How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments

Make them in any shape you want!

This colorful set of custom ornaments is easy to make at home, and chances are you already have all the supplies you need in your kitchen cupboards. If you've never made salt dough ornaments before, it's one of the easiest crafts to make. Just mix up a simple dough of salt, flour, and water (seriously, that's it!) and use cookie cutters to create any shape you like. Once you bake the ornaments, you can paint them or accessorize them however you like.

Use the ornaments as fun gift toppers for holiday or birthday gifts, string them into a fun garland, or simply hang the ornaments from a Christmas or Easter tree. This at-home craft is easy enough for the whole family to make!

clay mushrooms gnomes trees
Marty Baldwin

How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments

Supplies Needed

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie cutters
  • Bamboo skewer
  • Cookie sheet
  • Acrylic paint
  • String or ribbon

Step-by-Step Directions

Follow these easy how-to instructions to make your own salt dough ornaments at home. You should be able to complete a set of ornaments in an afternoon. Keep in mind the ornaments have to bake for three hours.

Step 1: Mix Dough

For the salt dough recipe, in a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, and 1 cup warm water. Stir or knead the dough until it's smooth and not sticky; we added a few pinches of flour as we stirred to get it to the right consistency. Let the dough sit for 20 minutes, then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to about ¼-inch thickness.

Step 2: Cut Shapes

The best part about this craft is that you can completely customize your ornaments with any cookie cutters you like. Make holiday ornaments with these Christmas cookie cutters ($10, Amazon) or go with basic shapes ($6, Amazon) and decorate them however you like. When you're ready to cut the dough, dip the cookie cutter in flour and then cut out the dough. To turn each shape into an ornament, use a bamboo skewer to poke a hole at the top of each cutout.

Step 3: Bake the Ornaments

Place the cut shapes about ½-inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet ($6, Walmart). (They don't spread out very much during baking so you can place them pretty close together.) How long to cook salt dough depends on the thickness of your ornaments but for ¼-inch cutouts plan to bake the ornaments at 250°F for 90 minutes. Flip them and then bake them for another 90 minutes. If your shapes are on the thicker side, they may take a little longer. You want the finished shapes to be firm and dry. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cutouts cool completely before moving on to the next step.

clay mushrooms gnomes trees
Marty Baldwin

Step 4: Decorate Ornaments

We found that acrylic was the best paint for salt dough ornaments. Once the shapes have completely cooled, decorate the salt dough ornaments with acrylic paint. You can also glue on other embellishments like sequins or glitter, if desired. Let your designs dry completely. If you added the hole to turn the shapes into ornaments, string a thin ribbon ($2, Walmart) through the hole to create a hanging loop. Or, use one long strand of twine or ribbon to string the ornaments into a festive garland.

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