We are a big fans of homemade gifts over here, especially from the little ones! I always love seeing how creative my kids can be when given a medium to use, and our family loves getting these types of gifts most of all. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, want to try my hand at using some baking soda clay in a way that would create something pretty that could be given as part of a simple gift for a teacher or grandparent. These baking soda clay valentine’s ornaments are so easy to make and are beautiful too- and your kids will love making them!
Baking soda clay is super easy to make, if you haven’t tried it yet. It’s a very white clay, so it’s perfect for painting or etching on before it’s dry. You can make something organized out of it like ornaments for Christmas or just give your kids some and let them just sculpt and play any way they wish!
To make the clay, you will need:
2 cups baking soda
1 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cups water
This will make a good sized batch, if you are only making a few ornaments, you will want to cut that amount in half. To make the clay, you will combine the cornstarch and baking soda in a large pot over the stove and then slowly add in the water.
Heat the mixture over a medium heat, stirring constantly. When it begins to bubble, it will start to thicken and pull together. Quickly keep stirring it until it forms into a ball (this only takes a few seconds!) and then turn the dough into a large bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it cool for a bit until you can mold it by hands without burning yourself!
Knead the dough a little until it’s workable and it’s ready to use. To make these ornaments, you will want to roll the dough into a flat piece, around 3/4 of an inch thick.
I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out pieces of the dough. Lay them on a piece of parchment paper and use a straw to cut a hole into the top so you can string it.
To make the heart, have your child use their thumb and gently push it into the dough twice, so they touch at the bottom, forming a heart shape- then you will want to let the dough dry.
To dry it, you can either leave it out on the counter for a day or so, or you can dry it in the oven. To do that, you will want to place the parchment paper on a baking sheet and turn your oven up to 350 degrees. Once it reaches full temperature, place the tray in the oven and then turn the oven off, leaving the dough in the oven while it cools down. Don’t open the oven so any of the heat escapes. I left mine in for around 30 minutes or so and they were nice and dry. If you sculpt and have a thicker piece, you may need to live it in they longer.
Once they are dry, you can use your child’s thumb and dip it in some acrylic paint and make your hearts! You can use any color you want, we chose a combo of pink and red.
This dough is a little harder to work with once it starts drying, so if your kids are trying to mold with theirs, you can have them put a little water on their hands and knead the dough that way- it’ll help soften the dough up and make it easier to use.
I think these hearts are so pretty and were really fun to make. I like how this dough looks too, I know we will be making some again for other holidays!