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How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments

A fun family tradition.

Start a tradition and make salt dough ornaments

My family and I are so excited to begin our holiday traditions! We can't wait to set up our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, and get the rest of the house ready with our seasonal decorations. The tradition we love the most is pulling out each ornament and retelling the story behind it. 

When we travel we pick up an ornament from a local gift shop to bring home with us as a reminder of all the fun of our trip. It is heartwarming to relive the memories every time we pull out a decoration and place it on our tree. But the ornaments I love most are the ones we've made together in our kitchen. I am a sucker for a handmade ornament, or anything that captures my kids tiny hand prints. It's amazing to revisit every stage of their childhood again just by looking at the size of their hand prints.

My Christmas memories include baking salt dough ornaments in the kitchen with my mom. I can't remember if they turned out perfect every time, but I do remember the fun we had making them. I hope my kids remember the fun we have making a mess each Christmas season creating our salt dough collection. I wish the same for all of you!

Here is the simple recipe we use each year:


1/2 Cup of plain flour
1/2 Cup of salt
1/4 of water (or less)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until it forms a dough. Knead the dough to be sure everything is fully incorporated. 

Roll the dough with a rolling pin (applying a light coating of flour to the rolling pin keeps the dough from sticking) so that it is approximately 1/4 inch thick. You can use a cookie cutter to form your shapes, or you can have your child place their hand on the dough and press into it to form a hand print. Cut around the shape of their hand using a butter knife. 

Poke a hole in the top of your ornament to allow for a ribbon, or a hook to hang on the tree.

Bake at 200 degrees for 3 hours. 

Once your ornaments have cooled you can paint them. If you want your creations to really last use a coat of clear shellac to seal them. Don't forget to add the date to the back to add to the nostalgia of Christmas's past.

I hope you take the time to get a little messy this year. From our messy kitchen to yours we wish you a very healthy and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

What is your favorite family holiday ornament or decoration?

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with her creative ideas and outings on Pinterest.

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