How to make Salt Dough Ornaments


We love Salt Dough Crafts and Ideas. Homemade Salt Dough is so inexpensive to make and oh so versatile. We particularly, love making Salt Dough Ornaments at Christmas. So many great projects to have a go at. Come and learn how to make salt dough ornaments with us today! As well as learning about the best tips and tricks for working with salt dough.

Salt Dough Crafts - 10 Christmas Ornaments

You KNOW that we adore Saltdough, right? We have a great Saltdough recipe for you that we have been using for years. And for me salt dough ornaments are the classic childhood craft. Perfect for all those Christmas Cookie cutters!

If you are looking for Salt Dough Ideas for Christmas, read on!

Best Salt Dough Ornaments Recipe

Colour Saltdough Recipe

To make salt dough, all you need is

  • 2 cups of flour (all purpose flour NOT self-rising flour!)
  • 1 cup of salt (regular table salt) and
  • UP to a cup of water (warm water makes it easier to mix, but straight from the tap is fine).
  • You can also add good quality food colouring to dye your saltdough before drying!

Other kitchen items

  • A cup for measuring*
  • A mixing bowl,
  • rack or baking sheet with parchment paper for drying,
  • rolling pin,
  • straw or toothpick for holes,
  • cookie cutters or rubber stamps come in handy too!

*When we say “cup” .. any cup works, so long as you keep the proportions the same.

Bake at a 100C or approx 200F for a few hours. Keep turning regularly.

How long does salt dough ornaments last? How to preserve Salt Dough Ornaments!

Dried and stored properly, salt dough ornaments can last for years and years. I still have some salt dough crafts that I made as a child. There are two key things to longevity of salt dough ornaments – that they are properly dried to begin and that they are stored well. Wrap them in tissue paper or newspapers and store them in a cool, dry place. The most common way for salt dough ornaments not to last – is them getting mouldy, due to storing them incorrectly!

You can also add varnishes as finishing touches, which will act as a seal and also help preserve your Salt Dough Ornaments.

Can you fix a cracked or broken Salt Dough Ornament?

The short answer is “no”.. not really. Once cracked or broken, that is it for your Salt Dough Ornament. However, if you do find a small crack… you can fill it with a good PVA glue to help it spreading further. As mentioned before, sealing with a gloss or adding a spray finish, will also help prevent cracks and breaks in furture.

Can you air dry salt dough ornaments? How to make No Bake Salt Dough Ornaments!

Can you air dry salt dough oranments? Yes you can!!! It simply takes a little longer. I recommend only using the air dry method if either it is a hot summers day OR you have thin(ner) salt dough ornaments to dry. On a hot day, simply dry your salt dough out in the sun, turning occassionally. They will easily dry in a day! We did when making our Salt Dough Shell Pendants here.

If drying indoors, it can take up to a week to fully try salt dough, depending on the humidity of the country you live in.

In very humid climates, I recommend using the oven.

How to dry salt dough in an oven

Likelihood, is that you are making your Christmas Salt Dough Ideas in Winter.. So, if crafting in Winter (which you are likely to be doing, as these are salt dough ornaments for the Christmas Tree), speed up the drying process by heating in the oven at 100C. Remember to turn regularly.

You will need to bake at low heat (100C/ 200F) for 4-5 hours – turning your salt dough regularly.

Also, if you are making anything for hanging – i.e. with holes, remember to “re-poke” the holes during drying, to avoid the holes closing up. Salt dough as  tendency to “spread” like cookies and the holes can close.

How to dry Salt Dough in A Microwave

Did you know you can dry salt dough in a Microwave?! Yes you can. It is a great way to work with salt dough and much quicker than air drying salt dough or using the oven to dry your salt dough ideas. Hop over to Rainy Day Mum to find out how!

What kind of paint do you use on salt dough?

Easy Salt Dough Recipe for Santa Ornament Making

To paint your salt dough, we like to use acrylic paint or gloss enamels. Don’t use any paint that is water based, as that will make your salt dough soggy again, and risk it going mouldy.

We have also used good felt tip pens to decorate Salt Dough before, as with our Salt Dough Santa Stars here. And you can add a layer of mod podge as a sealer it if you wish.

Some people also like to add glitter, but I like to focus on paints.

How to Spice Up your Salt Dough Recipe

Learn how to make this great Cinnamon Playdough Recipe

For Christmas, you may want to give our Cinnamon Salt Dough a go. SOOO lovely! This a particularly delicious smelling recipe for making Gingerbread Men Salt Dough Ornaments!

Salt Dough Ornament Ideas

Salt dough ornaments make great gifts and decorations. Here are some of our favourite ideas! Ribbon or baker’s twine are perfect for hanging your ornaments

  1. Red Saltdough Hearts (such a classic!) use straws or toothpicks to make your ribbon hanging holes
  2. Similarly, adding a button, makes them extra cute: Button Saltdough Hearts
  3. I LOVE this variation on salt dough.. and adding sea glass or lots of buttons to make Christmas Trees!

Easy Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments

  • Take a peak at these salt dough fingerprint Christmas tree. This ornament is great for pre-schoolers that want to get hands on with their Christmas crafts. Using coloured salt dough young children can cut out their own Christmas tree shapes and add painty fingerprint lights.
  • Another great salt dough handprint ornament are these santa salt dough handprint ornaments. I have made them for each of my 3 children and I love them so much! If you only have time for one salt dough craft this Christmas this would be my top choice!
  • Or how about these Gorgeous Snowman Handprint ornament – similar to he baubles, but in “2D”.
Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments

Or check out this fabulous set of Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments and Footprint Ornaments on Eat Wheat!

Best Idea for Kids shares their recipe, as well as these darling Salt Dough Photo Ornaments. So cute!

More old-fashioned Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments

Summarising the Salt Dough Ornaments shared below!

As mentioned Christmas is a great time to have a go at Salt Dough ornaments. Start off simple with the classic “cookie cutter ornaments” and then get a bit more adventurous and see what you can create?!

salt dough ornaments

You can achieve a great amount of detail – e.g. look at these wonderful Salt Dough Santas from Carolina Farmhouse Kitchen – this blog is no longer available! They are made using cookie cutters! So have a look at what cool Christmas Cookie Cutters you can find!

salt dough ornaments (2)

Combine Salt Dough and Stamping

salt dough ornaments (3)

More Salt Dough Stamping

owl ornament

Salt Dough Owl (now an invite only blog, sorry!)

salt ceramics

Salt dough ornaments with seeds (instruction no longer available, sorry)


Salt Dough Patterns by She Made That (no longer available)- use doilies or similar!


Love these quirky characters!

salt dough sun catchers

Salt dough sun catchers

salt dough ornaments (4)

More Beaded Ornaments

salt dough ornaments star wars

Star Wars Ornaments (I know someone who will love these!) You will need a set of these Star Wars Cutters just search online for them!

More salt dough creations coming soon, as well as a set of Easter salt dough ornaments in the New Year!

In the meantime, why not check out the very versatile and creative Paper Christmas Ornaments here?!:

Paper Christmas Ornaments