Go Back
+ servings
salt dough handprint ornaments

The Best Easy Salt Dough

Amy Palanjian
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.
4.74 from 19 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Holiday
Cuisine American
Servings 2 dozen ornaments
Calories 1 kcal


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


  • 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.
  • NOTE: If the dough is too wet and sticky, knead in a little more flour, about 1 tablespoon at a time. If it's too stiff, add a little more water, about 1 tablespoon at a time. There is a big range in the way different flours absorb liquid, so there is a normal range of variation here. It should be easy to work with—soft and not too stiff and not excessively sticky.
  • Knead a few times until the dough is uniform and soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Cut out with cookie cutters. Transfer shapes to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Repeat rolling and cutting out shapes to use up the dough.
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  • Do a 4-5-inch circle and press in a child's handprint if desired.
  • Use a paper lollipop stick or a skewer to make a hole to hang as an ornament.
  • If making ornaments, bake for 90 minutes to 2 hours; if baking handprints, bake for 2-3 hours. Continue baking both ornaments and handprints as needed until they are until just firm to the touch, checking every 20 minutes. (It's not a problem if yours take longer than the initial baking time—it varies based on thickness and size...which will likely vary if you are baking these with kids!) They do not need to be rock hard, but should not feel squishy. Handprints will likely take longer than smaller ornaments and may take closer to 4 hours.
  • Remove from oven, let cool, and paint if desired with acrylic or washable tempera paint.
  • 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 but do not need to be rock hard. It is not a sign of a problem if yours take longer than mine did to bake—flours and ovens vary!
  • 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.


Calories: 1kcalFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gCalcium: 31mgIron: 6mg
Keyword salt dough ornaments
Did you make this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!