Baking Soda Ornaments {DIY White Clay}

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Looking for a frugal way to add a few more ornaments to the Christmas tree this year? You’ll be able to do just that by heading over to your pantry for some baking soda and cornstarch. Does that seem a little unexpected? It turns out that baking soda and cornstarch can indeed by used to make an easy DIY white clay, and when you use your Christmas cookie cutters to cut them into holiday shapes, you’ll end up with a fun way to make your own Christmas ornaments!

homemade Christmas ornaments made with baking soda and cornstarch.

How To Make Christmas Ornaments with Cornstarch and Baking Soda

Here are the steps to make these baking soda and cornstarch ornaments. You might have everything you need in the house already!

Step 1 – Measure ingredients: In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup baking soda, a 1/2 cup of cornstarch, and 3/4 cup of water. At this point the mixture will still be very watery.

Step 2 – Heat ingredients on the stove: Place the pan with your ingredients on the stove over medium heat. Keep stirring the ingredients and as the mixture heats up and starts to bubble, the mixture will thicken up (this will take about 5 minutes). Stir until the mixture resembles mashed potatoes.

Stirring homemade baking soda white clay on the stove.

Step 3 – Let mixture cool. Lay out a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper. Transfer your clay mixture from your pan onto the paper and let it cool down for a few minutes.

Step 4 – Knead the clay. Once the mixture has cooled to a point where it is comfortable to handle, knead the dough into a smooth clay (so that it no longer looks like mashed potatoes!)

Step 5 – Roll out the clay to a 1/4″ thickness. Place your ball of clay back onto your waxed paper (or parchment paper), and using a rolling pin, roll the clay out to a thickness of at least 1/4″ thick. The clay must be at least this thick to make ornaments that are sturdy enough.
Note: Some people choose to use textured rolling pins or embossing stamps on their clay at this point to create designs. I did not have any of these tools and choose to decorate my ornaments with glitter paint instead (see step 9).

Using cookie cutters to make DIY white clay baking soda ornaments.

Step 6 – Use cookie cutters to make ornament shapes. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes for your ornaments. I found that cutters with simple edges worked the best, and that it was easiest to pull the clay from around the cutter to remove the shape. For cookie cutters with more detailed edges (like my Wilton Snowflake Cookie Cutter), I needed to turn them over and clean away the extra clay from around the edges.

Using cookie cutters to make DIY white clay ornaments

Step 7 – Use a straw to make a hole for hanging your ornaments. Place your ornaments on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper (or parchment paper). Then, using a straw, poke a hole in the top of each of your ornaments.

Using a straw to make a hole in the top of homemade white clay ornaments.

Step 8 – Let dry for 48 hours. Set your cookie sheet with the ornaments aside for two days (48 hours) so that the baking soda clay can dry completely. Two or three times each day, turn the ornaments over and move them around a bit so that they will dry evenly. I also put a fresh piece of wax paper under them on the second day too.

Step 9 – Add a coat of glitter paint. Once my ornaments had completely dried, I also added a coat of what I call “glitter paint” to add a little sparkle. I used the DecoArt Craft Twinkle Paint in the Crystal color (because that’s what I had in my craft supplies) but you can also get this paint in silver, gold, and other colors. You could also paint on any designs of your choice using other colors of acrylic or craft paints.

Painting a homemade baking soda ornament with twinkle glitter paint

Step 10 – Add a string or ribbon for hanging. Once the paint has completely dried, you can add a string or ribbon or your choice for hanging the ornaments. Using red bakers twine for hanging homemade ornaments is always a pretty choice for Christmas.

Christmas ornaments in the shape of stars made from baking soda and cornstarch.

And even though in some of the pictures the coat of glitter paint doesn’t show up that well and these almost look like plain white ornaments, when they catch the light, they do indeed sparkle quite nicely and make a pretty addition to a holiday Christmas tree.

A homemade white clay snowflake ornament painted with glitter paint.

DIY Baking Soda and Cornstarch Ornaments

These frugal ornaments are made using a simple homemade white clay made by mixing baking soda, cornstarch, and water. Use your holiday cookie cutters to cut your clay into festive ornament shapes. Depending on the size of your cookie cutters, you should be able to make about 12 ornaments with this recipe.
Prep Time10 minutes
Active Time30 minutes
Drying Time2 days
Total Time2 days 40 minutes
Keyword: Christmas, Ornaments
Yield: 12 ornaments
Author: Beverly

Equipment:

  • Saucepan & Stirring Utensil
  • Wax Paper or Parchment Paper
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Baking Sheet
  • Drinking Straw (for cutting holes)
  • Glitter paint & paintbrush (optional)
  • String or Ribbon

Materials:

  • 1 cup Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup Water

Instructions:

  • In a small saucepan, combine the baking soda, cornstarch, and water. At this point the mixture will still be very watery.
  • Place the pan with your ingredients on the stove over medium heat. Keep stirring the ingredients and as the mixture heats up and starts to bubble, the mixture will thicken up (this will take about 5 minutes). Stir until the mixture resembles mashed potatoes.
  • Lay out a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper. Transfer your clay mixture from your pan onto the paper and let it cool down for a few minutes.
  • Once the mixture has cooled to a point where it is comfortable to handle, knead the dough into a smooth clay (so that it no longer looks like mashed potatoes!)
  • Place your ball of clay back onto your waxed paper (or parchment paper), and using a rolling pin, roll the clay out to a thickness of at least 1/4" thick. The clay must be at least this thick to make ornaments that are sturdy enough.
  • Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes for your ornaments. I found that cutters with simple edges worked the best, and that it was easiest to pull the clay from around the cutter to remove the shape. For cookie cutters with more detailed edges I needed to turn them over and clean away the extra clay from around the edges.
  • Place your ornaments on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper (or parchment paper). Using the straw, poke a hole in the top of each of your ornaments.
  • Set your cookie sheet with the ornaments aside for two days (48 hours) so that the baking soda clay can dry completely. Two or three times each day, turn the ornaments over and move them around a bit so that they will dry evenly. I also put a fresh piece of wax paper under them on the second day too.
  • Once my ornaments had completely dried, I also added a coat of what I call "glitter paint" to add a little sparkle. You could also paint on any designs of your choice using other colors of acrylic or craft paints.
  • To make a hangers for your ornaments, cut 10" pieces of string or ribbon and insert it through the hole in the ornaments and tie a small knot.

Need a few more bright ideas?
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4 Comments

  1. Last year I made salt dough ornaments and dried them in my dehydrator. Do you think these would dry okay in the dehydrator?

  2. Hi Bev – can you use food coloring instead of having them all white? Would you add that with the rest of the ingredients or knead it in?

    1. If you want to try food coloring, I would knead it in once the mixture has cooled a bit. You could even create a marbled effect to the dough if you don’t knead the color in completely. I hope it turns out well if you give it a try!