Salt Dough Ornaments

The other day I looked at my toddler’s hands and was shocked at what I saw. How did his hands get so big already?

I can remember holding them when he was a newborn, amazed at how detailed and functional such a little thing could be. His chubby baby hands were my favourite.

So in order to preserve them as they are now, as well as his brother’s very chubby little hands, I decided to make salt dough ornaments. Specifically little Santa hands.


What you’ll need:

  • Salt dough recipe (found below)
  • Acrylic paint.
  • Mod Podge
  • Ribbon

How to make Santa salt dough ornaments:

  1. Mix the dough using two cups flour, one cup salt and up to one cup water.
  2. Roll the dough into a ball and flatten it to desired thickness. Remember thicker dough takes longer to dry.
  3. Help your child press his or her hand into the dough to create the hand print. After Elijah had made his hand print, I handed him some of the extra dough (this recipe makes lots!) and let him play with it like Play Doh.
  4. Cut around the handprint with a sharp knife. You’ll want to clean up the edges as best you can because how the dough goes into the oven is how it will come out.
  5. Poke a hole in the palm of the handprint, or the top of the ornament. I used the end of a paintbrush. This is for the ribbon you will use to hang the ornament on your tree.
  6. Bake your salt dough ornament in the oven at 275 degress for a few hours – until the dough has completely dried out. Flipping the ornament part way through the drying process helps to speed it up a little bit.
  7. When the salt dough ornaments are dried, remove them from the oven and let them cool on the counter.
  8. After the ornaments are cool, paint the entire hand with white acrylic paint. Once the white paint has dried, paint on Santa’s face. Use the top of the palm and thumb for the hat, the palm for the face and the remaining four fingers for Santa’s beard.
  9. Once the paint is dry, seal with Mod Podge and attach your ribbon.
  10. Your ornmanet is now ready to hang on the tree (and make your heart melt at the sight of those tiny, tiny hands!) for year’s to come.
Salt Dough Ornaments
Ezra – 7 1/2 months old
Salt Dough Ornaments
Elijah – 2 1/2 years old

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