How To Make Vintage Salt Dough Ornaments In Your Kitchen

Whether you have fond childhood memories of making salt dough ornaments around the kitchen table, or you just want to bring a touch of retro nostalgia to the holidays, this creative DIY craft may just become your new favorite family tradition. Perfect for gifting, or decorating a tree; vintage-inspired salt dough ornaments cost mere pennies to make, and use three simple ingredients already found in your kitchen: salt, flour, and water! So preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, set up a clean workspace on your kitchen countertops, and let’s get crafting!

How To Make Salt Dough

Rolling pin and cookie dough

In a large bowl, mix two cups of all-purpose flour with a cup of salt and a cup of water from your kitchen sink (depending on how many ornaments you want to make, this recipe can be easily doubled or halved, accordingly). Blend with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms.

Turning Salt Dough Into Ornaments

Children baking Christmas cookies

The easiest way to make your own salt dough ornaments is to use cookie cutters in festive seasonal shapes. Roll your dough a quarter-inch thick on a lightly floured surface, cut out your ornaments, add them to a parchment-lined cookie sheet with a spatula, and use a toothpick to pierce a hole at the top (for adding ribbon later). Bake your ornaments for 4 hours or until set, and allow them to cool completely before decorating with acrylic paint or permanent markers. Don’t worry ‑ although cute, these ornaments are nowhere near edible, so have fun!

If you’re crafty, get creative by making your own unique creations, be it hand-formed snowmen, or ornaments that look like your family members! Just shape the salt dough any way you see fit. For people, form and flatten a small ball for the head. Cut strips of dough for the arms and legs, pressing each piece together securely to the torso — whether you choose round, rectangular or triangular, it’s up to you! Be sure to brush on a little warm water first as glue. Roll out small bits of dough for the hair, and add curls, dips and flips if required. Use a toothpick to press in the small details securely, again with a drop of warm water to help it stick. Once fully baked and cooled, decorate to your hearts content.

While they take a little more work and creativity than using cookie cutters, salt dough people are one-of-kind ornament made with love. And if you can DIY kitchen cabinets, you can certainly make vintage salt dough ornaments in your kitchen — just like you did when you were a kid.

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