How to make salt dough Christmas ornaments

If you’re looking for a festive craft project to do with the kids, salt dough ornaments can be made with just a few pantry staples. All you’ll need are three ingredients, a few bits and pieces from the craft store, and your imagination.

For the dough:

4 cups plain flour
1 cup salt
1½ cups warm water

Utensils:

Spoon
Large mixing bowl
Rolling pin
Cookie cutters
A straw
Baking tray

To decorate:

Acrylic paints
Paint brushes
Glitter
Ribbon or twine
Clear spray glaze or Mod Podge

Method:

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well until it begins to form a dough.

2. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead for at least 10 minutes. If your dough feels too dry, add in a little more water and continue kneading. Be careful not to add too much water or the dough will end up sloppy.

Your dough should be smooth and roll out without many bumps – you should also be able to press your thumb into it.

If your dough feels too firm, continue kneading a little longer.

3. Roll dough out until it’s roughly 1.5–2cms thick. Don’t make your dough too thick or it will take too long to dry.

4. Use assorted cookie cutters to cut out your shapes – we love snowflakes, stars, candy canes and gingerbread people! 

Tip: To make a handprint ornament, get your little one (or your fur baby) to press their hand (or paw) first and then cut around it with either a circle or heart shaped cutter.

5. Use a straw to make a hole for the ribbon at the top of your ornament. 

6. Place ornaments on a lined baking tray on the bench and let them airdry for 24 hours. This cuts down your baking time.

7. Preheat oven to 120 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. Once preheated, pop your trays in the oven and bake for 1–2 hours. When the tops of your ornaments look dry and solid, flip them over to bake the underside. Baking time can vary depending on thickness – if yours still appear doughy after two hours, bake for another hour or so (keeping an eye on them to avoid burning them).  

Tip: If they’re taking too long to dry in the oven, let them finish by air drying them for a few more days. Be sure to flip them over so the bottoms also get exposed to air.

8. Once your ornaments are fully dried, it’s time to paint. Top your creations with glitter, glitter glue, puff paint – the sky’s the limit here! Let the kids’ imaginations run wild. If you’ve created a hand or paw print ornament, you may want to paint the handprint itself and sprinkle on some glitter.

Tip: If you want to add glitter to your pieces, paint them first and allow them to dry. Then apply some craft glue and sprinkle on the glitter.

9. After the paint’s dried on your ornaments, it’s time to seal them to make sure they last for many Christmases to come. Seal them by either painting on some Mod Podge or spraying them with a clear glaze. (Adults should always do this step.)

10. The last step is to tie a loop of ribbon or twine through the tops of your creations and find the perfect spot to hang them on the tree.

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