We finished reading On the Banks of Plum Creek earlier this fall. It’s one of my favorites in the “Little House” series, and certainly has my favorite Christmas stories of any of the books. There are three Christmas chapters — early on in the book, Mary and Laura agree to give up their Christmas presents so that Pa can get the horses he needs for farming. The next year, the little town church holds a Christmas party, where Laura gets a little fur cape and muff that is way nicer than Nellie Oleson’s and Nellie is totally jealous but don’t feel bad for her — she deserves it, man. And at the end of the book, Pa gets trapped in a snowstorm coming back from town, holes up in a snow cave, and eventually makes his way home on Christmas Eve. He’s eaten all the candy he brought the girls for Christmas but no one minds because he’s home and alive.
And now comes the part where you learn that I’m morally bankrupt because secretly? The Nellie Oleson story is my favorite. I know! More than Pa arriving home alive to his children! It’s horrible but there it is. The extent of my depravity.
So when I signed up to participate in the 10 Days of a Kid-Made Christmas, we made homemade Christmas ornaments that looked like the ribbon candy Laura and Mary might have had (in the years where Pa didn’t eat it all).
We used Sculpey clay, which was great to work with. I will warn you, though — the color will rub off on things and if you’re going to let young kids help you, keep a close eye on them so they don’t try to eat it or take some over and play with it on your couch or anything. It’s actually recommended for kids 8 and up. I let the littler kids help but I was right there with them.
We began by rolling the dough between our hands until it formed a long string like a worm. We did red, white, and red again but you could do any combination of colors. Most ribbon candy I’ve seen is red or green for Christmas. Once the clay was rolled out, we lightly pinched each color together, then rolled it out into one flat rectangle.
We trimmed the ends straight with a pair of scissors, then rolled the rectangle back and forth to create waves.
We baked according to package instructions (275° for 15 min). Then we glued a small loop of ribbon to the top as a hanger and we were done!
If you enjoy making ornaments with your kids and want to make others inspired by children’s books, check out the rest of the bloggers in the series here. There are some great ones from books you’ll recognize and love!
Be sure to check out our other kid-made Christmas decorations as well:
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