How to Make DIY Handprint Ornaments

Learn how to make DIY salt dough ornaments with the whole family and preserve everyone’s hand or footprint in an ornament for years to come.

This season, capture a child's footprint or handprint size with this easy DIY salt dough ornament. Use our easy how-to to whip up a batch of salt dough, then have the kids help make the handprint ornaments. After a little time in the oven, your hand or footprint ornament will be ready to hang on the tree. Don't forget to write their name and year on the back so you'll have a record for how much each child has grown from year to year.

These DIY ornaments also double as thoughtful homemade gifts: Grandparents, aunts and uncles, or other family members will cherish this sentimental gift idea.

Footprint Christmas Ornament blue and white swirl handprint
Matthew Clark

How to Make a Handprint Christmas Ornament

Supplies Needed

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Food coloring
  • Rolling pin
  • Pencil or straw
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors

Step-by-Step Directions

Use these simple how-to instructions to make your own handprint or footprint ornaments. You should be able to mix the dough and create a set of ornaments in under 30 minutes, but you'll need to allow three hours of baking time.

Step 1: Make Salt Dough

Make the salt dough for your ornaments by combining flour, salt, and water. Knead the dough until smooth—it should have a play-dough-like consistency. Divide the dough evenly into two separate balls and add a few drops of food coloring ($7, Target) to each dough ball and knead to swirl the color into the dough. Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper ($7, Walmart) and roll the dough into a tube. Twist two doughs rolls together to combine the colors and create a marbled effect, then wrap the twist around itself to create a ball. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness.

Step 2: Create Print and Bake

Press a hand (or a foot!) into the flattened dough to create the imprint. You may need to press down on the top of the child's hand to make sure you get a good imprint. To cut a perfect circle around the handprint, look for a bowl that's bigger than the handprint and then turn it upside down over the print. Press the bowl into the dough to create a perfectly round ornament, then remove the bowl and pull away excess dough. Poke a hole where the ornament will hang using a pencil or plastic straw. Bake the ornament at 250°F for 90 minutes; flip, then bake another 90 minutes.

Step 3: Finish and Hang Your Handprint Ornament

After baking, allow the handprint ornament to cool completely. You can decorate your salt dough ornament with crafting glue, glitter, and other embellishments, then string a ribbon through the hole and hang on your Christmas tree. Continue crafting with the kids by making one of our favorite easy homemade Christmas ornaments.

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