Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Salt Dough Holiday Ornaments

With a husband in the military, we aren't always able to spend our holidays together with the rest of the family. My family lives in Germany (a 12hour non stop flight away and a long and exhausting trip to and from airports) and his in Oregon (a 16-18hour drive away). 

This year we made the decision to stay at home because, to be honest, as much as I love seeing family, a flight to Germany for the whole family is just not in the budget and just the thought about keeping a high energy kindergartner and crazy toddler busy in the car for such a long drive had my stomach in a twist. So, staying in the wonderful Mojave desert it is (sarcasm).
However, I don't want our families to miss out on how the little ones have grown and we want to send them a “piece” of us. Here I was, thinking and coming up with giant ideas about picture collages, etc but then the simplest idea came to my mind: Salt Dough Ornaments!

I remember when I was little we did this in kindergarten as a gift for our parents and grandparents for the holidays – I know my grandma still hangs the hand print of 4 year old me on her holiday tree every year!

So I spent an entire afternoon Skyping with my grandma until she remembered her salt dough recipe

The Recipe:
2      cups   flour
1/2  cup     salt 
3/4   cup     warm water

Bake at 300F for 30min.
I was very positive surprised by how cheap the ingredients were! At my local Commissary, I payed $1.89 for a 5lbs bag of flour, $0.90 for 1lb 10 oz of salt which makes a batch of Salt Dough approximately $0.44!!

Salt Dough Ornaments

Here is what you will need:
  • flour
  • salt
  • warm water
  • food coloring (optional)
You will also need the following items:
  • a mixer (optional)
  • a knife
  • cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  • a wooden spoon, pencil or small round cake decorating tip
  • a roll pin
  • paint (you can use water colors, markers, acrylic paint, finger paint, nail polish, etc.)
  • paint brushes
  • cookie cutter (optional)
Step 1:
Preheat your oven to 300F.
Get your dry ingredients together and mix them up good.

Step 2:
Add your water and food coloring if you want your dough to have a certain color, then mix it all well, if your dough is too dry then add another 2tbsp of water!

Step 3:
Kneed the dough by hand for a little bit to make sure it's really all well combined, then roll it out approximate 1/4 inch thick on a slightly floured surface.

Step 4:
Make hand and/or foot prints or just simply use a cookie cutter to make a shape.

Step 5:
Making the holes: I came up with two ways to do that.

The first one would be to use the end of a wooden spoon or the tip of a pencil to poke a hole or the second way (I prefer that one) is to use a cake decorating tip and poke a hole in it.

Step 6:
Put them on the cookie sheet and bake them for 30min (they should be dry and harder but not brown or burned).

Step 7:
Let them cool completely and then get creative :)  

Step 8:
Paint them, write on them, let the kids get messy, whatever you want! 

My kids and I had so much fun making these that I am sure we are going to make this a new holiday tradition now; and the big plus for all the parents out there: I kept them busy for an entire afternoon and everything they didn't paint I painted once they were asleep.

Happy Holidays everyone! 


  1. We did these yesterday in our Play group! Always a fun time!

  2. I remember when we used to have tons of salt dough ornaments on our tree at Christmas. They don't do so well in Florida and even our very old ornaments got mushy. Thanks for sharing your craft at the Over the Moon Link Party.

  3. What a cute idea to do with my siblings! I'll have to remember to acquire these ingredients and complete this project with them.

  4. Love our ornament hanging on the girl is so proud :)

  5. You are so brave. I have only done these at other people's house. They are adorable. I might need to muster up the courage to do some myself with the kids. Thank you for sharing at the Faith Filled Parenting LinkUp.

  6. These do look like a lot of fun to make and paint. Very cool.

  7. So cute! I'm pinning this, so I can make these with my kiddos next year! Thanks for sharing at the Submarine Sunday Link Party!!

  8. So cute! I'm pinning this, so I can make these with my kiddos next year! Thanks for sharing at the Submarine Sunday Link Party!!

  9. These are adorable. I'm pinning these so I can make them with my grandchildren for the tree next year. Thanks for sharing on Sunday's Best linkup.

  10. Thank you all for the amazing feedback, the many, many shares and pins!

    My kids and I had a great time making these and sent a ton to families and friends for the Holidays.

  11. What a wonderful project & will be enjoyed for years

    Thanks for sharing at Funtastic Friday!