How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments Recipe

An easy old-fashioned craft project that has become a favorite holiday season tradition in our home. The children love making salt dough Christmas ornaments and love to give them as beautiful gifts or to hang on their own tree.

When it comes to handmade Christmas decorations, there are many creative options. But, if you are looking for something simple, there is nothing easier than making a batch of salt dough to make your ornaments.

All you will need for this salt dough ornament recipe are essential ingredients that are probably already in your pantry. With these easy step instructions, you can learn how to make this Christmas craft for a wonderful family activity that both younger and old kids will enjoy.

Scented Salth Dough Ornaments

Why You Will Love Handmade Christmas Craft

Easy Christmas Craft: With plenty of cold wintry days tucked away cozy inside our home, the children often want to do a fun project. This craft project is so easy that the children can make a batch of salt dough for new ornaments each year by themselves.

Simple Ingredients: This is the best salt dough recipe! Using staple ingredients plus several spices, this salt dough ornament has the smell of Christmas. Scroll to the bottom for a full printable recipe.

Homemade Gift Idea: The possibilities are endless when thinking of different ways to create homemade salt dough ornaments. Use cookie cutters to make different shapes to hang on the tree with ornament hooks or create salt dough handprint ornaments.

Best Salt Dough Ornament Recipe

Christmas Scented Salt Dough Ornament Ingredients

This salt dough ornament recipe uses only a few ingredients, and if you have never learned how to make salt dough, here is what you will need to make this easy recipe.

  • Flour: Generic all purpose flour is perfectly fine to use for this recipe and it is the most affordable option.
  • Salt: the generic brand of table salt works for this recipe and is what preserves these ornaments year after year.
  • Water: warm water is what binds the flour, salt and spices together.
  • Spices: adding spices to the dry ingredieints is what makes these ornaments smell like Christmas! It is optional to add them as they will give the dough a slightly darker color, but we think it is worth it!
  • Essentials Oils: completely optional but adding in a bit of orange essential oil really makes this salt dough smell amazing.

Tools You May Need

In addition to the ingredients for making salt dough, these are some of the additional materials you may need for shaping and decorating these handmade ornaments.

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  • Mixing Bowl
  • Large Spoon
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cookie Cutters: use cookie or biscuit cutters to cut shapes for creating ornaments.
  • Twine: used for hanging the ornaments.
  • Parchment Paper
  • Baking Sheet
  • Rubber Stamps: the design ideas are endless with Christmas themed rubber stamps that can be imprinted on top of each ornament.
  • Acrylic Paint: you can leave the salt dough ornaments in their rustic color or use acrylic craft paint for creating beautiful colors on the ornaments.
  • Straw: some sort of object will need to be used to create the small hole at the top of the ornament. The best way to do this is to use a plastic drinking straw. This will ensure that the salt dough creations can be hung on the tree or even used as gift tags.
  • Polyurethane Spray or Mod Podge: salt is a great preservative, but if the ornaments are being painted, the spray will help preserve them even longer.
Scented Salt Dough Ornaments

How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments

  1. Mix flour, salt and ground spices: ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. If using essential oils add 10-15 drops. Stir until well combined. Slowly add in the warm water while stirring. Add just enough water until the dough forms and is close to the consisteny of play dough.
  2. Knead the dough. Use your hands to knead the dough for 5-10 minutes. Kneading helps to create a smooth and pliable dough resulting in a smooth ornament surface for cutting and painting ornaments.
  3. Roll out the salt dough on a flat surface with a rolling pin onto a sheet of parchment paper. Dough should be rolled to about 1/8″ thick but no greather than 1/4″ thick.
  4. Cut out ornaments shapes using cookie cutters. Once the shapes are cut out, do not remove them. Simply peel the excess dough from around them and then transfer your parchment paper to your cookie sheet.
  5. Make a hole. Use a drinking straw to poke a small hole in the top of the ornament so that it can be hung using twine or ribbon.
  6. Bake salt dough ornaments. The salt dough ornaments will need to bake low temperature of 200 degrees for about 30 minutes. Then flip the ornaments over and bake another 30 minutes. Ornaments are finished baking when they are dry and feel hard.
  7. Cool. Let the salt dough ornaments cool completely before painting.
  8. Seal. if you wish to add an extra layer of protection to dry salt dough ornaments, add a layer of polyutherane spray on each side once they have cooled and dried.
  9. Enjoy! Hang ornaments on the Christmas tree, use as gift tags or giveaway as special handmade Christmas gifts.
salt dough ornament recipe

Tips for making Old Fashioned Salt Dough Ornaments

How Long Does it Take for Ornaments to Dry in the Oven?

Depending on how thick the ornaments are and whether they are smaller ornaments or larger sizes, it can take an hour or more until they are completely dry.

How Long Does Salt Dough Ornaments Last?

Salt dough ornaments can last for many years. While salt is the essential preservative in this recipe, sealing the ornaments will ensure that they last even longer.

Do I Have to Bake my Salt Dough Ornaments?

To air-dry salt dough ornaments, set them out to dry until the salt dough hardens in a warm, dry place for several days. How long it takes them to dry will depend on the humidity, air temperature, and thickness of ornaments.

How do You Seal Salt Dough Ornaments?

Using spray poly, spray a thin coat on each side of the ornament. A thin layer of Mod Podge would also work; paint a thin layer on each side of the ornament to seal and protect it.

How do You Make Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments?

  1. Roll out the salt dough as directed above to about 1/2″ in thickness.
  2. Press the hand in the dough and gently press down to create the indention of the handprint.
  3. Cut around the salt dough handprints using the rim of a glass or large round cookie cutter.
  4. Follow the directions in the recipe for baking, decorating, and sealing.

How Do You Store Salt Dough Ornaments?

Salt dough ornaments should be wrapped in tissue paper or newspaper to help protect them from being damaged. Store in a cool, dry place where they will not get smashed or destroyed.

More Creative Holiday Craft Ideas

One of my favorite holiday traditions is making homemade ornaments, and it is always a wonderful time to gather and make holiday gifts. If you love this easy craft idea, you may also enjoy these great ideas.

Printable Recipe Card

If you try this easy homemade dinner roll recipe and love it,
would you please come back and give it five stars?
Here’s the full printable recipe for you to make this at home!

How to Make Christmas Scented Salt Dough Ornaments

Best Salt Dough Ornament Recipe

Learn how to make Christmas scented salt dough ornaments. This easy, old fashioned, handmade recipe is a great craft idea for kids and adults.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground clove
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 10 drops Orange essential oil (optional but it adds to the amazing smell)

Tools

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Large Spoon
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cookie Cutters: use cookie or biscuit cutters to cut shapes for creating ornaments.
  • Twine: used for hanging the ornaments.
  • Parchment Paper
  • Baking Sheet
  • Rubber Stamps: the design ideas are endless with Christmas themed rubber stamps that can be imprinted on top of each ornament.
  • Acrylic Paint: you can leave the salt dough ornaments in their rustic color or use acrylic craft paint for creating beautiful colors on the ornaments.
  • Straw: some sort of object will need to be used to create the small hole at the top of the ornament. The best way to do this is to use a plastic drinking straw. This will ensure that the salt dough creations can be hung on the tree or even used as gift tags.
  • Polyurethane Spray: salt is a great preservative, but if the ornaments are being painted, the spray will help preserve them even longer.

Instructions

HOW TO MAKE SALT DOUGH ORNAMENTS

  1. Mix 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt and 2 teaspoon each ground spices: ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. If using essential oils add 10-15 drops. Stir until well combined. Slowly add in the 1 cup of warm water while stirring. Add just enough water until the dough forms and is close to the consisteny of play dough.
  2. Knead the dough. Use your hands to knead the dough for 5-10 minutes. Kneading helps to create a smooth and pliable dough resulting in a smooth ornament surface for cutting and painting ornaments.
  3. Roll out the salt dough on a flat surface with a rolling pin onto a sheet of parchment paper. Dough should be rolled to about 1/8″ thick but no greather than 1/4″ thick.
  4. Cut out ornaments shapes using cookie cutters. Once the shapes are cut out, do not remove them. Simply peel the excess dough from around them and then transfer your parchment paper to your cookie sheet.
  5. Make a hole. Use a drinking straw to poke a small hole in the top of the ornament so that it can be hung using twine or ribbon.
  6. Bake the salt dough ornaments. The salt dough ornaments will need to bake low temperature of 200 degrees for about 30 minutes. Then flip the ornaments over and bake another 30 minutes. Ornaments are finished baking when they are dry and feel hard.
  7. Cool. Let the salt dough ornaments cool completely before painting.
  8. Seal. if you wish to add an extra layer of protection to dry salt dough ornaments, add a layer of polyutherane spray on each side once they have cooled and dried.
  9. Enjoy! Hang ornaments on the Christmas tree, use as gift tags or giveaway as special handmade Christmas gifts.

Notes

How Long Does it Take for Ornaments to Dry in the Oven?

Depending on how thick the ornaments are and whether they are smaller ornaments or larger sizes, it can take an hour or more until they are completely dry.

How Long Does Salt Dough Ornaments Last?

Salt dough ornaments can last for many years. While salt is the most important preservative in this recipe, sealing the ornaments will ensure that they last even longer.

Do I Have to Bake my Salt Dough Ornaments?

To air-dry salt dough ornaments, set them out to dry until the salt dough hardens in a warm, dry place for several days. How long it takes them to dry will depend on the humidity, air temperature, and thickness of ornaments.

How do You Seal Salt Dough Ornaments?

Using spray poly, spray a thin coat on each side of the ornament. A thin layer of Mod Podge would also work, just paint a thin layer on each side of the ornament to seal and protect it.

How do You Make Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments?

  1. Roll out the salt dough as directed above to about 1/2″ in thickness.
  2. Press the hand in the dough and gently press down to create the indention of the handprint.
  3. Cut around the handprint using the rim of a glass or large round cookie cutter.
  4. Follow the directions in the recipe for baking, decorating, and sealing.

How Do You Store Salt Dough Ornaments?

Salt dough ornaments should be wrapped in tissue paper or newspaper to help protect them from being damaged. Store in a cool, dry place where they will not get smashed or destroyed.

This post was originally posted on November 21, 2018, and updated on October 30, 2021.

Thank you for sharing!

72 thoughts on “How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments Recipe”

  1. Hi Sarah! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It is my favorite. My boys and I enjoy making ornaments every year for our trees. We decorated an entire tree this year just using the ornaments we made from this recipe. It looks so beautiful and smells amazing! I also love your orange garland and have made it these past two years. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. You are a blessing! -Andrea

    Reply
  2. Sounds like a great recipe! Have you ever tried the cinnamon and applesauce recipe? I teach 3 yr. olds in preschool and use this recipe every year. It makes my classroom smell so good. Use equal amounts of cinnamon and applesauce. Mix together, roll out on aluminum foil, and cut with cookie cutters. Pull away the unwanted part and re-roll and cut more. It takes several days for this to dry. I usually turn them over after a couple of days to dry out the back of the ornament. No baking required. Don’t forget to punch a hole at the top with a straw so that you can hang them.

    Reply
  3. I am gathering ingredients to give this a try; I am a week away from a Young Adults progressive dinner at my house…this garland wld be amazing at my sun porch windows…could I ask how you knotted the bakers twine as you spaced out the stars? Thank you.
    [email protected]

    Reply
  4. FYI… the directions do not say how thick to rollout the “dough” but I found that 1/4-1/2” is best. The thicker the better. I also used a straw to make the holes. I cut the straws in fourths and thirds as a “new” straw works best. The dough stays in the straw making it a neat job. I also found that the garland requires two knots; one in front of the star and one behind. I used a small, 1” cookie cutter that made about 132 stars!

    Reply
  5. Hi Sarah, I wanted to thank you for this lovely recipe ! I made them with my grand daughters this week all the way over here in New Zealand and they turned out wonderful, and like you said the house smelled fantastic !!. I am loving your blog 🙂
    Blessings to you this Christmas ~ Linda

    Reply
  6. I made these today. I had made salt dough bears for years. This recipe was easier to work with than the one I had been using. However I felt they did not have enough scent. I will make them again but with more cinnamon or cinnamon essential oil. The string was very hard to tie but I loved the look. Thank you for sharing this recipe for salt dough stars.

    Reply
    • I wouldn’t. Depending on how thick or thin they are, they may get damaged in the wind. And, I am not sure how the weather may hurt them.

      Reply
  7. I got this from my granddaughter Angel Benavides she’s the one that told me about scented cookies I think that this cool for making these cookies for Christmas decorations

    Reply
  8. This were great to make, but I found cooking for and hour and touring they tend to curl some, so I turned them after 30 minutes, was able to press gently on them to make them flat and then repeated the process of turning again in 30 minutes. Other wise they were great and the aroma fills the house nicely and my grandson thought they smelled yummy enough to eat.
    Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • To prevent curling I would place another cookie sheet directly on top with some parchment paper between while baking. If it needs to be flipped take hold of both sheets and turnover.

      Reply
  9. I love this recipe! We made them over the weekend, but one side does not seem to be drying. ? I rebaked them with that side up for another 2 hours. Any suggestions? We did make them a little thicker as we used it for handprints and my little boy broke one of his prior year prints. ?

    Reply
  10. Hi so I did the recipe and they came out awesome and smell amazing. However I set my oven to 170 lowest setting did the two hour bake with the flip in the middle and let them cool. They were still slightly soft when they came out thinking they would harden up after cooling but they are still slightly soft. Should I rebake or is it a lose u think

    Reply
  11. I made these with my 3 year old today. They smell great, but I had to use lots of flour when rolling them out to keep them from sticking to the rolling pin/counter. Unfortunately, now my ornaments look a bit frosted, but not in a good way. : ) Did I miss a step? Thanks!

    Reply
  12. I made these with my 3 year old today. They smell great, but I had to use lots of flour when rolling them out to keep them from sticking to the rolling pin/counter. Unfortunately, now my ornaments look a bit frosted, but not in a good way. : ) Did I miss a step? Thanks!

    Reply
  13. Hi! I am totally making these this year, but I also want to make a few circular ones and decorate them with “botanicals” – loose tea stuffs. Do you think they’ll be okay in the oven too? Thanks

    Reply
  14. Hi there.

    Your links above aren’t working. You must have moved them to a new location and the saved URL link isn’t updated. I found them eventually, but it was a bit disappointing to not have the right link.

    MORE DIY CHRISTMAS IDEAS
    Air Dry Clay Ornaments
    How to Dry Cranberries for Decorating
    Dried Orange Garland

    Reply
  15. Made these yesterday with regular cookie cutters. Added lavendar buds to the top – Love these. Will use for gift tags, ornaments and in a garland! 🙂 Thanks for the inspo

    Reply
  16. I love this idea! Valentine’s Day is coming up next and I’m thinking I’m going to make some little hearts and string them like you did the Stars. So cute!

    Reply
  17. Hello! Just wondering if you could tell me how long the ornaments will keep their scent. I’m wanting to make these with some friends over the weekend and am hoping that the fragrance will last till Christmas.

    Reply
  18. Hello! I can’t wait to make these this year! I’m wondering if the polyurethane spray will seal in the scent? I’m really looking forward to these scented ornaments so I’ll skip the spray if it keeps them from smelling Christmassy. Thank you!

    Reply
  19. Made these today with my 4 & 5 year old grandkids. We used a decorative rolling pin on last pass. They turned out great and the kids loved making.

    Reply

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