back and the date.
Give the ornament plenty of time to dry then give it all a nice coating with the Mod Podge brush on sealant to protect it. That will stay slightly sticky so once that has dried spray the Mod Podge spray on it for a smooth glossy texture.