Salt dough ornaments are the perfect holiday craft for everyone in the house.
I don’t know what it is about Fall and Winter but that’s when I feel like getting creative the most. For the past few weeks, I have been wanting to watercolor and hand embroider and bake and make all the Christmas crafts. The weather has been really cold and rainy the past week so I knew it was time to make some salt dough ornaments.
3-ingredient Salt Dough Ornament Recipe
2 cups All Purpose Flour (make sure it is not self-rising)
1 cup Salt
1 cup water (you may need less)
Making the salt dough is extremely easy. All you do is mix the flour and salt in a bowl until it is fully incorporated. Slowly add the water and mix. Once the dough comes together knead for 4-5 minutes until you have a nice smooth dough. If it is crumbly add a little bit more water a teaspoon at a time and if it is sticky add a little bit more flour.
Creating an Ornament
The beauty of salt dough is that it is basically playdough and you can create whatever you’d like. Because my 4-year-old was helping I decided to just use some holiday cookie cutters. If you have decided to roll out the dough feel free to dust your surface and rolling pin with flour so the dough doesn’t stick. I rolled my salt dough out to about 1/4 inch. The thickness doesn’t need to be exact you just want it to be thick enough that it won’t break easily. Just keep in mind that the thicker it is the longer it will take to dry.
If you don’t have cookie cutters you can free-hand whatever shape you would like. As I am writing this I think some round candy canes could be darling.
VERY IMPORTANT Don’t forget to think about how you are going to hang it. Make sure to put a hole it in before baking it and make sure it is big enough and goes all the way through. You can also place one of these hooks before baking.
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How to Dry Salt Dough
To dry salt dough place ornaments on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees until hard. The length of time can depend on the thickness of the dough but typically at least 2 hours. I like to flip them over around halfway so that they dry evenly. To check their doneness I like to push my fingernail into the back of them to see if they are hard. Feel free to turn your oven off as well if you have to leave the house or go to sleep and don’t want the oven on. Just turn the oven back on with them still in there and continue baking. Once they are cooled you can bake them.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to bake them you can leave them out to dry over multiple days.
Adding Color and Designs to Salt Dough
There are a lot of ways to color and decorate your salt dough ornaments. If you would like to color the dough you can add food coloring, paint, or spices directly to the dough. Cinnamon or cocoa are very popular choices for the holidays but I think turmeric would make a beautiful yellow color and paprika a burnt orange.
You can also paint your ornaments. I used acrylic paint for mine. You can also use glue and glitter to decorate your ornaments. When the paint has dried you can glue fun embellishments on like buttons, ribbons, or eyes.
Another fun way to decorate your ornaments is to use whole spices, dried pasta, and dried beans. When decorating this way make sure your dried goods are pushed at least halfway into the dough so that they don’t fall out with baking.
Stamps can add beautiful designs or even perfectly written words.
How to Seal Salt
For your ornaments to last you are going to want to seal them. Any moisture on them will ruin them so if you want them to last they will need to be sealed. Acrylic paint will semi-seal them but if you want a better seal you can coat them in Mod Podge or UV resin.
Storage For Next Year
To make sure your precious ornaments last forever you will want to store them in an air-tight container. I would store them in a box so they can’t be smashed. If sealed properly and stored correctly your ornaments should last decades.