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  • Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
  • Handmade Dough Ornament : 2009


    Each year since 2001, when our youngest was born, I’ve handmade these beautiful photo dough ornaments from scratch. Last year, I shared my entire process for those who are interested in the dough recipe and the supplies and materials I use to create these sweet homemade memories. You can find those instructions here.

    This years ornament was quite fun. First – I chose a whimsical shower curtain from WalMart to use as our photo backdrop and chose complimentary acrylic paints to decorate the ornaments. Next up – the photo shoot! I selected clothing for the girls to compliment the backdrop, and we had a fun little photo shoot in my studio! From there, I mixed up the dough and baked the ornaments. I printed out photos and sized them on my monitor to fit into my little heart shaped window, and then got to work on decorating the dough ornaments!

    I followed the whimsical pattern on the backdrop and painted the whole heart a cool shade of pewter. I painted the edges and inside of the heart opening with silver glitter – that concealed the rough edges of the dough ornaments. Then I painted a random pattern of circles and bubbles in a pretty teal, and once that was dry I outlined a few of them with a lime metallic sharpie. I used a glue gun and attached a few sparkly gems, dated with a navy sharpie, and then sealed them with mod podge. I traced each ornament onto sticky back felt, punched holes in the felt for the wire – lined up the photo on the back, applied the felt to hold the photo and give the back of the ornament a soft, finished look – and wired them up with floral wire!

    It is definitely a day long task, just decorating and assembling – but in the end, it is completely worth it. Just in the past 8 years, we have all come to cherish these ornaments and I know that in the years to come, they will take on an even deeper meaning for us as the girls grow older and leave the nest. Some day, they’ll be fighting over who gets them! Perhaps we should draw up a joint custody agreement in preparation for that event. hehe!

    I have to share our previous years, so you can see the progression. It’s fun to look around the tree for each year and not only see how the girls have grown – but see how much more elaborate the ornaments get from year to year.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, I wish each of you a blessed day!!

    dough ornaments how to recipe by Leanne Wildermuth


    Sue Harvey said,

    Wow, those are really cute… maybe I will try some of those next year!

    12.24.2009 @ 1:00 pm
    Pam said,

    What a great tradition!!

    Hope you all have a happy and blessed Christmas, Leanne! :hug:

    12.24.2009 @ 2:46 pm
    Karen M. said,


    Your girls are simply gorgeous. What a wonderful treasure these ornaments (and memories of making them) will be for both of them. I hope you all had a fabulous holiday. Here’s to new year filled with love, peace, great friendships, laughs and fun.

    12.27.2009 @ 2:33 pm
    Da Goddess said,

    I love the ornaments. I wish I’d started a similar tradition.

    12.28.2009 @ 4:06 am
    Leanne said,

    Karen – thank you so much! I am so glad to see you, I’ve been thinking about you and hoping you’re doing well. I can’t wait to see what 2010 brings!

    12.29.2009 @ 7:03 am
    Leanne said,

    DaGoddess – it is never to late to start a new tradition. :) :friends:

    12.29.2009 @ 7:04 am
    Da Goddess said,

    True, true. I just don’t know if they’d appreciate it at this stage. Only one way to find out though!

    12.29.2009 @ 10:04 pm

    […] little differently – printing them on metallic paper backed with matboard instead of my usual dough ornament. I designed this years ornament completely in Photoshop. (Talk about […]

    12.29.2010 @ 7:20 am

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