Salt Dough Ornaments

We made salt dough ornaments this past week. I had been planning on it for some time, but kept waiting for the ideal moment when at least one of the little bitties was napping. That moment never came so I gave up and we just did them in the chaos! Let me assure you, lest you are picturing some beautiful, calm moment, it was craziness. The painting went a little better, but it’s pretty much all chaos on some level these days. Recipes for salt dough are all over Pinterest, but here’s the one we followed:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup water

You just mix it all together, knead it, roll it out, cut out some shapes, try to keep the 1 year old from destroying them, let them air dry or bake at a low temp, Ta-Da!

I actually baked our’s for maybe 20 minutes at 250 and then let them finish air drying. I didn’t want to risk burning them, but keep in mind that the size and especially thickness of your ornaments have a big impact on how quickly they will dry.

My parents have several salt-dough ornaments from my childhood still hanging on their tree. One, a little bell, has a tiny bite taken out of the bottom 🙂 It looked like a cookie. It did not TASTE like a cookie! It’s kind of cute though, to have my little teeth marks preserved. 

For this project I bought some metallic paint to take things up a notch, but also keep it simple. I set Jude up with a cup of paint and a brush and there ya go. I love how they turned out.  A little baker’s twine for hanging and done.


I wanted to let Silas in on the fun, but it needed to be a little more washable than the acrylic paint so I set him up with watercolors. Initially, I just wet the red paint to avoid a big muddy, brown/gray mess, but he started requesting other colors so there’s some green and blue going on too. He lost interest pretty fast, but I think his ornaments turned out great.


And my contribution was to smush the kids’ hands into some of the dough and then paint it.


Here’s the paint we used. (from Hobby Lobby)


If you’re looking for a fun Christmas craft this weekend try out some salt dough ornaments.  After making these I found a recipe that uses cornstarch and baking soda. Supposedly it gets a smoother result and given the texture of cornstarch I think it’s likely. I’ll probably try that next time. There’s also a cinnamon recipe out there that is supposed to smell good and creates a dark brown ornament.