Holiday Family Tradition: Salt Dough Tutorial

Posted by Thien-Kim Lam in Blog, craft ideas on Fri, Dec 16, 2011

If you’re looking for a new holiday tradition, try making these easy, budget friendly salt dough ornaments. Heat up some apple cider and enjoy some family time as you make ornaments to hand your tree or to give as gifts. Even little ones will enjoy playing with the dough.

First make the salt dough:

Combine 4 cups of all purpose flour, 1 cup of table salt and ¾ cup of warm water.

Once the water is absorbed, knead the dough until it’s smooth and not sticky.

Now that your dough is ready, creating your ornaments is easy. Before you start, give everyone a piece of wax paper or parchment paper for their work surface. It will make clean up easy. Here are two ways you can make them.

  • Cookie cutters: Roll or flatten out a ball of dough  to about ¼” onto the parchment paper. Cut out the desired shape with holiday themed cookie cutters or get creative with your everyday ones. Biscuit cutters can become ball ornaments.


  • Hand shaped ornaments: Treat the dough just like play dough and let your kids roll, flatten, or squish whatever shapes they like. Make sure the dough isn’t more than ¼” thick.

Once you create your ornaments, place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Using a straw, punch out a hole at the top of the ornament, making sure you’re not too close to the edge. This is where you’ll insert your ribbon or string to hang the ornament.

Bake the salt dough ornaments in a 300F degree oven for 45 minutes or until hard. Allow them to cool to room temperature. This is a good time for a snack.

After the ornaments are cool, you can paint them. I use those $1 bottles of acrylic paints that’s available at most craft supply store. Once they are painted, place them on wax or parchment paper to dry. Then slip a piece of ribbon or string through the hole you made earlier and it’s ready to hang on the tree!

For little ones: If you want to do this craft for the little ones or don’t want to deal with paint, you can color the salt dough. To color, put some dough into a zip top bag and add a few drops of food coloring. Close the bag and knead the dough until the color is fully incorporated. Add more if necessary.

I hope this will be come a new family tradition. We’re definitely doing this again next year. Make sure you grab a permanent marker and note the year on the back of the ornament.

About Thien-Kim Lam

Frequently found burning the midnight oil with a mug of coffee, Thien-Kim Lam sneaks in her blogging time after her two young children are in bed. When she’s not blogging or making new friends on Twitter, she’s also a busy running her business as a . Passion Parties rep. Somewhere in between her kids, her husband, and her business she manages to squeeze in some art, some books, and long hot bubble baths. Read more about her Top Chef obsession as well as the fun food and crafts she does with her kids at Cup of Creativi-Tea. Her multicultural parenting musings, tech addiction, and work at home mom tips can be found at I'm Not the Nanny .

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