salt dough handprint ornaments

The Best Easy Salt Dough

  • Author: Amy Palanjian
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 2-3 dozen ornaments 1x
  • Category: Holiday
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


These take a few hours to bake and cool, so plan to do the rolling and painting in two separate sessions either morning and afternoon or on two different days. You can make these as ornaments with holes, or just as shapes for the kids to decorate. Skip the holes if you don’t plan to hang them.


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup table salt
  • 1.5 cups water


  1. Mix the ingredients together in a large bowl using a wooden spoon. When it becomes too stiff to stir, use clean hands to bring the dough together.
  2. Knead a few times until the dough is uniform and soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Divide dough into 2 or 4 sections and roll out to about 1/4-1/2 inch thick between two sheets of parchment paper. This will help prevent sticking.
  4. Cut out with cookie cutters. Transfer shapes to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Repeat rolling and cutting out shapes to use up the dough.
  6. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
  7. Do a 4-5-inch circle and press in a child’s handprint if desired.
  8. Use a paper lollipop stick or a skewer to make a hole to hang as an ornament.
  9. Bake for 2-2.5 hours or until firm to the touch.
  10. Remove from oven, let cool, and paint if desired with acrylic or washable tempera paint.
  11. Once paint is completely dry, seal with Mod Podge if desired.


Divide the recipe in half to make a smaller portion of dough if desired.

Use paper lollipop sticks or a skewer to make your holes.

Use a 4-5 inch round cookie cutter to make handprint ornaments.

Tie on baker’s twine or thin ribbon to hang as ornaments.

Try to get the dough to an even thickness before baking so the ornaments bake evenly.

Bake for the time indicated and then longer if your ornaments still feel soft. They should be firm to the touch without much give.

Let cool fully before painting.

If you want to paint the background of a handprint ornament, do that before you paint the inside of the hand. Let dry before adding a second color.

Use regular acrylic paint for older kids who can be trusted with paint and washable tempera paint with younger toddlers.

To help preserve your finished dried ornaments, you can coat with a layer or two of Mod Podge or spray with a sealer.

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