Well I started off wanting to whip up some white ornaments in a hurry and that meant looking at Pinterest for ideas and recipes. My first attempt wasn’t a classic salt dough, but it was a classic Pinterest fail and if you’re interested you can read about that HERE.
I found a recipe for baking soda ornaments that looked quick and easy. It was, however, missing a crucial step in the recipe. I was able to recover it nicely, but sadly I wasn’t able to make ornaments out of the dough I created.
Because it wasn’t really dough.
Anyway, I moved back to salt dough and just added paint to the mixture to make it even more white. I also let them air dry this time and I love how they turned out.
Read on to see the recipe that I used and how they looked when they were all finished.
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Supplies for Salt Dough
The general salt dough recipe is very easy using only salt, flour and water. I added paint to make my dough mixture to make it even whiter. Without the paint the ornaments dry to a creamy color, much like a sugar cookie looks.
For this recipe you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup white paint
- Mixing bowl and spoon
- Parchment Paper
- Cookie Cutters
- Toothpick for making the hole
- Optional – paint
If you’re planning to bake your ornaments you’ll need a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and an oven!
How to Make Salt Dough
Start by mixing your flour and salt together.
Next you’ll want to mix your paint and water together. I used tempera paint because it’s non toxic and easy to clean up with soap and water. I also happened to have some on hand.
If I hadn’t already had this paint I would have used whatever white paint I had so don’t go out and buy any special paint to use. If you’ve got white paint then mix it in there. (I would avoid using an oil based paint – stick to craft paints or chalk paint.)
For that matter, there’s no reason that your ornaments have to be white. You could use just about any color of paint to get tinted ornaments. If you make dough that’s a different color be sure and send a comment below so we can see how it turned out!
Stir your paint/water mixture slowly into your dry mix. You will want to add about half the mixture and stir it well and then continue to add a little at a time. If you dump it all in at once you may wind up with a lumpy mess so take your time on this step.
When your dough gets hard to stir with a spoon you’ll want to turn it out onto some parchment paper. If it’s too sticky dust a little more flour onto it. If it’s too dry you’ll need to add a little more water.
You’re looking for a ball of dough that’s moist to the touch but not sticky.
Then you’re ready to make ornaments!
Make Your Ornaments
Be sure to use parchment paper so that you can save yourself a lot of cleanup. Parchment paper is truly one of my favorite tools in the kitchen these days, either for art projects or for cooking.
I like to divide my dough into a three sections and work with a small section at a time.
Roll out your dough and use your cookie cutters to make your shapes.
You can determine the thickness of your dough. I like mine to be between 1/8″ to 1/4″.
The thinner dough is going to dry much faster, but it’s also going to be a lot more delicate. If you’re working with kids you’re going to want to go at least 1/4″ thick so that you don’t have to worry about your ornaments breaking easily.
Use a toothpick to make holes in your ornaments so that you can hang them up when they are finished. Be sure that the hole goes all the way through the dough.
How to Dry Your Salt Dough Ornaments
There are really two ways that you can dry out your salt dough ornaments.
The first way is to let them air dry.
Depending on how thick they are this can take from overnight to forever. If you choose this method you’ll want to flip them over every 12 hours so that the wet side can be exposed to the air.
The second way to finish your salt dough ornaments is by baking them.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and bake your ornaments for 2-3 hours. You want to bake the ornaments until they’re dry but not browned. After the first hour flip them and then check them every 30 minutes until they’re done.
It’s also a good idea to let them sit out overnight just in case you have a couple that need a bit more drying time.
Baking your dough may cause it to darken slightly, but it shouldn’t be too noticeable.
Either method you choose, the thicker the dough, the longer the drying time.
Once your dough is dry you can hang them up or decorate them!!
I put my small white stars on a mini tree that we have in our bathroom and I love the way it looks. The larger white stars are going on a large tree. Some of those will stay white and some of them are going to have some gold accents painted on them.
Notes on Storing
Storing the dough:
If you don’t use up all of your salt dough in one crafting session you can easily store it for a few days. Place it in a sealed container and put it in your fridge. You may need to add water or flour to it when you’re ready to use it but it should stay good for several days.
Storing your ornaments:
Since your ornaments are made out of dough you’ll want to be sure that they’re stored in a dry and protected space. I like to wrap mine in tissue paper and keep them in an ornament container when I pack them up for the season.
Can you believe that I’ve got salt dough ornaments that are over 20 years old? Yep, it’s true, they’ll last a long time.
Do you need more holiday inspiration?
Check out a few of our other fun projects:
How to Make Dip Dye Ornaments
Try your hand at making Dried Oranges for ornaments and garland
A few of our favorite recipes are for Mulled Wine that will make your house smell amazing and then some other Pretty Cocktails to share this season.
Be sure that you save this pin to your board on Pinterest so you can find it again later, and leave any questions or comments below and we’ll get right back to you!