Salt Dough Ornament Craft

It’s feeling a bit magical out there. Just walk alongside your child while he’s spotting the lights twinkling off each tree and dreaming up the special gifts he’s making for Mimi and PapPap this year.

Why not block out some time to help his gift come to life and encourage your child how to make something unique, just for a special family member to cherish year after year? My family got in the spirit after reading some of the Homer holiday stories such as the “Family” power word and “Clara and the Cookie.” We created some simple dough handprint ornaments, but you can also use this recipe to preserve small personal creations. Here’s how to mix up some lovely ornaments for your family and start a fun tradition while encouraging your child to share his or her passions with others.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour (self-rising flour should not be used as it will cause the ornaments to bubble up while baking)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup water (or more as needed)
  • Non-Toxic acrylic varnish (like this)
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Drinking straw
  • The top of a very wide cup (something larger than your child’s hand)
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Glitter
  • Ribbon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Some other sites recommend 375, but I’ve found this makes the dough bubble up too much.
  • Mix flour, salt and water and knead thoroughly. If it’s still super-sticky, make sure to add more flour.
  • Sprinkle a little flour on parchment paper and roll out the dough to about ¼ in. thickness using the rolling pin.
  • Use the wide lip of a cup to cut out a circle.
  • Have your child place their hand in the center of the circle cut-out and push down to leave a handprint.
  • Using the straw, create a hole for the ribbon that will hang on the top part of it.
  • Place ornaments in the oven and bake from 4-7 hours, flipping them once. Remove them and allow them to cool completely.
  • Paint the handprints and add your own flourishes to make them special.
  • Use varnish to lock in the color and preserve the ornament.
  • After everything has dried, thread the hole with some ribbon and package up to share your special gift with others.

Don’t forget to wrap your gift! Download the “Christmas Elf” story gift tags along with Homer’s Holiday Cards.

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