These salt dough ornaments are so pretty and they’re SO EASY to make! Follow our 3-ingredient recipe for perfect salt dough that turns out well every single time! You can paint them and decorate with glitter or form them into shapes and leave them unpainted.
Not only do these keepsake ornaments look beautiful on the Christmas tree, but they’re also thoughtful homemade gifts for friends and family! It’s a super fun and easy Christmas craft for kids of all ages!
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How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments
Check Out The Video Tutorial:
Step 1: Find what you need
- Gather your salt dough ingredients and supplies for decorating the ornaments.
Step 2: Make and roll out the salt dough
- Microwave the water until warm (about 45 seconds). Then add the warm water, flour and salt to a mixing bowl. Mix the dough with a spoon until it becomes hard to stir.
- Squeeze the dough with your hands and knead it on a flat surface until you have a nice, soft dough ball.If the dough is too sticky, add more flour 1 teaspoon at a time. If the dough is too dry, add more water 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Sprinkle a bit of flour onto your counter or a cutting board. Add the dough ball on top of the flour and sprinkle a bit more flour on top.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to just under 1/4 inch thick (about 5 mm).
Step 3: Cut out and bake the ornaments
- Press the cookie cutters into the dough.
- Push the end of a drinking straw (or the flat end of a wooden skewer) into each shape to make a hole to hang the ornament.
- Place the ornaments on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 225F for 4 - 6 hours or until dry and hard.Be sure to flip the salt dough ornaments half way through baking to ensure both sides are dry. Larger or thicker ornaments may take longer to dry.
Step 4: Paint and add glitter to the ornament
- Once the ornaments are cool to the touch, paint the ornaments using acrylic paint. We painted the top of our stocking ornament white and the main part red.
- Be sure to paint the sides of the ornaments as well. You can also paint the back if you'd like, but we left the backs of ours unpainted.Allow the paint to dry for 10 - 15 minutes.
- If you want your stocking to have 2 different glitter colours, add Mod Podge to the white section first. Then cover the red paint with parchment paper (or regular paper) and sprinkle white glitter onto the glue. Remove the paper and shake off any extra glitter.
- Brush a thin layer of Mod Podge on the red part of the stocking.
- Cover the white glitter with paper and sprinkle red glitter on the main part of the stocking.
- Again, shake off any extra glitter.
Step 5: Seal the ornament and add ribbon (optional)
- If you don't want glitter to come off of your ornaments you can paint a thin layer of Mod Podge on top of the glitter. It will help keep glitter from getting everywhere! Allow to dry.
- Tie an 8 inch length of ribbon or a piece of twine through the hole in the ornament.
- Your salt dough ornament is complete!
- 1. If you forget to make a hole for hanging the ornament before baking (...not that this has happened to us, of course! haha), you can drill a hole in the baked ornaments.
- 2. When sealing ornaments with two colors (like the stocking), try not to drag the paint brush from one colour to the next as it will cause the glitter to spread. Brush the Mod Podge sealer horizontally and clean the brush in between colours.
How many ornaments does this recipe make?
We were able to make 12 ornaments (around 3 inches in size and 1/4 inch thick) from this recipe. But the amount you get will depend on the cookie cutters used and how big and how thick your ornaments are.
How long do salt dough ornaments last?
Salt dough ornaments will last for years, or even decades, if properly sealed and stored. Store them in a cool, dark place with low humidity.
They should hold up well for a few years if you toss them in with the rest of your ornaments. If you want them to last longer, we suggest wrapping your ornaments in bubble wrap or paper towel to protect them from breaking.
Do you need to seal salt dough ornaments?
Your salt dough ornaments should last for several years without sealing them. If you’re making them for fun with the kids it’s perfectly fine to leave them unsealed.
If the kids are REALLY attached to their ornaments and want them to last for as long as humanly possible (decades…), you can seal the front and back of your salt dough ornaments with Mod Podge or a spray sealer. This also preserves any painted details, and for these shimmering Christmas ornaments it also helps contain the glitter!
What kind of salt do you use for salt dough ornaments?
Regular table salt is the best type of salt to use for making salt dough. It’s inexpensive and the small grains mix well with the flour and water. You can also use kosher salt, but it doesn’t blend in quite as well.
How long does it take for salt dough ornaments to harden?
In the oven the ornaments take about 4 – 6 hours to dry. If you leave the ornaments to air dry they will take anywhere from 3 days to a full week to harden.
Why did my ornament puff up while baking?
We didn’t have any issues with the salt dough puffing up in the oven, but there are several reasons why this might have happened:
- Your oven was too hot. Every oven is different, so try lowering the temperature to 200F.
- You used self-rising flour. Oops! Definitely only use all-purpose flour.
- You didn’t roll the dough thin enough. Air pockets can form in dough that isn’t rolled thin enough.
Making classic salt dough ornaments is such a fun Christmas craft! Use salt dough ornaments as personalized gift tags, or make mini ornaments to string on a homemade garland.
You can even create textures in the salt dough before baking by using toothpicks, forks, or rubber stamps! Don’t forget to add the date to the back of your salt dough decorations!
Here’s even more salt dough craft ideas:
Our book Low-Mess Crafts for Kids is loaded with 72 fun and simple craft ideas for kids! The projects are fun, easy and most importantly low-mess, so the clean up is simple!