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Fingerprint Heart Ornaments

Nov 20, 2014

These ornaments were originally created as Christmas keepsakes, but they make beautiful Valentine's Day gifts too!

One of my very favourite holiday traditions is creating homemade Christmas ornaments as a family. We usually make an afternoon of it; we turn on some Christmas music, make some hot cocoa, and sit around our table chatting and creating side by side. It’s lovely. My hope is that one day we’ll have a giant tree filled with memories and beautifully mismatched ornaments, and we’re already well on our way.

This year’s additions include these adorably simple fingerprint heart ornaments made using baking soda clay. They’re really easy and inexpensive to make, and besides making for great keepsakes, they make for lovely gifts too.

You Will Need:

  • baking soda clay (recipe below, but store-bought air-dry clay or homemade salt dough will work too)
  • rolling pin
  • circular cookie cutter or small glass
  • straw
  • acrylic paint
  • small paintbrush or cotton swab
  • fine permanent marker
  • ribbon or twine

Instructions:

1. Let’s get started, shall we? First things first, you’ll need to make your baking soda clay.

To do this, simply measure 1 cup of baking soda, 1/2 a cup of cornstarch and 2/3 cup of water into a saucepan and cook it over medium heat while stirring constantly.

Before you know it, the mixture will come together in a lump and its texture will resemble that of mashed potatoes. When that happens, remove the dough from the heat right away as overcooking it will dry it out and make your ornaments more likely to crack.

After allowing it to cool for just a few minutes, turn the dough out onto the table and knead it a bit to make it super soft and smooth. 

2. Now you’re ready to create! Grab a chunk of dough to work with, and cover the remainder with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out too soon.

Roll the dough out so that it’s approximately 3/4 of a centimetre thick and use your cookie cutter or glass to cut out several circles.

3. Using the straw, create a small hole near the top of each ornament, but not too close to the edge.

4. Help your child press his or her finger into the clay at an angle and repeat in the opposite direction so that the bottoms of the prints meet and form a ‘v’ shape.

You’ll want to press hard enough to make a distinct impression in the dough, but not so hard that the fingerprint goes all the way through the dough.

5. Allow your ornaments to dry for several hours on one side before flipping them over and letting them dry for a few more hours on the other side.

During this process, you may notice the edges of your ornaments curling up a little bit or some minor cracks appearing here or there. That’s normal and, in my humble opinion, part of what makes homemade ornaments truly look homemade, but dipping your fingertip in water and smoothing the cracks out gently can be helpful if you prefer a more flawless look.

6.  Next up, it’s time to paint the thumbprint hearts to make them truly stand out. This can be done with a small paintbrush, but I find that many kids prefer using a cotton swab as it gives them a little bit more control.

7.  Once the paint has had time to dry, flip the ornaments over and add your child’s name and the year to the backs (or have him or her do this job for an added personal touch).

8.  We’re almost done!  Lastly, tie some pretty ribbon or twine through the holes of the ornaments so they can be hung. That’s it! Hang the ornaments on the tree so they can be admired by all, or wrap them in tissue paper and place them in little boxes so that they’re ready for gift giving come Christmastime.

Ooh, and before you go, check out the baking soda clay handprint keepsakes we made last year. They too are a lot of fun to create and make for perfect kid-made gifts!

Article Author Jen Kossowan
Jen Kossowan

See all of Jen's posts.

Jen is a teacher, blogger, and mama to a spirited little lady and a preemie baby boy. She's passionate about play, loves a good DIY project, adores travelling, and can often be found in the kitchen creating recipes that meet her crunchy mama criteria. You can follow Jen on her blog, Mama.Papa.Bubba, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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