How To Make Your Own Ornaments with Salt Dough

Posted on: November 16th, 2012 by


Our batch of salt dough ornaments.

Home made ornaments are a great way to bring the family together to make the holidays more festive. A great way to make ornaments is with salt dough. It is inexpensive and easy to make, easy to work with and readily accepts color. You also don’t have to have a great deal of artistic ability to work with salt dough. It can be easily molded into designs or shaped using cookie cutters.


How to make salt dough


Salt Dough Ingredients

    • 1 cup salt
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup luke warm water

This must be kneaded together until uniform.


Once the salt dough is made you must use it within an hour or store it in an airtight container. It will begin to harden otherwise and will not be usable.


How to make your salt dough different colors

It is very easy to pre-color dough so that it doesn’t need to be painted. This can be accomplished by adding powdered tempera paint or food coloring. Break the salt dough into separate bowls before adding the food coloring to prevent mixing colors.


Shaping & creating your salt dough ornaments

  • Salt dough can be worked into a variety of designs or you can use cookie cutters to shape the dough.


  • If you are not artistic, create easy designs by braiding or wrapping the colored dough to make designs like candy canes. The little metal hoop that you see in the picture must be inserted just after designing the ornament. These hoops can be found in the jewelry section of any large chain craft store like Michael’s or AC Moore. As the ornament dries it will harden when the water evaporates out. If you prefer, you can bake them for one hour at 200 degrees on a foil lined cookie sheet. There is no difference in the end result if you choose to allow the salt dough to dry or of you bake it. Baking only speeds the process.


  • If you are creative or artistic, you can also leave the salt dough plain and paint it afterwards. This allow you to personalize your ornaments with family names or dates.


The sky is the limit with the designs that you can use when painting salt dough. It makes an excellent canvas.


Preserving your Salt Dough Ornament

Once the dough is dry and painted (if desired) if must be coated with a generous coating of shellac or clear spray acrylic. The clear coating will make sure that your hand-made ornament stays preserved for many years. You must shellac or spray both sides. This means one day you coat the front and let it dry all day until totally dried. The next day you do the back side. Because the ornament is made of flour, it is very important that it is coated. Flour can attract bugs if not sealed.


Enjoy your ornaments! They make great gifts for family members and can serve as keepsakes for your family for many more years to come!


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