DIY Salt Dough Ornaments + easy for kids + no bake option

With the holiday season fast approaching you may be looking for  handmade ornament options that are cheap, simple and easy enough that even kids can do this! Well, look no further  than the traditional salt dough ornament. There is so much variation in ornaments once the dough is made, you can use cookie cutters or your hands and simply mould into your desired shape.

Salt dough ornaments last a very long time provided you store them away from moisture of course! They can be made unique with paints, glitter, glue etc and the chances are good you have everything you need in your pantry at home.

I’ve outlined the tools and ingredients you’ll need as well as step by step instructions. For this particular recipe I’ve also outlined a bake or no bake option depending on your time constraints.

Tools

  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing spoon
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheet
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Cookie cutter(s)
  • Skewer for poking a hole in the top of the ornament
  • Twine
  • Optional paints for decorating

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water

Steps to make Salt Dough

  1. Mix together flour and salt in mixing bowl and preheat oven to 225 degrees farenheit or 120 degrees celsius (if baking in the oven to dry).
  2. Add in the water, I typically add 3/4’s of the cup , mix my dough together and then add the rest slowly. You are trying to get that nice “dough” consistency. If it is too dry and not mixing together well add more water slowly. If your dough gets very sticky and runny add in more dlour slowly.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to desired thickness. Too thin and your dough may snap but too thick and they can take a while to dry.
  4. Using cookie cutters, press into the dough to create your desired shapes. Sometimes the top of a glass jar will suffice to make circles. In order to hang your ornaments, you will need to poke a hole in the top. I used a skewer to create a hole in the top of the ornaments. This will allow you to thread twine through so you can hang your ornaments when they are dry.
  5. Once your shapes are cut, lay some parchment paper on your baking sheet, then lay your salt dough ornaments on the tray.
  6. Pop into the oven (if baking to dry) and bake for around 2 hours. The ornaments should be firm to touch when they are done. Leave them on a wire rack to cool.
  7. If opting to air dry leave them on the baking sheet for 1-2 weeks. You will have to turn regularly to ensure both sides get evenly dried.
  8. Once dried (and cooled) you can thread twine through the hole you created in order to hang. You can now paint and decorate your ornaments as you see fit. Acrylic paint does work better but with having tiny humans around to help I prefer the washable tempera paint.

Have fun with your ornaments! There are so many personal twists and touches you can do. I have also taken imprints of my toddler’s hand or baby footprints. You can also adjust the recipe as needed as the general ratio is 2 parts flour:1 part salt so you can increase the recipe appropriately!

Of course salt dough is inedible (just a PSA)! For keeping your saltdough longterm ensure it is kept away from moisture or you will end up with soft, doughy messes. Salt dough is a timeless classic and I hope it brings your family many joys and memories crafting a handmade home together!

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