Salt Dough Ornaments (Salt Dough Ornament Recipe)

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  • Make Salt Dough Ornaments to decorate your tree and gifts this holiday season. This easy Salt Dough Ornament Recipe is tried and true! I’ve been making it annually for the past 30 years – a holiday tradition I hope you enjoy, too! (Originally published December 2013)

    salt dough ornament

    One of favorite activities to do this time of year is to make Salt Dough Ornaments. We include it in our advent calendar.

    salt dough ornament on tree

    Growing up, I remember making salt dough ornaments with my best friend Liz. They’re so easy to make that her mom left us in their second kitchen unattended to finish mixing them and cut them out. Before you knew it, we grew tired of cutting ornaments and began cooking pizza.

    salt dough ornaments

    We added an egg to the dough to make “pizza crust”, and searched the refrigerator for ingredients. Ketchup seemed like a great idea for pizza sauce and parmesan would make a great substitute for traditional cheese. Of course we had to have someone taste test it – fortunately, her little sister Maria was there. While it wasn’t edible, it’s one of my favorite childhood memories. Fortunately I’ve grown as a cook.

    salt dough ornament

    We continued to make them each year and making Salt Dough Ornaments has become one of our favorite holiday traditions!

    salt dough ornament

    Today I’m sharing my classic Salt Dough Ornaments Recipe. They’re quick to make and fun for all ages. You can do as little or as much as you want with them. While I often keep them classic, you can dye the dough with food coloring to make Color Salt Dough Ornaments, add glitter, paint them, stamp them, and more! Use your imagination to create a one-of-a-kind ornament perfect for your tree or gift-giving.

    What is in Salt Dough Ornaments?

    This salt dough recipe uses only a few staple ingredients, making it a great last minute project or gift idea. They’re made with just flour, salt and water!

    How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments

    You can see just how easy it is to make Salt Dough Ornaments by watching the video in this post, reading the printable recipe or following along with the step by step instructions below! I keep this activity limited to a half hour from start to finish. The girls help make the dough, roll it out, and cut it!

    Combine ingredients. If it’s dry, you can add additional water.

    salt dough

    Knead the dough. If you have a KitchenAid Mixer, you can use the dough hook to do the work for you! Otherwise, you can knead the dough with your hands…a perfect job for little hands. The more you knead the dough, the smoother it will be and therefore the smoother your ornaments will be.

    salt dough ornament recipe

    Roll out the salt dough on parchment paper for easy cleanup. Using cookie cutters, cut your shapes. You can remove them and place them on a cookie sheet or peel the excess dough around them and transfer your parchment paper to your baking sheet.

    salt dough ornament with fingerprint

    Optional: Press a finger or hand into your salt dough ornament for a beautiful keepsake or gift.

    salt dough ornament

    Using a straw, make a hole for ornament hooks or ribbons. It’s the perfect job for children of all ages.

    Bake your salt dough ornaments until moisture has been eliminated.

    How Long Does it Take for Salt Dough Ornaments to Dry?

    Dry time depends on the size and thickness of your ornaments. They can take several minutes to several hours. Baking them helps speed up the process, removing the moisture from the ornaments.

    salt dough ornament

    No Bake Salt Dough Ornaments

    In fact, you don’t have to bake them if you have patience! You can simply set them out to allow them to dry until they harden. Just place in a warm, dry place 3-7 days!

    salt dough ornament

    Can you Make Salt Dough in Advance?

    Salt Dough lasts up to a week when sealed in an airtight container (ziplock bags work well) and refrigerated. You can make the salt dough and just have kids or grandkids help with cutting shapes and holes.

    salt dough recipe

    This Salt Dough Ornament recipe yields a lot of ornaments – the number will vary based on the cookie cutters you use.

    Salt Dough Ornaments Make Great Gifts

    Make an ornament with a fingerprint or larger ornament with a baby’s hand as a beautiful keepsake for grandma and grandpa! Salt Dough Ornaments also make beautiful gift tags. You can even make dog paw print ornaments!

    How Long Do Salt Dough Ornaments Keep?

    Believe it or not, 30+ years! I have childhood Salt Dough ornaments that are still in incredible shape!

    How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments Shiny:

    I prefer mine matte, but if you want them to appear glossy or to add a photograph, use ModPodge! You can also seal them with polyurethane spray for a glossy look without a lot of effort.

    You can find this red and white twine here.

    I hope you enjoy this Salt Dough Ornament recipe as much as we do! Please leave a 5 star rating in the comments below!

    salt dough ornament
    5 from 3 votes
    Print

    Salt Dough Ornaments

    Make Salt Dough Ornaments to decorate your tree and gifts this holiday season. This easy Salt Dough Ornament Recipe is tried and true!
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 35 minutes
    Servings 48

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
    2. Mix flour & salt together.
    3. Add water and mix well.
    4. If your mixture is still a little dry, add a little additional water until barely moist.
    5. Knead until smooth.
    6. Roll out dough to desired thickness.
    7. Cut with cookie cutters.
    8. Punch a hole to hang/tie with.
    9. Bake 20 minutes on a cookie sheet {preferably lined with parchment paper}.
    10. Flip over and bake 10 additional minutes.

    Recipe Notes

    Baking time will vary based on your cookie cutter size. For smaller, more delicate ornaments, reduce baking time. For large ornaments, increase baking time.

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