Ornamental cookies for Christmas

'Tis the season to be jolly! At this time of the year, it's fun to figure out new gifts to give to those we appreciate. Our family loves giving and receiving cookies, but quite a few of those we cherish don't have the privilege of eating without checking for allergens, such as gluten, nuts, eggs and dairy, not to mention food colorants, to name but a few of the major food groups we process into Christmas cookies. So this year we thought it might be fun to create cookie-shaped ornaments instead! It's the same basic procedure as creating cookies, expect, of course, they can't be eaten...

So we chose our cookie cutters, bought some clay, rolled it, cut it and dried it. Roll. Cut. Dry. Repeat. Until it was ready to be painted. This process took about 2 days in total, with drying time. To shorten drying time, we also tried placing this air-dry clay onto large cookie sheets, covered in parchment paper and baked them in an oven on 200 F for 1-2hrs (or until dry ... if it's raining it takes longer). It worked really well. But if time isn't an issue and your climate is dry, then air-drying the clay cuts out a whole step and is very effective too.

We used black chalkboard paint to 'frost' the top of our snowflakes. One layer seemed to work perfectly, although, depending on the brand, you may need two or more.

I liked the speckled edges... it had an earthenware, homely feel to it.

We made of lot of snowflakes... we love a lot of people... Plus these 'cookies' can be sent by mail!

The snowflakes dried very fast! By the time we'd painted the last one, the first half a dozen were bone dry and ready for the next step.

Chalkboard needs to be seasoned, before it can be used. Although that doesn't mean sugar and spice and all things nice, it means coloring! With chalk. Which is just so immensely satisfying! Seasoning chalkboard merely entails covering the entire painted surface with chalk and then wiping it off again. If this step is missed out then the very first word you ever write on your shape will be imprinted on the surface forever, no matter how often you try to wipe it off. By creating the chalk barrier, your paint will not retain written words, once wiped off.

This is the matte chalkboard surface after seasoning. It looks ready to be used! And erased. And used again.

Our host of lovely painted snowflakes!!!

To be able to hang up our snowflakes, we got out the power tools ... time to drill some holes!

We played around with a few different sized drill bits, but our twine and string needed fairly big holes. To asses the size you'll need, just place your twine or string next to the drill bits and pick one or two sizes up.

The clay was so easy to drill though... although it created quite a mess.

All strung up and ready to be used! Our thoughts were to give a family as many ornaments as are in their family, along with chalk, so everyone can write their own name or messages on their ornament.

Alternatively these cute little message boards could be used as gift tags, table decor, place settings or for love notes to those we adore.

Kids have the best penmanship! To facilitate writing on the snowflakes, it helps to sharpen the tip of the chalk. Just use a large-hole pencil sharpener and, with a gentle hand, sharpen the ends into fine tips for ease of writing and drawing!

Enjoy creating these lovely chalkboard snowflakes! They look unique in a tree or on a gift, especially as they can be re-used year after year.

We wish you a blessed Christmas and a peaceful start to the New Year!

Warmly,

Claire

THREE & ME

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