I have been wanting to make salt dough ornaments with my children for a few years now and we finally had a chance last week.
The ornaments were really easy to make and you can let your imagination run with this as there are so many fun ways to customize your ornament.
We actually made two batches because I made some mistakes with ours so I will share what worked and didn’t so yours (hopefully) turn out perfectly.
To make the salt dough is really simple-
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons Cinnamon (optional)
1/4 cup water
Mix all those together in a bowl and form into a ball. Knead until the dough becomes stiff like cookie dough.
Roll out onto a lightly floured surface until it is the thickness you like. You may need to add a touch more flour if your dough seems too wet. Don’t make these too thin or they might break.
Use cookie cutters to form the shapes you like. You can also add cinnamon to the recipe for a nice smell and a darker color dough or glitter for a little sparkle.
I added cinnamon as an after thought to some of the dough for the Gingerbread and the Reindeer and it did not incorporate as well as it would have if I added it at the onset with the salt and flour.
We used these mini cookie cutters to make stars, trees, stockings, candy canes and then the Gingerbread man you can flip upside down to create a Reindeer head.
Once you have the shapes you like you can take a straw and put it into the dough to create a circle to add twine or ribbon to the ornament. You need to do this before your ornament bakes. Since our ornaments were small, I decided to use a skewer for a smaller hole. That did not work- once the ornaments baked the hole was far too small to thread even the thinnest twine through. The second batch I used a straw and that worked perfectly- just push it cleanly through and remove any little extra pieces of dough that might stick around the hole.
I did try to push my girls’ little fingerprints into this dough and those did not turn out well. I think a handprint or footprint would probably work much better.
Next you want to bake these for roughly 3 hours at a very low temperature- 200 degrees or so. You might feel them at the 2 hour mark and see- they should harden up for you. If they still feel squishy just put them back in for about another hour.
Once you remove the ornaments and let them cool, you can paint them or just leave them as is. They are actually really pretty as is but we of course, felt the need to add glitter to the situation.
On the first batch, we used Martha Stewart Glitter Glue to paint on the ornaments before they went into the oven. The colors are so vibrant and they looked gorgeous in person… sadly when we took them out of the oven the colors completely faded and looked dull. So lesson learned! The second batch we used the same glitter glue AFTER baking and that worked perfectly. You can use regular paint or even glue + fine glitter you have on hand. I do love the Martha Stewart Glitter glue though for the gorgeous colors, sparkly glitter and we didn’t have any issues with glitter flaking off and such. Plus they have pointy tips so you can get very fine dots of color like the little tiny red buttons on the Gingerbread man below.
My 5 year old painted these stars and a few other snowflake designs and such and my 7 year old did the Christmas Tree and stocking by herself and we did the Gingerbread and Reindeer together.
And look how cute these are on the tree:
Or you can tie them on a gift:
We used mini cookie cutters and I would say you should get at least 20 ornaments but you can always double the recipe for larger ornaments or for a larger quantity. Any dough you are not using should be wrapped in saran wrap and placed in the fridge.