Friday, December 6, 2013

A Treasured Christmas Tradition

The Christmas season is a wonderful time for upholding annual traditions and starting new ones. One of my favorite 'traditions' started as a craft project when my girls were little bitty. I would make a batch of what we called salty dough (I'll add a recipe at the end) and instead of hand prints we made foot prints. I then made them into Christmas tree ornaments!

(Yes, the ornaments are heavy. They put a pretty big strain on the branches the last time we had a real tree. I have no trouble with them on our artificial tree, though.)

I love to pull out the prints every year and marvel at how tiny my girls were.

Not exactly a tradition you probably want to start if your 'little' one already wears a size 10, but if those feet are still little bitty, trust me, it makes for a fun memory.

Salty dough recipe:

1 cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water

Mix the ingredients (This is also a fun dough for the kids to play with if they don't have issues with gluten. If you're making it to play with, you can divide it and add some food coloring to make it even more fun.)

Add a bit more flour or water to get a good consistency for the dough. Shape the dough the way you want it. I used circles and rectangles but stars or hearts would be nice too.

Capture your little wiggly one (or was it only mine who were wiggly?!). Press their foot gently but firmly into the dough and make sure you're happy with the print. If not, just smush up the dough and start over. If so, add a small hole to the top for the ribbon and it's time to dry your print.

You can patiently wait for it to air dry or pop it in a 250 degrees F oven for about 2 hours (Time will vary depending on thickness so just keep an eye on it.)

When it's really dry (maybe even wait a day or two), paint it with acrylic paint in the color you choose (I used gold). When that dries you can add any information you want to the front or back with a paint pen: name, date, age, a bible verse?

Thread a ribbon through the hole and you're ready to add a new ornament to the tree and a new tradition to your holidays. Repeat every year until those little feet just aren't quite as cute ; >) and you'll make some memories you'll treasure forever.