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EASY Salt Dough Ornaments That Last Forever

Use this recipe to make salt dough ornaments that double as personalized gift tags – both kids and adults will love this EASY craft. Preserve the ornaments with Mod Podge.

Skills Required: Beginner. You’ll make salt dough according to the recipe, cut your shapes, and then bake it. Then you’ll paint and Mod Podge the resulting ornaments. Anyone can do this project without prior experience.

Easy initial salt dough ornaments and gift tags

I have a confession to make: I LOVE wrapping gifts. Presentation may not be everything, but it’s worth a lot in my book. When I can add a unique, handmade, and thoughtful topper to my gifts, I’m definitely going to take the time to do so.

In addition to gift wrap, I also love Christmas ornaments. Especially something personalized, that I can make myself. “So what,” I thought, “if I can combine the two together?”

DIY Salt Dough Ornaments

These initial salt dough ornaments, sealed with my new favorite Mod Podge (Sparkle!), are perfect for adding a personalized touch of fun to your gift wrap! Then, of course, you can hang them on your Christmas tree instead of throwing them away as you would a typical gift tag.

How to Make Salt Dough

Salt dough is easy to make with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen! Our salt dough recipe is made with flour, salt, and water. It’s *really* easy and you can’t mess it up. The only thing I ask is that you don’t eat the dough, or let your children eat it. It tastes terrible anyway!

Preserving the Ornaments

You have a few options for preserving your ornaments. Before you do any preservation, you’ll want to paint them (if you want to use paint). You can paint the entire ornament or partial . . . and I recommend acrylic paint.

After that you can do one of two things. You can seal the ornaments with Mod Podge (giving them a few coats) or you can use a spray sealer. Or both. In this project, we’re using Sparkle Mod Podge to both seal the ornament and add a bit of bling to the project. So Mod Podge serves double duty in this instance!

The finish you use to preserve the salt dough is up to you – pick Satin, Gloss, or Matte depending on what you like. My personal favorite (besides the Sparkle) is a Satin finish.

How Long do Salt Dough Ornaments Last?

If you preserve your ornaments properly, salt dough can last for years. I have some dough ornaments from my childhood, so they would be at least 35 years old. They are still in great condition and there’s been no disintegration whatsoever!

Salt Dough Recipe

Gather These Supplies

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3/4 – 1 cup water
  • Initial cookie cutters
  • Mod Podge Sparkle
  • Paint for dipping (if desired)
  • Twine or ribbon for hanging
how to make salt dough

Step 1: Make your dough by mixing your flour, salt, and water. If your dough is too dry, add a bit more water, if it’s too wet, just add more flour . . . salt dough is very forgiving; it’s hard to mess it up!

salt dough recipe

Step 2: Roll out your dough and cut out your initials. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. You can cut your salt dough ornaments into any shape you like. I did letters, but you can use any cookie cutter shape you find.

letters cut and laid out on a pan

Step 3: Use the end of a skewer to poke a hole at the top of each initial for hanging. Bake at 250 degrees for 2 – 3 hours. Let cool.

Using the end of a skewer to poke a hole in the top of the ornament

Step 4: I decided to dip my salt dough ornaments in gold paint (which I added to a cup and mixed with about a tablespoon of water to thin).

Gold acrylic paint, cup, and baked ornaments

You can decorate your ornaments with glitter, craft paint, or anything else your heart desires. Dip your initials, and let dry on parchment paper.

dipping a salt dough ornament in paint

The salt dough ornaments are being shown dipped in the paint, but you could dip them into Mod Podge and then sprinkle with glitter. If you do that, wait until dry and brush off the excess with a dry brush before hanging.

painted salt dough ornaments

Step 5: Once dry, add a coat (or more) of Mod Podge Sparkle to help seal the ornaments and give them a bit of shimmer.

Sparkle Mod Podge

It’s as simple as that! These are so fun and easy to make, and it’s a great kids’ craft, as well!

Salt dough holiday ornament

You can tie these salt dough ornaments to gifts with baker’s twine, or you can grab some ornament hooks and put them on the tree.

Easy salt dough gift tag

They look great on top of packages . . . wouldn’t it be fun to spell out a name and tie one letter to each gift? There are so many things you can do with this idea!

How to make personalized salt dough ornaments

Thank you so much for letting me share my salt dough ornaments with you all today! You can find lots of other tutorials and inspiration on my blog.

Yield: 16 ornaments

Salt Dough Ornaments

painted salt dough ornaments

Learn how to make salt dough ornaments for Christmas using this how-to! This salt dough recipe can be used for many other kids' crafts.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $5

Materials

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3/4 - 1 cup water
  • Mod Podge Sparkle
  • Paint for dipping (optional)
  • Baker's twine
  • Parchment paper

Tools

  • Cookie cutters
  • Scissors
  • Cookie sheet
  • Oven

Instructions

  1. Make your dough by mixing your flour, salt and water. If your dough is too dry, add a bit more water, if it's too wet, just add more flour . . . salt dough is very forgiving; it's hard to mess it up!
  2. Roll out your dough and cut out your shapes (in this case, initials) with the cookie cutters. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  3. Use the end of a skewer to poke a hole at the top of each ornament for hanging.
  4. Bake at 250 degrees for 2-3 hours. Let cool.
  5. If desired, dip ornaments in paint or glitter. Let dry on parchment paper.
  6. Once dry, add a coat (or more) of Mod Podge Sparkle to help seal the ornaments and give them a bit of shimmer. Let dry.
  7. Use baker's twine to hang.

Did You Make This Project?

Please leave a rating or share a photo on Pinterest!


And if you are interested in making some additional gift tags with salt dough, get inspired by these faux cookie gift tags. You can cut any shape into the center that you like!

DIY faux cookie Valentine's Day gift tag
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MELISSA

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

Can these be put in the oven after they've been painted and sealed with mod podge? It's my first time making these and I didn't realize they would take 4 weeks to cure! I see my in-laws in four days and I'm trying to figure out how to speed up the process!

TIA!

Amy

Wednesday 23rd of December 2020

Hi Melissa! Yes they can. Use acrylic paint, Mod Podge, no spray sealer, lowest oven temp (200-ish) and then do not leave unattended, check regularly.

Nicole

Sunday 13th of December 2020

If I add google eyes, ribbon, tulle or stickers to the ornaments, when do I put the mod podge on? Can it go over those items or should the mod podge go on before I put them on?

Thank you!

Nicole

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

@Amy, What if I put the googly eyes on and then sprayed with the sealer? What will happen?

Thanks!

Amy

Sunday 13th of December 2020

Stickers can go before Mod Podge, but the rest just glue on afterwards with craft glue!

Roxane

Sunday 13th of December 2020

This is a great post - thank you! Would love your advice... I had my first go today with my daughter : ) They came out of the oven pretty good - some still a tiny bit squidgy but mostly fine. However post painting they seem to have softened up again. Will they dry out again? Or is it a lost cause? They’re currently on the radiator...! Thank you!

Amy

Sunday 13th of December 2020

I think you can let them dry out on the radiator and they should be fine :) Next time I'd just let them cook longer!

liane

Tuesday 8th of December 2020

I have some ornaments I did when my boys were small that is in 1980 and they are still like when I made them. The only problem I have had with them is that I used copper electrical wire to make a loop to hang them and the salt eat the wire with time. We just do more and glue them in the ornaments, hopefully they will last till I last.....

Amy

Tuesday 8th of December 2020

Wow Liane! I didn't even think of that with the copper wire. I bet those ornaments are such treasures to you!

Lisa

Sunday 22nd of November 2020

My dough seems really sticky. When I pull my child’s hand out of the dough it sticks to his fingers creating an abnormal handprint. Any suggestions to help with this? Thanks!

Amy

Sunday 22nd of November 2020

Hi Lisa! Yes, just add more flour (a little bit at a time) until it isn't sticky anymore. You want to go slow so you don't overdo it, but it shouldn't take long to adjust the mixture manually :)