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11 Salt Dough Ornaments Kids Can Make This Christmas

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Lacy Hole Punched Star Garland

Updated December 2020

A favorite holiday tradition in our family (one that we’ve done many years in a row) is to make salt dough ornaments at Christmas.

There are so many ways to make these and my girls and I have tried a number of versions such as lacy ornaments, a melted crayon version, beaded handmade ornaments and stamped salt dough ornaments.

Beaded Ornaments hanging on Christmas tree

The holidays are a wonderful time to draw close together as a family to celebrate traditions and connect through creativity.

I wanted to share my new and improved salt dough roundup packed with ideas to hopefully inspire you and your family this Christmas. And don’t miss my salt dough recipe at the end––this is the one I settled on after testing out a few and is my favorite.

Enjoy!

11 Salt Dough Ornaments for Kids

Hole punched salt dough ornaments with beads

1. Lacy Salt Dough Ornaments

Here are two fun and easy salt dough ornament ideas. Use a straw to punch holes and create a lacy appearance in the dough. Or press in beads for a stained glass effect.

Paint ornaments with melted crayons

2. Melted Crayon Painted Ornaments

Combine two favorite craft techniques by painting with crayons on warm ornaments fresh out of the oven. This creates a bright, vibrant painted design that’s so fun for kids!

Beaded salt dough heart ornament

3. Beaded Suncatcher Ornaments

Add beads of different shapes and sizes for a jeweled effect! These look beautiful on a Christmas tree or hung in the window as suncatchers.

Stamped Salt Dough Ornaments

4. Stamped Salt Dough Ornaments

This is a fun one! Gather some stamps and press the designs into the dough (with or without ink). Kids love this fun spin on the traditional ornament making!

Holiday Spice Salt Dough Stars_CreationSpace

5. Handmade Holiday Spice Garland from Creation Space

Ali invited her girls to scoop in spices that smell just like Christmas and mix into their salt dough. They created a beautiful Christmas garland with the ornaments they made together.

suncatchers on baking sheet

6. Melted Bead Suncatcher Ornaments from Homegrown Friends

This ornament is a colorful mixture of salt dough meets suncatcher! A fun version for older kids to try.

Christmas Star Garland

7. Christmas Scented Salt Dough Ornaments from Rocky Hedge Farm

Cut out a bunch of stars, or hearts or trees with cookie cutters. There’s a beautiful simplicity in stringing together a handmade garland of the same shaped ornaments.

Rainbow Glitter Dough from Imagination Tree

8. Rainbow Glitter Salt Dough from The Imagination Tree

This rainbow dough creates a beautiful marbled looked when rolled out that will brighten up any Christmas tree.

DIY Handprint Ornament

9. DIY Handprint Ornament from You’re So Martha

This is such an easy way to create a personalized keepsake of your kids––or gift for family members.

Handmade Woodgrain Christmas ornament

10. Handmade Woodgrain Tree Ornaments from Sparkle Living

Press wood into salt dough to transfer the texture of the grain with this gorgeous tree ornament.

Glittery Painted Handmade Ornaments_The Best Ideas For Kids

11. Sparkly Painted Handmade Ornaments from The Best Ideas For Kids

After making ornaments, try this method of painting and adding glitter in the same color to create these gorgeous sparkly ornaments!

My Favorite Salt Dough Recipe

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Cookie Cutters and Salt Dough

My Favorite Salt Dough Recipe

  • Author: Jean Van’t Hul
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Category: crafts
  • Cuisine: n/a

Description

We’ve tried so many salt dough crafts and made lots of variations of salt dough ornaments over the years. Here’s my favorite salt dough recipe with instructions to get you started.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water (+ extra  1/4 cup of water if needed)

Instructions

  1. Mix flour with salt then stir in water. If the dough doesn’t come together, add another 1/4 cup of water or so. 
  2. Turn out the salt dough onto a countertop and work together with your hands until evenly mixed. 
  3. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge until ready to use.
  4. Place a fist-size piece of dough on a sheet of parchment paper and cover with a second sheet of parchment paper. Roll dough out with a rolling pin to an 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Use cookie cutters to cut out the desired shapes. Pull away the extra dough from around the shapes with the cookie cutters still in place.
  6. Use the end of a drinking straw, a skewer, or a chopstick to poke a hole at the top of each ornament for hanging.
  7. If you plan to decorate the ornaments, do that step now. I recommend: a.) stamps and a stamp pad, b.) poking a pattern of holes in the dough with the end of a straw, c.) poking glass beads into the dough.
  8. Gently move the sheet of parchment paper with salt dough ornaments onto a cookie sheet at bake in a 275F oven for 2-3 hours or until the salt dough is hard, but not browned. Let cool.
  9. (Optional) Add a coat of Mod Podge or some paint (we like BioColor paint for these) and glitter.
  10. Add a ribbon through the hole and hang in the window or on the tree!

Keywords: salt dough ornaments, salt dough crafts

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11 Salt Dough Ornaments Kids Can Make This Christmas

15 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Cathy @ NurtureStore
    November 4, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Lovely collection! Thanks for including my little JOY.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      November 4, 2014 at 9:43 am

      Thanks, Cathy! And you’re so welcome! Love that little JOY! :)

  • Avatar
    Reply
    MaryAnn F. Kohl, art book author and educator
    November 4, 2014 at 11:52 am

    I’m getting excited about Christmas…thanks to you!! :) May I include ONE of your ornaments in my December ArtsyKidsNEWS with credit to you and a link to your blog? I’m thinking of “beaded salt dough ornaments”.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      November 4, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      Absolutely, MaryAnn! Btw, when is your new book coming out? Can’t wait to see what you and Barbara have come up with!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Katie Harding
    November 6, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Love these, my boys will too, this is so perfect for a cold winter afternoon craft! These make sentimental gifts for grandparents too!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Meredith @ Homegrown Friends
    November 6, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Jean, what a lovely surprise to be included in your round up! Your site is such a source of inspiration to me. Thank you! You made my day brighter! Pinning and will share this week!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Karin/Pysselbolaget
    November 11, 2014 at 1:29 am

    I’m totally inspired and surprised! I haven’t made salt dough since kindergarten and it didn’t look at all this good. Will have to try this with Freja soon. I’m certain she will love it!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Nicole
    November 13, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    How many ornaments will this recipe typically make?

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Wendy
      November 26, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      roughly 15, depending on the size of your ornaments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Jo Ellis
    November 16, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    What are the best beads to use for saltdough decorations? Do they have to be glass or can they be plastic like hama beads please? Thanks in advance : )

    • Avatar
      Reply
      katie
      November 29, 2014 at 10:17 am

      We used the plastic pony beads last year and they didn’t melt when we baked them in our ornaments.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    katie
    November 29, 2014 at 10:16 am

    We decorated our tree Thanksgiving evening but the problem I had was most of our salt dough ornaments from last year were stuck to the tissue paper that sandwiched all of our ornaments in their box… We made your basic salt dough recipe ( some with pony beads and the rest painted) all coated with mod podge. So…. How does everyone store theirs over time so they don’t all end up in the trash ( luckily we had a whole batch so the ones we had to toss weren’t as sentimental)???????

  • Avatar
    Reply
    jaymee
    February 2, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    We just made the melted crayon ones for Valentine’s! Thank you for the great ideas!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Diana
    May 10, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Salt dough Cat https://diy-100ideas.com/salt-dough-cat/

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Teresa S Clegg
    December 4, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Made these with my son when he was 3 or 4 still have a few. He also remembers making them and trying to eat one. LOL He is now 22. He has his own home now and starting his own Christmas traditions I’m going to invite him and his girlfriend over and make new salt dough ornaments with them for them and myself this year. Make new memories and share some nice old ones too. At least this time he’ll know not to try and eat them. LOL thanks for your new ideas.

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