The Playful Parent


12 Ornaments for Christmas: Salt Dough

If you have small children, or cats, your tree probably looks like ours and has nothing on the bottom half.  Here are ornaments that are kid friendly, for that bottom half, and break resistant, for those persistent cats.

Ornament 5: Salt Dough Ornaments




  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Straw
  • Fine sanding paper or Emery Board


  • Paint
  • Decorative Napkin or Tissue Paper
  • Mod Podge
  • Stamps
  • Ribbon/String
  • Acrylic Spray (optional)



Mix 2 parts flour, 1 part salt, and 1 part water together to form dough.  (I typically use 1 cup flour, ½ cup salt, and ½ cup water.) When the dough has combined, use a floured surface to gently knead the dough until it’s thoroughly mixed and pliable. If it’s too sticky add a little flour, if it’s crumbly add a little water.


Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Roll out dough to about ¼ inch thick and cut out your shapes. If you don’t have holiday cookie cutters you can use a glass for circle ornaments.


Peel away the dough and lift cutout to place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Use the straw to create a hole for the ribbon/string that will hang the ornament.

Place ornaments in the oven and bake for one hour or until completely dry.  Drying time will depend on thickness of the dough.  You can flip once while baking for more even drying.


Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Once the ornaments are fully dried and cooled, lightly sand the edges.  I use an emery board to help get into any little nooks and crannies when making different shaped ornaments.

Using a VERY lightly dampened rag, make sure to remove any dust or particles on the ornaments.




Painting – Use craft paints to decorate one or both sides of your ornaments. Salt dough ornaments are quite porous and will suck up paint like a sponge, so you will need to apply more than one coat.


Stamping – You can stamp the dough before baking to leave the imprint or stamp with ink after dry to decorate.

Napkin – Start by using craft paints to paint one side of the ornaments. Napkins are typically two layers; peel the layers apart to get the printed layer. Once the back is dry, turn ornaments over and place the napkin layer on that side to trace and cutout shape. Paint a layer of Mod Podge on the unpainted side and then place cutout on the ornament and adhere with another layer of Mod Podge, making sure to give an even coat over the entire surface of the napkin cutout. Don’t forget to poke through the napkin for your hole (I used a pencil) and to seal the edges by painting extra Mod Podge beyond the edge of cutout.  Let dry.  (If you do not have Mod Podge, you can make your own by mixing equal parts White Elmer’s Glue and water.)


For a final seal and a shinier finish, you can use an acrylic spray to coat the ornaments.  Shiny acrylic is very shiny.  Matte finish is another option, if you want less shimmer from your tree lights reflecting off the ornaments.

Put ribbon through the hole to hang on the tree. Enjoy!


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