Salt Dough for Ornaments- DIY Christmas Decorations

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Using salt dough for ornaments and Christmas decorations is a traditional DIY that has been done for years. Create memories and homemade ornaments for your family with this DIY Christmas ornament or garland.

How to make salt dough for ornaments

I must admit, I had way too much fun with this DIY. We spent the day making these salt dough ornaments, painting them and making a garland, ornaments for the tree, gift tags and a special ornament for Ila’s first Christmas. I think it is safe to say we have started a new tradition this year.

With a baby in the house, I am wanting to do all the fun Christmas festivities, crafts and baking. Even though she is not even a year old yet (this month!) and has no idea what we are doing or why, I am still very much enjoying her first Christmas season. To kick start the season, we made salt dough for ornaments!

This DIY is not only simple, but is just a fun old fashioned tradition that I hope to carry on each year. It uses basic ingredients we always have in the house and adds a homemade touch to the Christmas décor. The ornaments turned fit into our décor so well and I really love how they look on the tree and paired with my red ticking stripe ribbon and drop cloth stockings.

With just three ingredients, anyone can make this simple DIY. You probably have everything you need already. Join me today in this fun Christmas activity!

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    Creating Christmas Traditions

    We are building our own Christmas traditions this year. This is Ila’s first Christmas and while we are not in our home yet, I plan to make several traditions to remember her first Christmas and to carry on through out the years.

    Growing up, we have always cooked and baked during this season and they are memories I love. In Keith’s family, ornaments are a bigger deal than they were in my family and I love this. He has a handmade box full of special ornaments. I want the same for my children. These traditions are what bring such a special feeling to this season.

    Salt Dough Ideas

    1. Ornaments
    2. Footprint or Handprint
    3. Essential Oil Diffuser
    4. Garland
    5. Small Christmas Sculptures (trees, houses, etc.)
    6. Gift Tags
    7. Christmas Table Décor

    How Long Will Salt Dough Ornaments Last?

    Years! As long as these dry out enough and all of the water is gone, they should be good to go with careful handling.

    If they are made too thin, they will be more brittle. Be sure to store them safely and enjoy reminiscing on the memories every year, for years to come!

    Can You Make The Dough For Salt Dough Ornaments Ahead Of Time?

    Salt dough can dry out pretty quickly. You could maybe get away with a day or two ahead of time if you kept it in an airtight container.

    If you need to prep ahead of time, I would just suggest mixing all of the dry ingredients ahead of time and adding the water when you are ready to make the ornaments and décor pieces.

    How Long Does Salt Dough Take To Cook?

    This depends on how thick you make the ornaments but for about 1/4″, they take about an hour and a half.

    How to Store Salt Dough Ornaments

    Be sure to properly store your ornaments and Christmas décor made from salt dough. They can break!

    I recommend wrapping in tissue paper and storing in a sturdy box. Keith’s family had handmade boxes that they kept each kids ornaments in and I think this is so special. Make another day of it just decorating a box or tub for each kid and for the family to store ornaments in!

    Tips When Making Salt Dough For Ornaments

    • Be sure to knead the dough until it is really smooth. This will make better ornaments!
    • Get creative! Add paint, glitter, hand prints/foot prints, ribbon or anything you want.
    • These can be used with essential oils to make a scented ornament. Once cooled, add a few drops of essential oils to the ornament. We kept it simple with peppermint and orange but you could add a fun Christmas blend.
    • Add cinnamon or vanilla extract to the dough to create a scented ornament with a creamier color.
    • Seal the ornaments or décor with a poly spray or modge podge for extra protection. We opted not to but this will help them last longer.
    • If making something without a hole (like an ornament has) be sure to put a hole somewhere in the item. This helps keep the item from puffing up, ruining it.

    Tools

    Rolling Pin
    Cookie Cutters
    Mixing Bowl
    Parchment Paper
    Twine
    Decorating Supplies (ribbon, glitter, paint, etc.)
    Straw

    Ingredients

    I am a large proponent in using quality ingredients in our food. We keep things simple but the quality (raw, grass fed, organic, from scratch) is not something I skimp on. With that said, I stick to that when it comes to food and chemicals in our home. Salt dough ornaments in not something I recommend worrying about what you use. Buy the cheap salt and bleached flour. It honestly makes prettier ornaments and is a lot cheaper. Please, please, please do not use expensive ingredients for this. No freshly milled einkorn or Redmond’s real salt today, haha!

    4 cups bleached, all purpose flour
    1 cup salt
    2 cups water

    How To Make Salt Dough For Ornaments

    Make the Salt Dough

    In a large mixing bowl, combine salt and flour.

    Add water, kneading and mixing as you go.

    Knead until smooth, about 5-10 minutes

    Allow the dough to rest for about 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

    Divide the dough into four equal pieces by slicing in half. Then slice each piece in half again.

    Roll each piece of dough to 1/4″ and cut out shapes using a cookie cutter.

    Add any hand/foot prints or engraving you wish. Using a stray, cut a hole for the twine.

    Place ornaments on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees until hard, about an hour and a half.

    Allow to cool completely.

    Assemble

    For ornaments, lace a piece of twin through the hole and tie the two ends into a double knot.

    For a garland, create a loop in the twine and place it through the hole through the back. Leave around 1-2 inches out the front and tie a double knot in the looped twine. The knot will keep it from slipping off. Space the pieces about 6 inches apart.

    How to Make Salt Dough For Ornaments

    How to Make Salt Dough For Ornaments

    Using salt dough for ornaments and Christmas decorations is a traditional DIY that has been done for years. Create memories and homemade ornaments for your family with this DIY Christmas ornament or garland.

    Materials

    • 4 cups bleached, all purpose flour
    • 1 cup salt
    • 2 cups water

    Tools

    • Rolling Pin
    • Cookie Cutters
    • Mixing Bowl
    • Parchment Paper
    • Twine
    • Decorating Supplies (ribbon, glitter, paint, etc.)
    • Straw

    Instructions

    Make the salt dough

    In a large mixing bowl, combine salt and flour.

    Add water, kneading and mixing as you go.

    Knead until smooth, about 5-10 minutes

    Allow the dough to rest for about 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

    Divide the dough into four equal pieces by slicing in half. Then slice each piece in half again.

    Roll each piece of dough to 1/4" and cut out shapes using a cookie cutter.

    Add any hand/foot prints or engraving you wish. Using a stray, cut a hole for the twine.

    Place ornaments on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees until hard, about an hour and a half.

    Allow to cool completely.


    Assemble

    For ornaments, lace a piece of twin through the hole and tie the two ends into a double knot.

    For a garland, create a loop in the twine and place it through the hole through the back. Leave around 1-2 inches out the front and tie a double knot in the looped twine. The knot will keep it from slipping off. Space the pieces about 6 inches apart.

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