Salt Dough Ornaments

Not to dash your hopes or anything, but this is not a food recipe…

But since it is a recipe and you do cook it, I figured it would count.  Just this once.  🙂

Every year we make ornaments for the grandparents each year at Christmas.  Usually I get one of those pre-cut, sticky, put-it-together kits that you can find at a craft store.  This year, I wanted to try something different.

(If you are one of those said grandparents and are reading this, I would request you stop, if you want any sort of surprise on Christmas.)

Now, I’m a crazy obsessed huge fan of Pinterest, and of course, it’s been inundated with ton of fun Christmas crafts and ideas.  I found this idea there and couldn’t wait (well, I kinda did) to use it.

The Recipe:

Salt Dough Ornaments, from

4 cups flour

1 cup salt

1 1/2 cups water

Combine ingredients and knead dough for 15 to 20 minutes.

Roll dough out and cut around hand or cut circles out for making hand imprints. Use cookie cutters for ornaments or gift tags.

Make a small hole for the hanger and prick to prevent air bubbles.

Bake at 300ºF about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. You may have to bake considerably longer depending on how thick your items are. They may not feel hard right away but will harden as they cool.

The Results:

We started off so promisingly.  Both boys were interested in helping (though my youngest was just content to pretend to dump ingredients in the mixer).

Yes, we do like to cook in our PJ's.

I know, I know, my kids are getting a lot of face-time lately. I can't help myself.

It was a bit painful to knead for the 15 to 20 minutes (I was actually hoping it would work in the mixer, but it was too much thick dough), but I did it.  The dough still seemed a little grainy – until I rolled it out.  And then it smoothed out very nicely.  The boys loved playing with the scraps of dough that were leftover, and I liked that I didn’t have worry about my youngest tasting it.

I had to help the kids with their handprints, as we had to press pretty darn hard to get a nice print.

This was our second cookie sheet where I let my oldest go crazy with the cookie cutters.  I figured these would be nice additions to our Christmas tree at home.

Now, some tips I learned:

1.  Be sure to prick, prick, prick the dough as suggested.  If you do not, your masterpieces will puff up considerably, possibly ruining the handprint you worked so hard to make.

2. If you roll your dough out rather thickly, it can take a long, long time to cook.  Mine baked for almost an hour – and still…

3.  You probably even want bake longer than you think – because if you remove them too early and then hope for them to air dry, they still may be soft several days later.

These were the ones that turned out great – where I had pricked significantly.

Now, my original plan had been to let the boys paint these, too.  But as we are currently at Christmas Eve Eve, and they’re still not hard, they may just be white.

Or they can be belated presents.

Either way, I know they will be loved just as they end up.


11 thoughts on “Salt Dough Ornaments

  1. FYI – I learned the hard way that salt dough gets soft and mushy if it is introduced to humidity after being in a dry environment. I had a very cool July 4th door ornament that I stored in my garage when I moved back to Seattle (emphasis on HAD).


  2. Your boys are so cute! Your little one looks like a pro with the mixer! lol I can’t wait to make these, even if they are not ready to be dry by Christmas it will at least give them something to do over break! Have a Merry Christmas Courtney! 🙂


  3. Awww look at those cutie pies.. and don’t feel bad.. I bake in my PJ’s when I get a recipe in my head and I have to make it lol. These Salt Dough Ornaments really looks wonderful. I would like to wish you and your family have an amazing Christmas and a wonderful New year 🙂


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