This simple recipe will help you easily make salt dough ornaments, plus other ideas for salt dough to make DIY Christmas decor at home.
Salt dough Christmas ornaments are becoming something of a tradition nowadays. Many years ago, they would have been an unusual addition to the Christmas decorations, but the craft has recently undergone a revival. It’s no wonder, as salt dough in it’s playdough-like form is a fun consistency for kids to work with and even use for sensory play.
How to Make Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments
Making salt dough is similar to making homemade playdough, one of our favorite sensory play recipes and a sure go-to Winter activity for kids when stuck indoors. Kick up your salt dough play by cooking the dough and turning it into an ornament to hang beautifully on your Christmas tree.
How to Make Salt Dough
Basic salt dough is easily made from:
2 level cups plain flour
1 level cup cooking salt
1 cup water
2 tsp cooking oil
Mix the dry ingredients together and add the water. Knead for ten minutes (use a food processor if you have one!).Color the dough with food coloring, if preferred.
How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments
Once the salt dough has been made, the basic dough can be pulled and cut, colored and manipulated to make a wide variety of ornaments in many different styles. Check out how we have used salt dough to make salt dough sugar cookie ornaments.
Use the dough to make your ornament shapes, place on a greased baking tray, and bake at 80C (175F) overnight.
Salt dough can also be cooked in a microwave, although it is more likely to bubble than in a normal oven. Cook on defrost for 5 minutes at a time until dry.
Paint with acrylic paint and varnish immediately, or store in a tin until you can do so.
Ideas for salt dough Christmas ornaments:
Tree ornaments can be made easily. Make your shapes from dough, and insert a small metal loop into the top. Alternatively, just make a hole in the top with a straw or a pencil that you can thread some ribbon through. Try baubles, teddies, Santas, angels, Christmas treats, holly sprigs or stockings. An easy way to do this is with cookie cutters.
Paint and seal with an acrylic sealer spray, we like the Mod Podge brand. Use glitter and gold/silver paint for extra Christmas sparkle!
What else can I make with salt dough?
Salt dough doesn’t have to be used with only Christmas ornaments, here are more ideas for DIY Christmas decor made from salt dough!
Make a candle holder. These can be made using a theme of Christmas flowers or nuts & leaves. Start with a ball of dough on a round base and push your candle into it to make a hole. Add poinsettias, Christmas roses, holly, mistletoe and ivy leaves around it. Paint and seal then add a pad of felt to the bottom once dry.
Make a wreath. Wreaths can take some time to make as they are larger, but are well worth the effort. Start by twisting two long sausages of dough together to make the base of the wreath. Lay this onto your baking tray, and add the decorations. Bake at 100C for 24 hours or more until quite dry. Make candle holders with the wreath for a DIY salt dough advent wreath!
Make a plaque. Plaques can be made from rolled dough decorated round the edges with Christmas shapes. These can be painted quite easily in a range of colors to match your Christmas decorations. If you have very young children, you can make blank plaques and get the kids to paint festive messages to members of the family eg Merry Christmas Gramps!
Make a salt dough gingerbread man. Gingerbread-style decorations can be made out of dough and painted to look like gingerbread. This is a great idea for larger gingerbread items such as a gingerbread man or even a gingerbread house. Making your gingerbread house from salt dough would be quite a STEM challenge that older children just might be up for!
I hope this has given you some ideas for making salt dough Christmas ornaments!