Salt Dough Ornaments: Part 1

Raise your hand if you’ve made or plan to make salt dough ornaments this season! Yep, I see a lot of you out there. It seems we’re not the only ones, but in case you haven’t committed to this yet, I have one piece of advice for you: Give yourself some time!

I used this recipe on ParentDish by Anna Ranson, who blogs at The Imagination Tree. You’ll need 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of salt, and up to 1 cup of water. I mixed the dry ingredients and then added a full cup of water. Gulp. Did you catch that bit about adding up to 1 cup of water? The dough was sooo sticky, so I kept adding equal amounts of salt and flour until the dough held together without sticking to my hands. Okay, back on track…

My 3 year old and I both rolled out some dough and got busy cutting shapes with our favorite cookie cutters. I also gave her a small bowl of flour (you can barely see it at the top of this photo) for her to flour her workspace at will. She loved that, and I can’t believe I haven’t thought of that before. Her ornaments are less than perfect, but she proudly made them herself. Awwwww.

We followed Anna’s suggestion of using a straw to add a hole in each shape that we could later hang a ribbon through. Of course N saw no good reason to stop at one hole per ornament. And why should she?

The next step is to bake them at 100 C for 2-3 hours. OMG — just caught that it was Celsius, and here I was cursing my oven for not going below 170 Fahrenheit. Haha! Now I know why it took, literally, all day to bake these. Okay, so I could have just put my oven at 212 degrees and it wouldn’t have taken forever.

After they were dry, N sorted all the ornaments into hearts, trees, snowflakes, and gingerbread men…and then, of course, her little sister stepped in to mix them all up.

Ready for painting. Click over here for the next step: Salt Dough Ornaments: Part 2.

What kind of ornaments are you making?


  1. Lucy says

    I think her ornaments are perfect.  Anyone would be lucky to get one.  It looks like everyone had a great time, which is perfection to me.

    • Anonymous says

      Isn’t that funny? Must have something to do with multi-tasking (poorly) and not giving everything I do my undivided attention.

  2. Karkrazykeithswife says

    we used this recipe, but instead of ornaments, we cut strips, similar to thick noodles. Then we overlapped them, or you could weave…which is difficult for little children….into glass casserole dishes. After baking & cooling our salt dough popped out to make our own woven bowls.  Then we painted & gave out as presents for Christmas.  The loaf pan is a great size for letters…outgoing mail.

  3. Anna Ranson says

    Ah thanks for the mention! Very amused about the temperature but you probably did those ornaments a favour anyway by giving them ample time to dry out! It’s when people overheat it that they bubble and go all wrong! Looking forward to seeing the finished results….metallic acrylics all the way! :-)

    • Anonymous says

      You know something, Anna, I think I did do them a favor! I couldn’t find the metallic paint, so it was glitter all the way this time.

  4. Joy Arcolano says

    Totally takes me back to the applesauce, cinnamon and GLUE ornaments I made with my mom when I was about 10.  They smelled amazing and lasted about 15 years (with the smell!).  I really want to try this out with M.  I LOVE that you gave them as presents to playmates!

  5. susiebwise says

    Hey – I was gonna do salt dough candy canes in H’s class this Friday. Any thoughts? I was thinking we’d make the dough, color some red and leave some plain so we’d have white and red, then the kiddos would role one piece of each and then twist together. Yes, no, maybe so?

    • Rachelle says

      I haven’t tried it, but it sounds like a good idea, Susie. Do you have the bandwidth to test it ahead of time? The only thought against it is that it doesn’t give the kids a lot of creative freedom, and there’s a chance that they’ll finish the activity in a matter of minutes. 

  6. Bee Clean says

    I am wanting to make some thing for the church tree any small ideals … I want to put the children’s names on them .

  7. says

    Okay, my FAVORITE thing about this post is how you caught the Celsius after you typed it up! That is exactly what I would do. It makes me want to invite you over for any activity at all because I think you’d laugh at my mistakes alongside me.

    First visit to the blog and after reading this, I’ll be back. Thanks for the tutorial. My 2 year old and I will be trying this next week.

    • rachelle says

      Hi Jennifer!

      Isn’t that crazy? How could I have missed that? And I even know that Anna (who wrote the original recipe) lives in the UK. I’ll blame it on the distractions of my then 1-year old. Welcome to my blog-world. I’m all about experimentation, iteration, playfulness, and trial-and-error, and this clearly falls into that category!

      Good luck (and mark that oven for 200+ degrees!)


  8. Betty Seu says

    Last Christmas my best friend gave me a really nice wooden Christmas ornament. It had my name and a picture of us engraved on it, she got one too! It was super cool and I found out that this company out in Colorado called Unique Custom Products made it. I will definitely be ordering from them this year …check out their website if like wooden items @