Sparkly, Beaded Salt Dough Ornaments, Suncatchers, and Garlands!

Beaded Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments and Suncatchers -- Easy to make and SO beautiful!

We’ve been making all kinds of salt dough ornaments lately—beaded ones and lacy ones, stamped ones, and uber-glittered ones.

It’s the salt dough time of year!

These beaded ones are probably our favorite, though. So beautiful hanging in the window with the light streaming through! Or sparkling on the Christmas tree with white lights behind and all around.

Note: See the end of the post for the basic salt dough recipe and instructions.

Making Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments 05

The other day we had Daphne’s friend Emily over and the two of them used a variety of techniques to make salt dough ornaments. They punched holes with straws…

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…poked glass beads in the dough…

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(LOTS of beads!)

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…and they also used stamps and the round end of the straw to transfer ink designs to the salt dough.

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Once we baked the ornaments, we hung the suncatcher-like ones in the window and admired the sunlight shining through the glass beads.

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The ornaments with the tiny glass beads got a coat of Mod Podge, both to add a protective coat to the salt dough and to help hold the tiny beads in place. These little beads stay on the surface of the salt dough and don’t have the same suncatcher effect as the bigger beads, but they are still beautiful!

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We strung them up into a garland and hung them on the wall, mostly just because we we have been SO late in getting our Christmas tree this year (we finally drove out to the Christmas tree farm yesterday despite lots of cold rain!).

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And we strung some beaded snowflakes up into a garland and hung them in the window.

Beaded Salt Dough Snowflake Garland -- Easy to make and so beautiful!

Aren’t they pretty? I just love them!

Basic Salt Dough Recipe & Instructions

  1. Mix 4 cups flour with 1 cup salt. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cold water. If the dough doesn’t come together, add another 1/4 cup of water or so.
  2. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge until ready to use.
  3. Place a fist-size piece of dough on a sheet of parchment paper and cover with a second sheet of parchment paper. Roll out with a rolling pin to an 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick.
  4. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes. With cookie cutters still in place (ideal) or after you take them out, pull away the extra dough from around the shapes, leaving the shapes in place on the parchment paper.
  5. Use the end of a drinking straw to poke a hole at the top of each ornament (for hanging).
  6. Decorate the ornaments (optional) with 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.
  7. 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.
  8. (Optional) Add a coat of Mod Podge or some paint (we like BioColor paint for these) and glitter.
  9. Add a ribbon through the hole and hang in the window or on the tree!

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  • Reply
    December 15, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    We used a diff salt recipe and did various techniques. My fav were stars with glow in the dark pony beads. They really glow. Super cool!

  • Reply
    Mel Brammer
    December 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    oh, some lovely ideas. We have salt-dough ornaments on our advent list this week, and will try some of these techniques.

  • Reply
    December 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Where did you get those snowflake cookie cutters, they are beautiful! Love all the techniques. Going to try to do all of them. Just finished popsicle stick stars, :)

  • Reply
    Wendy Krug
    December 17, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Do I have to worry about the beads heating up in the oven? did you encounter any problems with that? Love these!

  • Reply
    Melle Clark
    December 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    I’ve discovered salt dough can cook in the microwave. 3-5 mins depending on the number of pieces, and no burned spots or splits or air pockets!

  • Reply
    Tiffany Cavegn
    December 22, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I made these tonight with my kids… Christmas gifts for Grandma. I can’t wait to see how they turn out! It was much less stressful than cookies. Maybe because I wasn’t worried about whether they would be edible in the end!
    Thanks for the idea :)

  • Reply
    November 13, 2014 at 10:45 am

    I’m very interested in this craft but I have one question. Do I need to worry about toxic fumes when baking this in the oven for +2 hours? I have a 4 yr old and pets. I don’t want to expose them, or me, to poisonous fumes.

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      November 14, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      No need to worry at all, Elizabeth! The glass beads don’t give off any fumes. If you were using plastic beads, I’d worry, but not with glass.

  • Reply
    December 11, 2014 at 6:39 am

    i tried the salt dough ornaments.i used all-purpose flour.they can out full of air and buffy.AM I USING THE RIGHT KIND OF FLOUR?the kids had fun anyway. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2014 at 6:40 am

    i love this website,it is awsome.

  • Reply
    Lisa Adamo
    December 6, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    Just a warning salt dough ornaments are very toxic to dogs! I made these and had no idea until my dog ingested one. Had I known I would have taken more precaution. Please keep these out of reach from your dogs!

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