The Magic of Salt Dough Ornaments

I’m part of the International Moms Club in my area and we plan various fundraisers, play dates and get-togethers that both moms and kids can enjoy. This holiday season, some of the moms organized and hosted a salt dough ornament making party, a simple and natural way to make ornaments and decorations. The kids rolled out the dough and designed ornaments and other keepsakes, like beautiful and heart-warming hand and foot prints.

Safe for infants and older kids alike! The babies especially liked having their feet pressed into the squishy dough.

This was such an easy way to spend time together and bond. Feel free to make the dough ahead of time with your child; have them help you measure and mix the ingredients. If you want to split up the various dough-making, ornament-cutting, and decorative-painting steps, you can save the dough in an airtight bag or container rolled into about 1 cup-sized balls.

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Salt Dough Ornaments

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

Dough

  1. Combine the flour and salt.
  2. Add the warm water slowly, while stirring with a wooden spoon.
  3. Finish mixing with your hands.
  4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
  5. Cover extra dough in an airtight container when not working it.

Ornaments

  1. Roll out dough with a rolling pin or flatten with your hands to about 1/8″ thick.
  2. Use cookie cutters or a knife to cut shapes.
  3. We used a variety of things to make imprints, like pencils, paper clips, and rubber stamps.
  4. For hanging, I made a hole in some ornaments and also used paper clips inserted into the dough.
  5. Lay them out on wax paper on a cookie sheet for baking.
  6. I’ve read a few variations on baking temperature and time. We recommend a low temperature of 200 for 1 to 3 hours, depending on the thickness. (Bake until firm, but do not brown).

My son enjoyed making little “ghosts” and he just cut away while I attempted to make some gifts for the grandparents!

We baked ours for about 3 hours, turning the ornaments over in the last hour. (Ours were very thick, like the flowers). A few days later, I put them in longer as they were still a little soft on the back. Keep in mind, they will not harden as clay does.

The next step is to decorate with paint and glitter or anything you can think of! We’ll show you our final results soon – hint: creativity is welcome!

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About Becky Nimoy

Becky Nimoy is a Southern California native, residing in the small but lively Los Angeles port town of San Pedro, along with her high school sweetheart and husband, two baby boys (ages 2 years and 2 months), and their 3 cats. When she can manage it (having two boys is rough!), she loves to draw, bake, repaint the rooms and work in the garden. In her spare time she and the boys like to explore the many parks that San Pedro has to offer and hike on the horse trails of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. She is passionate about all things chocolate, eating organic as much as possible and using cloth diapers on her kids. She holds a B.S. in Art History from UCLA and a professional certificate in Interior Design through UCLA Extension. She freelances as an architectural draftsman and stationery designer.

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