Day 10: Gingerbread Ornaments

    gingerbread ornaments

    Welcome to Day 10 of Pennywise Presents. Today we have with us Heather from Dollar Store Crafts.  She shows us how to get our kids involved in making Christmas ornaments and garlands as gifts.  

    Saved pennies spilling out of a Santa stocking.

     gingerbread ornaments

    Hi, I’m Heather from Dollar Store Crafts. It’s an honor to be here with Beckie (she’s so awesome and what an inspirational site!) and in the company of all these other brilliant crafters who have shared such amazing gift ideas for the Pennywise Presents series. When I think of handmade gifts for Christmas, I usually try to keep the price-per-piece as low as possible. One way to do this is to bake something from scratch, but not everyone wants sweets for Christmas. Well, I love cookies so much, I want to hang them on my wall, so I came up with a way you can give baked goods without all the calories and guilt. These are cookies that can be enjoyed for years to come: Gingerbread ornaments.

    gingerbread boy ornament

    One great go-to craft recipe is salt dough: it’s cheap, quick, and easy to make; you probably already have everything you need for this recipe in your pantry. I took a traditional salt dough recipe and added cocoa powder to make it look gingerbready, and painted and glazed it to make it look all grown up. You can make these assembly line-style and they are so inexpensive, you can make one for every person on your gift list.

      Project Materials:

      Craft acrylic paint, on hand or $.50 each

    Clear acrylic gloss spray, about $5

    Christmas ribbon, $1 per spool

    Salt, on hand

    Flour, on hand

    Cocoa powder, on hand or $1

    Cookie sheet


    Total cost: $6 – will make at least 12 ornaments or 3 garlands

    gingerbread garland

    You can either make single ornaments, or garlands. I like them both! I will probably give the garlands to women (who would know what to do with a garland!), and ornaments to men (who can appreciate a good ornament). Don’t forget to make single ornaments and let your children paint them as keepsake ornaments for grandparents.

    boys cooking

    Cocoa Salt Dough Recipe: 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of cocoa powder, 3/4 cup water. Mix the salt, flour, and cocoa powder together in a large bowl. Add water and mix until a large ball forms. Knead on a lightly floured work surface until the dough is smooth. If dough is too dry: Add up to 1/4 c. water (on Tablespoon at a time) if needed. If dough is too sticky: Mix 1 Tablespoon flour with 1 Tablespoon salt, and add to mixture a little at a time. Roll dough out on floured surface to about 1/8" (as thin as you would for cookies). Cut out with cookie cutters. Cut holes for hanging with a plastic drinking straw. Cut one hole in the top of the cookie to make a single ornament, or two holes in the sides to use for a garland. Bake at 250 º F for 1 hour or until completely dry.

    salt dough ornaments

    I cut out hearts and gingerbread boy shapes for my ornaments. For the garlands, I poked holes in two sides of the hearts with drinking straws. For ornaments, I just poked a single hole.

    Painting the Ornaments: Once the dough is dried in the oven, you can paint it! Don’t worry if you’re not a star decorative painter. Simple designs look best — these are supposed to look like cookies! I outlined with white acrylic craft paint (for a royal icing look) and added details with colored paint.

    gingerbread boy ornament

    Gingerbread Boys: The gingerbread boy simply got white outlines, eyes and a smile, three buttons, and a red bow tie.

    gingerbread ornaments

    Gingerbread Hearts: The heart shapes were outlined and filled in with flowers. To paint flowers, get your paint brush saturated with paint, and dot five petals in a circle. When petals are dry, add three white dots to the center of the flower, and swipes of green for petals.

    Spray with Sealer: Use the clear glossy acrylic sealant spray to make these shine–it makes a huge difference in how they look (without spray, the dough is a dull brown).

    christmas tree with gingerbread garland

    To hang, add a length of Christmas ribbon. For the garlands, thread a 24" piece of ribbon through three ornaments. I made these a couple years ago, and I hang my garlands up every year! They are so cute, and each garland costs a lot less than a dollar!

    salt dough handprints

    While you have the dough out, don’t forget to make salt dough handprints with your kids!! Put a hole in them and hang them up on your wall or Christmas tree!

    -Heather, Dollar Store Crafts

    Heather is one of my best bloggy buddies.  She is a huge dreamer and a think tank.  When we talk our heads explode from all the ideas.  She has definitely helped me think outside the box when it comes to blogging.  Check out Heather’s recent posts (click on the images to be taken directly to the tutorials)…