Because I didn't want to use breakable ornaments on the tree this year--I could envision cleaning up broken ornaments every day :)--after talking with my awesome friend E, we decided to make homemade dough ornaments. Super fun and fast. :)
We made them on our first snow day in NY (between power outages--very weird day--lots of snow and then a thunderstorm). The recipe is below, but basically, after mixing up the dough you can play with it like playdough and cut out any shape you want. I have some fun cookie cutter shapes, like this elephant...
Then after poking a hole in them with a pen cap I popped them in the microwave for 3 minutes. Just 3 minutes! After they cooled (again, like within 2 minutes) we tied a ribbon through them and hung them on the tree. It worked so well because it was very fast from start to finish. And you can paint them if you wanted to--we opted for the more natural look. :)
I also love to do handprints for any holiday decoration because I know how quickly they grow and that someday it will be cool to look back and remember how little their hands were. This is T's hand...
Here's the recipe for Salt Dough Ornaments...
4 c. flour
1 c. salt
1.5 c. hot water
After mixing the dough well and rolling it out, use cookie cutters to make fun shapes. Remember to poke a hole for ribbon. Then place on a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 1-4 minutes, checking every minute for doneness (when they are firm like a cookie). Let them cool and then if you want to you can use paint and other decorations to make them more festive.