DIY Salt Dough Ornaments

finished salt dough ornaments

At family dinners around the holidays, I always look for fun ways to entertain our youngest guests at the kids’ table. That way they can be doing something fun and engaging rather than staring at screens. This year we are going to have a little crafting going on at the table while everyone waits for dinner. Salt dough ornaments are a simple DIY that kids of any age can make, and they are incredibly easy to clean up. They can be made right at the dinner table before you serve the big meal, and then can be placed in the still warm oven to bake while you eat. You can decorate them as an after dinner activity, or even send home the unpainted ornaments with guests to finish later. There are so many possibilities with the decorations. I can’t wait to see what my niece and nephew come up with this year.


round salt dough initial ornament


  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Measuring cup
  • Cookie sheet
  • Twine
  • Paint (if choosing to decorate after dinner)


dry materials for ornaments

Step 1: Mix 1 cup of flour, ½ cup of salt, and ½ cup warm water together in a bowl.

mixing the salt dough

Step 2: Mix dough with your hands until all ingredients are mixed evenly. Feel free to get creative and add food coloring!

salt dough balls

Step 3: Place a ball of dough in front of each kid’s place setting at the table. Kids can mold the dough into various shapes with their hands and create custom ornaments. Help them come up with ideas and form the dough into their desired shapes.

making a christmas tree salt dough ornament

Step 4: Use a toothpick to make any designs on the ornaments. Then use the toothpick to form a hole at the top of the ornament for a piece of twine.

poking a hole to string the ornament

Step 5: Transfer the ornaments to a baking sheet, being careful to keep their form. It is easy to reshape them once they are in place.

salt dough ornaments in baking sheet

Step 6: Bake the ornaments in a warm oven for about 45 minutes. It’s perfect for dinner, because you can finish cooking the turkey, turn off the oven, and let the ornaments bake while you eat.


Step 7: Once your ornaments have hardened and cooled, tie a piece of twine through the hole. You can stop here and send your unpainted ornaments home with your guests to decorate later. Or break out the craft paint and have a mini painting party after dessert!

painting the ornaments holly ornament saltdough13 saltdough14

More DIY Holiday Ornaments:

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