Fingerprint Heart Ornaments

Fingerprint Heart Ornaments | Mama Papa Bubba

Woohoo!  The season of homemade Christmas ornaments has officially begun in our house and we’re already loving it.  We always dedicate a morning or afternoon to creating special ornaments for the tree as a family, and then Grae and I add to our collection right up until Christmas {as you do}.  

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Today we finished making some very simple fingerprint heart ornaments using homemade baking soda clay, which we love.

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As you can see, Grae enjoyed herself quite a lot.

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The best part is that she was able to do almost everything on her own, making these extra special and truly ‘kid-made’.

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I think they turned out beautifully and I can’t wait to set up our tree so Miss G can hang them!  {I also think they’d make lovely little gifts for family members.}
For all of the details and our baking soda clay recipe, pop on over to CBC Parents and see our Fingerprint Heart Ornament post.
 

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20 thoughts on “Fingerprint Heart Ornaments

  1. I really love these! Can you tell me how well the baking soda clay keeps? Will these ornaments last for years and years (providing they are stored carefully of course), in the same way a store-bought clay would?

    1. Hi Nashie! They should. We have several baking soda clay ornaments that we made when Miss G was a year old, and now, three years later, they’re still just like new. If you really want to make them last, I’d suggest either spraying them with a sealant or storing them in an airtight bag so that they stay hard and dry. :)

  2. What paints work best on the clay to create these rich colors? Also, do you recommend a clear sealant on paints? Does it give the whole piece a glossy finish?

    1. I’d definitely go with acrylics, Michelle! And a sealant at the end wouldn’t hurt and would keep the moisture out for years to come. You can buy matte finish sealants and glossy finish ones, so just pick the one you’d prefer. :)

  3. Hi I tried your baking soda clay handprints but found it’s taking ages to dry and they seem crumbly. Maybe it’s because it’s not warm enough here but just wondering if you can bake them to harden them up? Also, how long do they last for ?

    1. I tried them yesterday too Bec and they took aaaaages to get to the consistency in the pot that was necessary and most of the mixture caked itself to the bottom of the pot. Mind you, I used Arrowroot Flour as I didn’t have Cornflour (wheat based) which is the closest equivalent in Australia to US Cornstarch (corn based). Apparently, Australia’s cornflour is cornmeal in the US. Cornmeal in Australia is called Polenta. ANYHOW, it took ages to get it even close to the consistency and was more stretchy/elastic and VERY sticky rather than almost “crumbly/lumpy like mashed potato” like the recipe suggests. I did make the ornaments and just added arrowroot to my hands and the table as I rolled them to stop it sticking like glue. It all worked well except for the fact that I couldn’t get the fingermarks to stay – they kind of “sunk” – but used a fork, straw and shish-kebab stick to add texture into the surface which seemed to stay there. Admittedly it was VERY damp here (Perth, WA, Australia) yesterday and today as we’ve had unusual thunderstorms at 36º so they’ve taken all night to dry and are still kind of soft but “ok” to work with … Not crumbly and no cracking on the edges either. We’re going to be adding the paint once my daughter wakes from her nap. I think I’m going to have to store them in a flat box though as they are quite delicate. I would’ve thought that something like this with the major ingredient being Baking Soda (what we call bi-carb) would last a lifetime. We’ll see …

      1. Ah, I’m from Melbourne and I used corn flour as a substitute for cornstarch. I got the mashed potato consistency but not sure if it will keep!? That’s prob why it’s so crumbly. Will have to try arrowroot flour. Thanks!!

        1. It’ll be interesting to compare Bec. We still haven’t painted them. I’m waiting for another day as we’ve had enough activities on our plate. I’ve stashed them in a plastic take away container for now …

        1. No worries. They seem to have a really good texture still (I’m keeping them in an air tight flat container) but I still haven’t painted them … I don’t know where the time’s going. I think I might paint them with acrylic and then may even add a sealer like “Estapol” (a polyurethane paint) or something. Maybe no need if they’re not going to get wet but I’ve also made some that could be turned into little pendants for my daughters little friends so those ones will need sealing. I must admit I bought some “Sculpey” Oven Bake Clay today to try similar things that may be more permanent when I add the colour. I guess I’ll still have to seal it though? All trials at the moment though. I LOVE your blog Jen. I use it all the time to give gifts, fill in “activity time” and just generally be inspired. :0) Thank you!

      2. Bec, they really should last for years once dry! I was just talking to a friend about cornflour / starch in Australia, and apparently ‘corn flour’ is the grainy yellowish stuff we’d call ‘corn meal’ in Canada, whereas ‘cornflour’ is the very fine powdery white stuff that you’d use to thicken stews and sauces… Does that make any sense to you? Either way, you want to stuff that thickens sauces. I’m guessing that’s what you used, but just in case! :D

    2. Do you live somewhere humid, Bec? Ours normally take two days to dry fully and become rock hard. Until then, they’re also crumbly when handled too much. I know that people do bake baking soda clay, but I haven’t done it myself, so I can’t tell you the specifics. I’d guess you’d be safe with them on your oven’s lowest heat if you checked them every half hour or so, but I have noticed that my ornaments tend to crack more when I try to speed up the drying process. Let me know how it goes! :)

  4. Help! Mine do not get to the mash potato consistency. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. It just stays liquid. Too much water? Mixing too long or not long enough? Thx!

    1. You did cook it didn’t you J? I must admit, mine took a lot longer to cook than it mentions in the recipe … I set it on low to medium and kept stirring, leaving it, then going back to it. I just figured it was because I used Arrowroot instead of corn starch. Mine didn’t end up in a mash consistency either. It was smoother. They turned out fine in the end, with no cracked edges or crumbling. Mine was a lot more sticky and elastic by the time I began rolling it out so I added arrowroot to the table, my hands and the rolling pin so it didn’t stick like glue. They’ve ended up nice and smooth on completion and have held together really well. Funnily enough when I paint them, red paint turns to orange. It doesn’t keep it’s vividness but that’s ok. I wish I could put an image here to show you …

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