I always love hearing about people’s favorite holiday traditions. It’s like a little peek into the most special inner workings of a family. A few of our family favorites include Lego advent calendars, constructing gingerbread houses from scrap, watching A Muppet’s Christmas Carol, and making salt dough ornaments. We make a few ornaments each and choose a favorite to add to our Christmas tree as part of our yearly decor. My boys (and I!!) love pulling out all the ornaments from years past and reminiscing all of our special holiday memories. Whether you’d like to add this activity to your list of holiday traditions or just want something to do on a cold, snowy day, here’s a complete guide to making all the best DIY salt dough ornaments with kids.
Keep It Simple!
I’ve tried all sorts of salt dough recipes over the years to make our tree ornaments, but I’ve learned that the best ornaments ALWAYS come from the most simple recipes. Some recipes will call for equal parts salt and flour while others will call for double the flour to salt. I recommend playing around with a few recipes to find your favorite, but I’ve found that the best recipes are those with an equivalent of 1 Cup flour to 1/2 Cup of salt and 3/8 Cup water. Simply double or triple the recipe to make more ornaments. Recipes with equal parts salt and flour tend to crumble more easily over the years. If you find that 3/8 Cup of water isn’t quite enough, just add a few drops more until you get a smooth dough. Image.
A Burst of Color
If you’d like to make colorful ornaments, Julie Blanner shares this great recipe using food coloring. Bake the dough in the oven at 200° F. for 20 minutes before flipping and finishing for another 15 minutes or so. Be sure to flip the dough so the edges don’t curl!!
Cocoa and Christmas go together like Santa and peanut butter and jelly! Add a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder to your salt dough recipe for this sweet take on the homemade ornaments.
Give your salt dough ornaments a bit of spice with this yummy cinnamon-infused recipe. One excellent tip here is to bake the dough with toothpicks in the holes to prevent them from closing in.
Create a winter wonderland on your Christmas tree with these frosted snowflake ornaments. Get the glistening tutorial from Lorajean’s Magazine.
These salt dough snowmen are a fun way to make a print of tiny toes as your little ones grow throughout the years. Acrylic paint and felt can be used for Frosty’s clothes and other features. Via.
I LOVE these pantry item ornaments! They prove that there’s really no need for expensive candies or messy crafting supplies. The star anise on the tree is particularly perfect! Find this fantastic holiday craft on Apartment Therapy. Use glue and corn starch instead of flour for this recipe.
Use stamps, beads, leaves, and other small items to make fancy imprints in your salt dough. What a great way to make personalized ornaments for your tree! Learn more here.
12 Nights of Yule
Create a special tradition of learning about Christmas symbols with these 12 Nights of Yule ornaments. What a great way to slow the holiday season down and remember to appreciate the true meanings of Christmas! Learn more info from Tressabelle.
Sea glass, buttons, and other small trinkets are excellent ways to embellish white or colored salt dough. Red Ted Art shares the cute idea here.
Homegrown Friends shares this fancy stained glass idea for some unique salt dough ornaments. Simply punch out the center with a smaller cookie cutter and melt colorful pony beads for the stained glass effect.
3D Candy Canes
No need to roll out your dough with these 3D candy cane ornaments. You’ll simply twist two strings of dough together, bend, and bake. DIY here.