I made some ornaments a couple week ago and it's pretty simple, so I'd like to share a tutorial with you! If you've ever made sugar skulls, the concept is pretty much the same. I chose to make my ornaments with salt because I live near the Great Salt Lake and I wanted to see if it worked. You can also use sugar, which smells better and may be a little cheaper in bulk. There's not a lot of difference between the way salt and sugar work for this, except that I did find that salt will sometimes turn a little yellow in spots while the sugar tends to stay white.
Step 1. Mix together 1 cup sugar (or salt) with 1 teaspoon meringue powder. Meringue powder is the key ingredient to make this work, you can find it in cake decorating stores pretty easily. Add 3 teaspoons water and mix it together. It should now be at a consistency where the sugar will stick together and hold shape a little.
Step 2. Scoop the sugar mixture into your choice of candy or chocolate mold and then scrape the excess off with the backside of a butter knife.
Step 3. Cover the mold with a cut to size piece of cardboard.
Step 4. Flip the mold over, holding the cardboard in place and then slowly remove the mold.
Step 5. You should now have your sugar shape on the cardboard. If the sugar sticks in the mold, add more sugar to the mixture to dry it out. If your sugar falls apart and won't hold the shape, add more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Make as many shapes as you want, keeping in mind that each 3D ornament needs a front and a back. tFor making repeated molds, it can help to wipe out the mold after every few shapes. Let the mold dry for at least 3 hours, more if it is larger. If you are using a very large mold, you will need to let it dry for a few hours, until it is hard to the touch, then turn it over and scoop out the inner sugar, leaving a 1/4 inch wall around all edges. This is necessary for heavy ornaments as they won't stay together it they are too heavy.
Step 6. Cut your ornament hanging strings to about 5 or 6 inch lengths. Mix up some royal icing using half a bag of powdered sugar, 1/4 cup meringue powder and 1/3 cup water. Mix together with an electric mixer for several minutes, until it starts to hold a peak. Scoop a few spoonsfuls into a cake decorating bag with a very small tip. Squeeze frosting around the top edge of one side of your mold, add the string at the top of the ornament, in the frosting, and then put the other half of the mold on top of the icing. Smooth out any excess frosting on the joined edges with your fingers.
Now let it dry for an hour or so, or until it can be held by the string and not fall apart. The smaller the ornament, the less drying time it requires. Decorate as you please with frosting. Try adding paste food coloring for more decorating options. I also tried a few adding glitter to the original sugar mixture and this worked out nicely. I did some of the sugar mixture in color by adding the paste food coloring to the teaspoons of water before putting it in the mix. Adding coloring to the sugar seemed to make it a bit weaker, but it colors it nicely
Blue glitter heart ornament and paste food coloring heart ornament halves