Salt Dough Ornaments : Revisted:)

Salt Dough Ornament Tutorial          I have been making Salt Dough Ornaments for years.  They are lovely to give as gifts, or to use as an extra special tag.

For the last several seasons, I have finished them with Tim Holtz Distress Stain to create a vintage look.


This year, I’m trying something different.

Salt Dough Ornament Tutorial


4 C Flour

1 C Salt

1 1/2 C Warm water

8 -16 oz. White Acrylic Paint (I typically use about 12 oucnes of paint-*only for WHITE ornaments)

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands until a dough forms.

If you are NOT making WHITE ornaments, omit paint and add 1/2 C more water. Either way, you may need to adjust water and flour to achieve a “bread dough” like consistency.

Add the acrylic paint and continue kneading in the bowl, until there is no longer any “loose” paint in the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and continue to knead, until it becomes fairly smooth and uniform in color.

Roll out the dough, adding a little more flour to the surface and your rolling pin. Roll out to about 1/8 – 1/4 inch thickness.

Use cookie cutters or biscuit cutters for shapes.

Place each cut shape on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Use a skewer to create a hole for the ribbon.

For the ink design, use your favorite rubber or polymer stamps along with a black permanent ink. ( like StazOn)

Gently press your inked stamp into the cut shapes BEFORE BAKING.

Bake at 200 degrees for 4-6 hours.

They are done when they become completely hard.



Above is an example of the ornaments stamped WITHOUT ink.

I took some of the baked,  “inkless” ornaments and added some fun mixed media products for color…

MORE on that LATER!

Below, you can see I used a bamboo skewer to create a hole for the ribbon before they went into the oven.



It is best to use a permanent ink like StazOn.


*If you have any edges that are a little rough after baking, a light file with an emery board smooths those right up!

Salt Dough Ornament Tutorial

Salt Dough Ornament Tutorial

They are SOOOOOO easy, and such a nice & INEXPENSIVE Gift!!

I have a whole tree decorated just with these!  -and my hubby liked the Price$!!

46 thoughts on “Salt Dough Ornaments : Revisted:)

    1. Hi Shelley,
      It depends on the size of your cutter. I would say anywhere from 15-24 on average. The smaller cutters (2-3 inches) make cute gift tags, while the larger cutters (4-6 inches) make a nice ornament to give as a gift.
      Hope this helps!
      Happy Holidays!

  1. A question, now that you have made and kept some from year to year, how do they hold up? Do they get crumbly? Attract bugs? Get sticky or anything over time? Do you have any special cares you take such as spray clear or special storage? Thanks, and they are beautiful, I see so many possibilities with these!

    1. Happy Holidays:) You have asked some great questions! If you are concerned about them holding up, I would definitely suggest spraying them with a matte finish acrylic sealer. Even without this step, they are VERY durable. It’s also a good idea, to store them in a cool dry space…away from excessive moisture. I love to make new ones every couple years…trying new techniques and colors…it’s just such a great activity to do with friends & family-especially children, plus they are so inexpensive:)
      I have not had any problems with crumbling or bugs:) ALSO, baking them at a lower temp for longer (200 degrees for 4-6 hrs.) allows for the centers to dry out completely, preventing some of the problems you have mentioned. (I have seen some recipes suggest 300-350 for a much shorter time.) HOPE THIS HELPS! Thanks for “visiting!” Would love for you to share with me your ornament creations!

      1. Thank you SO much!! I really appreciate you taking the time to do that. Happy Holidays 🙂

    1. Hi Taylor,
      The darker ornaments were “stained” with Tim Holtz Distress Stain in Walnut. (you can find this at craft stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby) Use an inexpensive make-up sponge to “load” on the color, then rub all over the ornaments. I think you could use a diluted wood stain as well…applied in the same way, if you can’t get the Distress Stain.
      Hope that helps!

    1. You can find it at a craft store like michaels or hobby lobby near the scrap booking stamps & ink pads. It is packaged like an ink pad. Do you have either of those stores in your area? I would guess that diluted wood stain might work. Let me know if you try it!

    1. Hi Lauren! Oh, my….thank you for catching the fact that I didn’t mention what I baked the ornaments on!!
      -A cookie sheet lined with parchment paper:) 200 degrees for 4-6 hours. Happy baking!!

  2. I am about to make these and I just want to be sure of something before I dive in… for the ones with the black ink, I stamp them AFTER they come out, correct?

      1. ok not to make myself sound dumb..but I stamp them WITH the ink beforehand, right? Not stamp beforehand with just the stamp and then again after baking with ink on the stamp….

      2. If my directions were clear enough you wouldn’t have questions:) NOT DUMB! Stamp WITH the Ink before baking. The pics with the stamps that are “inkless” are ones that I colored later with something different after baking.

  3. oh oh also, I am adding in the white acrylic paint. Is there an amount you recommend? I see you said to decrease the water…I want to make sure I do this correctly so I’m sorry for the questions!

      1. Kristin, let me know how they turn out! I’d love to see a picture of your finished ornaments!!!! Feel free to ask any other questions you might have! Ps. don’t forget to poke your ribbon holes before baking:)

    1. Happy to Help! My directions may be a little scattered:) I basically added white acrylic paint until the dough became the white I was looking for…I used about 1/3-1/2 C white paint. If after thoroughly mixing ingredients it feels too sticky, just add a little more flour.

  4. Will they attract cockroaches and/or other insects? I’m actually planning to use this recipe as weights for some paper weights. Will it work?

    1. I have not had a problem with bugs, and I’ve been making these for years😄 however, I try to keep the thickness an inch or less- you may run into problems making them thick enough to be heavy enough to use as a paper weight. If they do not dry out completely in the center, they will get “funky” sometimes even moldy. The finished product is not very heavy. Hope this helps!!

  5. Thank you for answering a prayer! I too have a gift from God to send friends and family cards at
    Easter and Christmas art and testament combined. To show our Lord the creator of all can be fun!

    1. So nice to meet you Lynn! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me! Happy gift making:) I’m sure the Lord will bless others through your generosity! Xo

  6. I can’t wait to try these. I have been searching all over for more than a recipe for salt dough ornaments and your attention to details and how to’s will be very helpful as my husband and I embark on this ornament adventure. We have been making ornaments for several years for friends and family, just a special tradition so we can spend time together doing something for others with love from us. I can’t wait to get started. As a former ceramicist, I am planning on putting on a light coat of “base coat” and then using a antique “medium” to rub over them and wipe off of the designs we will be implementing in the dough so they get the look we want. I will let you know how they come out.

    1. Wow! You have this! I cannot wait to see what you create! How sweet that your husband is doing this with you! I JUST LOVE THAT!!!! Thanks so much for taking the time to connect with me! I REALLY would LOVE to see photos of your finished ornaments! I’m sure you could teach me a thing or too:) xo

  7. The ornaments were a big success. As soon as i figure out how to share the pics with you, I will. We used cookie cutters for some of them and then to stay on budget, different items around the house to “engrave” designs on them from the plastic sticks taken out of jars of “bubbles” to utensils with cool designs and I even used an old pen that was out of ink to draw small designs on the ones for our grandchildren. We painted them a variety of colors-green/red or white and some we used antiquing mediums on to give them an older look and some were painted and decorated, such as the trees. It was really a fun project this year. I even took the time to build a special memorial ornament for my mother since we lost my dad earlier this year. I can tell you that after they were rolled out and designed, and placed on the cookie sheet we baked them in the oven at 250 for 4 hours. Some were left out overnight to air dry but the ones in the oven actually came out better, in my opinion. I am just so glad i came across your recipe and we thank you for the bottom of our hearts. May you and yours have a blessed 2016!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with me! (and others!) I love what you’ve done, and I appreciate the detail you used to describe your process!! I’m sure others will too! Thank you again! -and I would LOVE to see photos of your ornaments! They sound really special! Much love, sue

  8. Sue, It’s already time for Christmas 2016 planning, and I love the *sophistication* you have given to the beloved salt dough ornament! I’m anxious to try your methods this year, but I do have one question. I would love to know if you’ve had any fall to the floor/off the tree, and if so, did it “survive?” (I have stained CONCRETE floors!?!) I’d love to make these, but with 15 grandchildren (we’ve four daughters with large families! YAY for us!) I can only imagine the mishaps they might have! I’ve only used polymer clay, and those items withstand even being thrown onto this floor! Thanks for your help! I just love these very creative ideas, and will soon become one of your newest followers … kj
    p.s. Thanks for providing the link to the pine branch stamp ~ I’d love to have it, too!

    1. Kathleen, thanks for checking out my blog! I have a “thing” for natural looking ornaments and am happy that you love them too! My advice would be to make sure you don’t roll them out to thin…about 1/4″… Though, I have not had one break. Caution: if you get them too thick, they won’t dry out properly and can grow mold. (Don’t think thickest is best). The great new is, if any were to break, they are so cheap and easy to make! Hope you have loads of fun creating these for your tree! I’ll bet some of those precious grandkids would like to help you! Xo

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