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How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments

2013 December 4

Do you remember making salt dough ornaments in grade school? I think I still have one of those childhood ornaments packed away in the bottom of my Christmas decorations…probably a bit crumbly by now! This year I decided to make mini star salt dough ornaments just for the nostalgia of it all. It’s fun and a little bit magical to do things that remind you of being young, isn’t it? After all, isn’t that what the holidays are all about anyway?

Salt-Dough-Ornamentsphoto by Joanne Pio

Whether you’re making these ornaments with kids or or not, this project couldn’t be easier! Did you ever make salt dough ornaments as a child?

Salt Dough

2 cups all purpose flour- plus more for the board
1/2 cup salt
3/4 – 1 cup water (you may need less)
food coloring (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In an electric mixer combine flour and salt and mix well.
3. With the mixer on low speed add in the water slowly until dough comes together in a ball. You may need as little as 1/2 cup of water or as much as 1 cup so pour slowly and stop when the dough comes together and feels like cookie dough.
4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 10 minutes to firm up.
5. On a very well floured board, roll dough out to 1/4″ thick. Cut out ornament shapes using various cookie cutters. I used a small star cookie cutter.
6. Transfer ornaments to prepared cookie sheets and poke a small hole in each using a toothpick. Make hole large enough for an ornament hook or ribbon.
7. Bake for 30 minutes. The ornaments should only harden but not brown.

Optional Colored Dough:
If you want to color your ornaments, add food coloring to the water in step 3 before mixing it into the flour and salt. Adding food coloring to the dough will result in splotchy ornaments.

To Decorate:
1. Apply white craft glue to the front side of your ornaments.
2. Dip in glitter, nonpareil, sequins or beads.
3. Allow to dry completely before hanging.

Also, you can see how they look on my tree right here.

salt dough

Top & last photo by Joanne Pio / Other photos by Marisa Mangum

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Leah Bergman

Editor at Freutcake
Designer, blogger, cocktail shaker. Classic with a bit of sparkle. Founder & Editor of Freutcake.

Latest posts by Leah Bergman (see all)

39 Responses Post a comment
  1. December 4, 2013

    This just brought back SO many memories! I’m kind of thinking I need to make them again…

  2. December 4, 2013

    This looks like such a fun project Leah… definitely something Lo and I could do together!

  3. December 4, 2013

    love this! such a cute project and pretty easy too 🙂

  4. December 4, 2013

    Oh yes, I totally remember this – but mine never looked this good.. it was always splashed with way too much food coloring 🙂 So beautiful – will have to do this!

  5. Patricia Goijens permalink
    December 5, 2013

    Oh my, I hadn’t thought about this in years! Yours look prettier than the ones I made once upon a time though! 🙂

  6. Kalley Boehmer permalink
    October 25, 2014

    Anybody have suggestions to remove these kind off ontaments off of a non sprayed cookie sheet? They are stuck on my pan after cooking

  7. Fluffy kitten permalink
    October 26, 2014

    This is so cute!!!! I am selling these in trep$ at my school and you have a great recipe! Yours definitely look better than mine will though… I have a question… Can you use marker and paint on these? Thank you! I love your ideas!:)

  8. denise permalink
    November 8, 2014

    can they be painted with names on them or can you use shellac on them to make them shiny?

  9. Emi permalink
    November 20, 2014

    Hi, can we use oven toaster instead?

    • November 20, 2014

      Sorry, I’m not sure if you can bake these in a toaster oven. I have never tried!

  10. Tresa permalink
    November 22, 2014

    Am doing this as I’m writing pretty simple and kids will love them

  11. Erica permalink
    November 25, 2014

    Mine came out hard on the outside but puffed up a bit after cooking more than 15, almost as if there was air inside. Any thoughts on how I might have possibly messed these up?? Super cute otherwise!! Thanks!

    • November 25, 2014

      That is strange! You can try flipping them over half way through baking and that should help.

    • Erica permalink
      November 25, 2014

      To clarify, after cooking 15 minutes extra (45 mins in total!) Thank you again! 🙂

      • November 25, 2014

        I would bake for 15 minutes, flip them then bake the additional 15 or 30 minutes if needed! If after 15 minutes (on the second side) they are puffing up again, flip them back a second time. There is really no wrong way to do it. You just want them to completely harden/dry out. If you need to, poke a small hole in the bubble if it starts to puff up while baking before flipping. Also, make sure you are poking the hole in the ornaments before baking. I hope this helps!

        • Erica permalink
          November 25, 2014

          Perfect! The bottom is hard so I bet flipping it will help. Thank you! Batch 2 going in now! 🙂

  12. paola permalink
    November 25, 2014

    Can these be painted?

  13. December 2, 2014

    This is so cute!!! Also, wanted to let you know that there is a link party on Wednesdays at my blog – would love to see you there!!

  14. Rey permalink
    December 5, 2014

    Will these eventually rot and turn rancid?

    • December 5, 2014

      They won’t turn rancid because there is no oil in the ornaments. They may begin to crumble a bit after time but it would probably take years. They do not mold or rot in my experience.

  15. Kathryn permalink
    December 6, 2014

    I plan on making these today – thanks! But about how many ornaments does this recipe yield?

    • December 6, 2014

      It’s hard to say because it depends on how large you plan to make them. I used a small 1″ star cookie cutter and it made about 3 dozen.

  16. Sophie permalink
    December 21, 2014

    This recipe is perfect. I made this dough for ornaments for my students to paint. We used watercolors and they turned out beautiful. Thank you!

  17. amanda lawson permalink
    December 21, 2014

    Mine came out brown! What did I do wrong?

    • December 21, 2014

      I would try cutting down the baking time. Just keep an eye on them and pull them out when they are dry and hardened.

  18. March 25, 2015

    Your salt dough ornaments turned out gorgeous!

  19. December 7, 2015

    Thanks for sharing! I would ideally like to flood coat these with a paint that looks like tinted royal icing. Any ideas???

    • December 7, 2015

      I would use white mod podge tinted with food coloring!

      • December 7, 2015

        Isn’t mod podge clear though? I guess I could add some kind of acrylic? I will go to Michaels and pick their brain. I love how yours turned out. I could cover a whole tree with these!

        • December 7, 2015

          I believe mod podge has a white (not translucent) product as well! Have fun crafting!

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