White Clay Dough Ornaments

Easy, bright, white clay dough ornaments for kids to make with baking soda, cornstarch and water.

The hooligans LOVE playing with dough!  And now that the Christmas season is drawing near, we’re doing Christmas dough activities!  Last week it was our Christmas Playdough Cookie shop, and this week we’re making White clay dough ornaments for the kids to take home and hang on their Christmas trees.

white clay ornaments with 2 ingredients plus water

Recipe for White Clay Dough:

This particular white clay dough is really easy to make.  It’s The Imagination Tree’s Recipe for White Clay. It takes only two ingredients: baking soda and cornstarch (known as corn flour in the UK). It’s easy to make, and it dries snow-white, making it perfect for these simple tree ornaments.

  • 1 cup baking soda (bicarbonate Soda)
  • 1/2 cup corn starch (corn flour in the UK)
  • 3/4 cup of warm water

Mix dry ingredients in a cooking pot, and add water.  Stir over medium heat until it starts bubbling and pulling away from the sides of the pot.  It will begin to form a substance similar to playdough, and that’s when you remove it from the heat.

Let it cool a bit, and then remove from the pot, and knead it into a soft, supple ball of dough.

Feel free to add glitter to the kneading stage like The Imagination Tree did.

What to do if your dough is too wet?

If you happen to add a little too much water, as I did (that happens when you’re cooking with 4 kids), simply toss a little extra baking soda on the counter top and knead it into your dough until it feels right.


Tools for making white clay ornaments:

For your convenience, I’ve included affiliate links.  I appreciate your support!

Making your ornaments:

making white clay dough ornaments for the christmas tree


Roll your dough about 1/4 inch thick, and use a cookie cutter to shape your ornament.  A drinking straw is an easy way to make a hole in a dough ornament.

Use a straw to make a hole in a dough ornament


Decorating your ornaments:

Gently press your beads and jewels into your clay.  Deep enough to embed the bead or gem, but not so hard that it goes through the other side.


cutting and decorating white clay dough ornaments

The younger hooligans enjoyed making “worms” and “balls” before getting down to business.  The older girls however, were all about cutting and decorating.

Drying your clay ornaments:

Transfer your ornaments to a cookie sheet and allow them to dry fully before hanging them on your tree.  You can place them in the oven set on low heat for a couple of hours.  We just leave ours sitting by the fire overnight.

clay dough ornaments transferred to dry on a cookie sheet

When they’re completely dry, add your ribbon or cord, and hang on your Christmas tree!

Pretty aren’t they?

2 ingredient white clay dough ornaments

Other ways to decorate your white clay dough ornaments:

The ornaments we made are very basic.  To jazz them up a bit, you could glitter or paint your ornaments, or press them onto a patterned surface for an embossed effect.

Looking for more easy and inexpensive Christmas Crafts?

10 Easy Christmas Crafts for Kids

12 Awesome Christmas Tree Ornaments for Preschoolers

12 Fine Motor Christmas Crafts for Toddlers & Preschoolers



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    • happyhooligans says

      I would think so, Shannon. There isn’t anything in there that would spoil. The ones we made several years ago all got sent home with the hooligans, and I’ve never asked if they’ve lasted, but I really think they would’ve. They’re very solid and clay-like.

    • happyhooligans says

      Probably, Shelly. It feels quite like play dough, but it dries hard, so handprints might work. Over at the Imagination Tree (Follow the link in my post), Anna has a handprint dough ornament. You can check out that recipe too.

  1. Pam Blais says

    Making these tonight with a couple of my little grand kids. I think they would be a great gift for them to give to their parents. Also going to have them make a set for my tree…We may need to get the rest of the grandkids over here soon to make theirs. LOL

  2. says

    At last a recipe that doesn’t need salt! All my salt based play dough or clay stayed clammy due to it drawing moisture from the air. In fact, the ornaments I made never dried and broke after a couple of days:( Going to try this! Thanks!

  3. kellie says

    We made these last night and found the dough super sticky at first and then it dried so fast we were rushing to get the beads in…then when checking them this morning im seeing that theyre all cracking…

    • happyhooligans says

      Sounds like something was wrong, Kellie. Ours was soft and pliable the whole time we we were making our ornaments, and even after drying by the fire, and now 2 days later, ours are not cracking.

    • Kara says

      Our dough did not dry fast, but we left them at my mother’s to dry, returned 5 days later and ours too were cracked, all but 2.

  4. Andrea says

    I tried to use this dough this year for a class project with my preschoolers and when it dried it broke and cracked. We were devastated.

    • happyhooligans says

      Sounds like maybe your dough was too dry, Andrea, or perhaps you rolled your ornaments too thin. I’ve heard a few people say the same, but the majority of people say they love the recipe. Ours are almost a week old now, and they haven’t cracked or broken. We rolled ours quite thick though, so maybe that’s the trick.

    • happyhooligans says

      Right. You definitely want it thick enough that it won’t crack or break easily. I’d say at least 1/4 inch thick.

  5. Vanessa Buller says

    I don’t seem to be able to see anywhere that gives the amount of each ingredient to use. I am guessing equal amounts , would I be correct? Great idea, the salt dough I usually make always ends up stinging the little grazes on my hands that I get from gardening .

    • happyhooligans says

      There’s a link there to the Imagination Tree’s site for the recipe, Vanessa. Just click on that, and it will take you there. :)

  6. says

    Hi! I’m running a preschool Christmas party for kids and their families in December. I’m looking for a few fun activities to do but will not have access to a stove or anything (all table top). Do you think if you seal the clay in a container that it will last overnight or maybe even 2 days? Thanks so much!

    • happyhooligans says

      We haven’t painted any, Diana, but I love acrylic craft paint for any project. It’s vibrant, durable and water/streak proof.

  7. jenn says

    For some reason the link to the recipe does not work for me. Can anyone write out the measurements of ingredients and baking times for me please? Really wanted to try these this afternoon!

    • happyhooligans says

      Oh shoot, The Imagination Tree’s website is down right now, which is why you can’t open the link, Jenn. I’m sorry! I don’t have the recipe written down anywhere – I always refer to that link when I need it. Anna is aware that her site is down, and she’s working on it, so hopefully it will be back up soon. Sorry!

  8. Connie says

    Thanks for the white clay ornament recipe. My 4 year old granddaughter and 6 year old grandson had the most fun making these ornaments. Some of the stone didn’t stay in very well so I added a spot of glue and it worked perfectly. We are putting them on our Christmas trees.

  9. Sharon says

    I tried this last night and this morning I could squeeze them and they flattened like a pancake. I baked them for over an hour. I suspect they still have moisture in them. Should I return them to the oven?

    • happyhooligans says

      It sounds like they definitely still have moisture in them. We leave ours by the fire, and they dry as hard as a rock. I would let them air dry for a couple of days, or return them to the oven and bake longer on your lowest heat setting.

    • happyhooligans says

      Did you just add the glitter to the wet dough, Ali? I would think you would need to glue the glitter on once the ornaments are dry.

      • ali says

        Yes i followed the instructions in the link she said she sprinkled them with glitter so they sparkled…maybe we will try glue and glitter :)

    • happyhooligans says

      I don’t really recall how many ornaments we got out of the batch, Nicole, but what you see in the photos might give you an idea. I wouldn’t make the dough ahead of time, as I think it might dry out quickly. If you must, you could try wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap so it’s air-tight, but I can’t guarantee that will work.

  10. Liz says

    We made these last night. I loved the idea and couldn’t wait to make them and give them as gifts to teachers and grandparents. I spent more than I would have just for beads on these tiny Christmas themed buttons that look so cute… little gingerbread men and mittens and glittery holly, etc. My kids, 6 and 3 helped with every step and were so excited. We made two batches which produced 16 ornaments. I even bought little gift bags and tissue paper for wrapping. Well, we are absolutely devastated that they are horribly cracked all over. The thinner ones and thicker ones alike. I even brushed more water on them as they were drying and starting to crack. I did put them in a 150 degree oven for 5 minutes and then turned the heat off and let them sit in there for an hour, based on what I read in the comments. The ones with fewer beads are still cracked but slightly less so. Maybe I’ll try this again and just use food coloring or glitter as the original recipe suggests. I’ll definitely test it before doing it again with my kids though. We spent all afternoon on these and they’re unuseable.

    • happyhooligans says

      I’m sorry you ornaments didn’t turn out, Liz. I haven’t dried the clay in an oven. I let ours air-dry by the fire. You might try air-drying your next batch, as ours turn out well when we do it that way.

    • happyhooligans says

      There’s a link to The Imagination Tree’s site for the recipe, Kathy. Up near the beginning of the post.

  11. Mel says

    Don’t have any baking soda so am going to try baking powder, it says on the web to times amount by two or three so let’s see how it goes! My little two are home poorly so a nice carm activity is just what we need- love all your posts thanks

  12. Ashely says

    Mine all cracked and have fallen apart and they were so awesome. Im confused about the cooking part do you cook it till the dough is almost formed or do you just let it cook till it is bubbling?

  13. Lisa says

    We rolled ours thick and let air dry. Many also cracked like others were stating but only 2 broke. The kids aren’t home from school yet so they don’t know. I’m going to make the salt ones before they get home and once those dry, cover them with shellac. The end result wasn’t really a bright white like I expected, more of a dull beige after drying.

    • happyhooligans says

      How odd. That’s what I like best about this dough is how bright it is. I’m not sure why yours would be beige when baking soda and cornstarch are so bright. Sorry you weren’t happy with yours, Lisa!

    • happyhooligans says

      I would think you probably could, Ruth. Either that, or sprinkle the shapes with glitter, and gently press into the dough. Let me know if you try that!

    • happyhooligans says

      There’s a link to the recipe in the post, Jennifer. It will take you to The Imagination Tree’s site, where you’ll find her recipe.

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