Making salt dough ornaments this year was such a fun experience! One of my favorite traditions growing up was making our own ornaments for the tree. Every year that followed when we pulled those ornaments out of the box, it brought on a wave of nostalgia and a smile to my face.
This year I made these super simple salt dough ornaments. Although though next year I will probably try something different, I might make one or two of these again too. They were super easy, fun, and affordable (granted you already have a lot of craft supplies around, like I do 🙂 ).
Making the Dough
Making the dough is super simple. The formula is 2 parts flour, 1 part salt, 1 part warm water. That’s it! I was planning to make two circular ornaments and then a few candy canes so I did 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, and 1 cup warm water. However, this recipe could easily be halved or even halved again to make less! It is all up to whatever you prefer.
I combined the flour and salt and then added warm water, stirring the dough until it started to come together. Once close to being done, I set the spoon aside and started mixing the dough with my hands. I found this to be pretty easy and work pretty well, so I would highly recommend doing this! Once the dough was well combined, I took it out of the bowl and kneaded it for about a minute, just to be sure it was going to hold up well. The other bonus of this recipe is that it is very forgiving! Dough too sticky? Add flour! Dough too dry? Add water!
Once the dough formed, I rolled out two small circular portions of dough. I rolled them to about 1/4 inch thick and used circle cookie cutters to get the shape. There are certainly tons of different ways to imprint letters into the dough, but I just used a cookie cutter! I was super careful to just press gently, making sure I didn’t push all the way through. Since my last name starts with P O couldn’t press all the way through, but another letter without a hole in the middle certainly could for a neat cut out effect!
Then came the fun part, making Sterling’s paw print ornament. Although this one also took no time, it was just fun to hold his little paw and press it into the dough. Luckily he was pretty sleepy when I made him do this, so he didn’t put up much of a fight. I am so happy with how cute his little paw imprinted in the dough!
Lastly I made eight candy cane ornaments. I split the remaining dough in half and colored one half with red food coloring. I then rolled out about 1/3 inch tubes of dough in both colors, twisted them together, and formed them into the shape of candy canes! These were definitely pretty simple to make, but all that rolling took a lot of time!
Once my ornaments were looking the way I liked, I preheated the oven to 250ºF and placed the ornaments on a cookie sheet. While the oven preheated, I used a straw to poke holes in the circular ornaments, to make them easier to hang later. I then placed my ornaments in the oven and let them bake for about 2-3 hours.
Once the ornaments were out of the oven, I let them cool for a few hours. I just really wanted to make sure that they completely cool and okay to mess with before I started decorating!
First things first: sealing! Since these are dough ornaments, they needed to be sealed in order to preserve them for years to come. To ensure each ornament sealed well, I coated all sides with 2 layers of Mod Podge!
For the paw and ‘P’ ornament I essentially decorated them the same way. Once the Mod Podge had dried, I applied one thin coat of acrylic paint. I allowed that to dry about 20 minutes, and went in with a silver glitter paint pen to fill in the paw and the P. Once that was looking the way I liked, I used a silver (not glitter) paint pen to write on the bottom of the ornaments. I really loved how these turned out!
For the candy canes, I applied an additional layer of Mod Podge to the front and sprinkled on clear glitter. To make sure the glitter stayed put, I let them dry over night and applied one last layer of Mod Podge! I would definitely add more red color to the dough if I were to make these again. Initially I thought they would turn darker when the baked, but they actually got lighter, and now my candy canes look more pink and white–although I still think they’re super cute :).
I hope you enjoyed this post, and be sure to check out my latest video which shows me creating all of these ornaments. These ornaments are sure to be cherished forever!