25 Days of Christmas Fun: Salt Dough Ornaments (And a little ramble down memory lane)

We thought it would be fun to countdown to Christmas each night with a fun Christmas craft, recipe, family tradition and all things holly jolly.


Thanks to Melissa from CafeMom for this photo!

Jamie here, growing up – we were pretty close to plain old poor.   I don’t mean to say “aww, poor me” – but to get you to believe it when I say, my mom was S-E-R-I-O-U-S about not spending any money on people’s Christmas presents.  So we crafted every year – starting around July – to have enough presents to hand out come Christmas.  Mom picked a big project each year, like sewing fabric angels or those long heavy rolls that keep the draft out near the bottoms of doors and windows.  One year she went on a woven basket kick – and another it was aprons for the women in the family.  She even learned how to make doilies one year!  My dad joined in too – he woodburned pretty pictures for my grandparents, and painted scenery on old saws for my uncles.

Anyway…. My brother and I learned quickly that our parents had no intention of forking over money for us to buy presents – so we jumped on board, making things for each other and our friends.  I smile now, thinking of my very first sewing project – a lumpy pillow for my 5 year-old brother’s “My Buddy” doll.  It even had the words “Willy” scrawled across it in puffy paint for good measure (his My Buddy’s name)

Now that I’m all grown up – those kinds of gifts still mean so much – even if you don’t have the time or talent to weave a basket out of fabric scraps or paint a farm scene on an old sawblade.  You can still teach your kids a little “Make Do” by having them make a present – even if it’s just a special ornament!   This is a recipe for basic salt-dough ornaments.  We made these as kids and still decorate our tree with them to this day!

Use this easy recipe to make ornaments using cookie cutters or handprints!

These are the same basic salt-dough ornaments that we made as kids – with just a couple adjustments.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup Warm water
  • OPTIONAL: Add cinnamon & nutmeg to your dough to add a nice smell!


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees – then combine flour, salt and water.  Knead it for about 10 minutes – or even a little more – the longer you knead, the more sure you’ll be that your dough won’t puff up.
  2. Roll/stretch it out very slowly onto floured surface (think pizza dough) and use Christmas Cookie Cutters to cut out your ornaments. You can also trace a little one’s handprint on paper – and use that as a template. Use the end of a straw to cut a small circle for the hook/string to go in your ornament.  (Check out these “Family Face” ornaments here!)
  3. Bake 30 minutes, let cool completely.
  4. You can paint these with poster paints, tube paints, acrylic paints, or others – and then preserve it by spraying with clear polyurethane on both sides, or brushing with interior/exterior glaze.  Make sure to put your initials and the year on the back!

Another fun idea for your salt dough, is to make small cut outs, paint them, and hot glue them to magnets.  I have no ideas for you right now as far as WHAT to cut them into – but come on, you have get some ideas the old fashioned way!

Don’t miss out on any of our nightly posts in our 25 Days of Christmas Fun Series. Join us tomorrow night for more Christmas Fun!

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