Salt Dough Ornaments

Salt dough ornaments are the sweetest little homemade gift! You can make them for the whole family or classroom with hardly any effort!

diy salt dough ornaments

A couple years ago, my daughter Madeline received a homemade salt dough ornament from one of her friends at school. I thought that was the cutest idea for kids to gift to one another and something that doesn’t cost a lot of money.

Christmas crafts as gifts for school friends aren’t something I’d really considered before – surely buying stuff was easier? But after she came home with that adorable ornament, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. All the different combos you could make, all the Christmas cookie cutters I just happened to have in the pantry… the possibilities are endless.

You could make them for your family, the classroom, coworkers – you name it! And your limitations are only set by the cookie cutters you own. If you want to take it one step further, you can even personalize the ornaments for the recipient! Personalization is super easy – just take some mini ABC cookie cutters and stamp the middle with the recipient’s last name initial.

So, last year, on a snowy afternoon when everyone was tired of playing in the snow, We decided to whip up a batch of these cute Salt Dough Ornaments to hand out to friends. We kept it simple with sweet green Christmas trees, but red and white candy canes or yellow bells would be super cute and festive, too.

DIY Salt Dough Ornaments

Salt Dough Ornaments are actually really easy to make and are the perfect activity for kids to do during the month of December, especially on days that are too cold or snowy to play outside. Usually those days are abundant here in Colorado, but this year it seems like it has been unseasonably warm with the most gorgeous fall that went on forever.

We decided on two Christmas trees this year – one downstairs in the formal living that is all matchy-matchy and perfect. It sits in front of the windows and looks so pretty with the tree’s white lights and ornaments in shades of blue, silver, and gold glowing through the windows at night. Even though it is a decorator tree, there are a few special-to-me ornaments on it that just happen to fit the color scheme.

Upstairs in the hallway outside of the kids game room is a tree with all of their collector ornaments, handmade things the kids made in class in years past, and cute multi-color lights. All that to say, I wish we had made a couple extra of these salt dough ornaments last year to put on our memory-filled tree, but there is always time to make more this year.

The hardest part of making these ornaments is simply making sure that your work surface remains dye-free. I recommend covering your work surface with parchment paper or a plastic table cloth (like you get from the dollar store) – something that you don’t care if it gets stained or that you can just throw away. Wear gloves and aprons so that little fingers and clothes aren’t dyed red and green, but that’s about it.

DIY Salt Dough Ornaments

Pair this fun activity with a mug of your favorite hot cocoa and a round or two of Christmas Book Bingo by the fire. Grown ups will love this Spiked Peppermint Mocha Hot Chocolate  and kiddos will like a mug of Candy Cane Hot Cocoa. If mulled ciders are more your style, try this Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider.

That sounds like just about the most perfect winter afternoon I could ask for. I hope it does to you too!

More Homemade Gift Ideas

If you love to make homemade gifts for friends, neighbors, teachers, or anyone else on your holiday gift list, you might like to try a couple of these ideas, too.

Instead of throwing out broken bits of crayon, learn How to Make Recycled Crayons and try melting down your scraps and reshaping them into something new. For Christmas themed crayons, look for silicone molds that are Christmas Tree or snowflake shaped. Focus on color combos of blues, whites, silvers, and golds or reds and greens. This is super cute for kiddos to make for their school friends, or that grown up that you know loves to color in their adult coloring book!

Featuring lemon, oil, sugar and salt, this All-Natural Moisturizing Kitchen Hand Scrub is a simple DIY gift to prepare – perfect for the holiday season. Teachers will love this pampering item. For something extra special, pair it with a mani/pedi gift card or some fun new nail polish colors.

Homemade bookmarks make fun crafts for kids and also super cute gifts for them to pass out to friends at school; check out these 8 Cute DIY Bookmark Ideas. This is a great snow-day craft idea to get kids involved in the gift making process.

What are your favorite homemade holiday gifts?

I originally shared this fun recipe for Salt Dough Ornaments on Food Fanatic, but I thought you’d like to see it here on Good Life Eats.