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DIY Salt Dough Ornaments: A Holiday Craft For All Ages

As the days get shorter, and there starts to be a nip in the air, my family turns to DIY crafts and baking to keep ourselves busy.

The timing really couldn’t be any better, as we are approaching the holidays and gift-giving season! I love exchanging homemade gifts, like a box of cookies or a fun wreath, with teachers and coworkers.

I really enjoy making salt dough ornaments, because they are simple and there are dozens of variations. The dough itself only requires three ingredients that I always have on-hand; salt, water and flour.

If you want to try making salt dough ornaments, here are the items you’ll want to start with:

DIY salt dough ingredients

To make the dough you will use equal parts warm water and salt, along with a two-fold measure of flour. The amounts I used were:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

(This recipe can be altered as long as proportions remain constant.)

Mix the salt and water in a bowl, then stir in the flour. Once the dough is pretty evenly combined, I turn the bowl out on a piece of parchment paper to knead the dough and roll it out with a rolling pin. I’ve found that a 1/4 inch thickness bakes evenly and holds up well during drying and storage.

salt dough helpers collage

The kids had fun using cookie cutters to make their shapes.

My nephew was visiting on the day we made our salt dough ornaments and wanted to make a handprint, similar to what my son has made in the past. We put the ornaments on a cookie sheet and baked them at 250 degrees F. for 3 hours. Don’t forget to make a hole in each ornament before baking so that you can hang the ornaments with fun ribbon. I used a wooden dowel to make my holes.

salt dough ornaments before baking.

Salt dough ornaments can be personalized into some very fun, kid-friendly designs, but also some very beautiful designs for adults or teens.

While searching for ornament ideas, I came across the lovely idea of imprinting the dough with pine needles to create a more natural looking ornament. You could use a lot of items from your own yard, from pine needles to berries and leaves. 

If you’re playing around with extra salt dough, or want an idea other than an ornament, you could make these adorable stamped gift tags. I love adding little details like this on wrapped presents.

Whatever you choose to make, you can add color with acrylic paints and/or glitter and some festive ribbons. To ensure that your creation holds up for years to come, add a layer of oil-based polyurethane to each side and the edges of the ornament.

This is a final product from a couple of years ago when I wanted to capture my youngest son’s first Christmas. We gave an ornament to each of his grandparents; but this year, we may try one of the ideas above.

salt dough ornaments santa hand foot print

Happy Holiday Crafting!

What holiday crafts do you and your family enjoy?

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