salt dough ornaments

How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments or Gift Tags

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salt dough ornaments

Today, I’m sharing my recipe and process for creating salt dough ornaments, which actually double as gift tags for packaging items that I sell online and at farmer’s markets (more about that later).

One of the things I love to do in the winter months is to work on craft projects. With the days shorter and less available daylight to spend outdoors, I turn my attention to crafting. This is when I do most of my crafts for the year because let’s face it, once the days lengthen, you won’t find me indoors! As a soapmaker and bookbinder, I’m always looking to find ways to add flair to my packaging before I mail out purchases.

If you run a small business as I do, then you know that it’s the little things that can either make or break a returning customer. I love to add a little something extra or just a small personal touch.  These gift tags do the trick.  I add them when tying up packages for shipment, as a decorative element tied onto bath salts jars. I’ve gotten so many compliments from people when they receive their gift with this little added surprise. They really liven up any packaging!

So, whether you’re looking for a fun family project or want to give a handmade gift during the holiday seasons, you can whip up some salt dough ornaments in no time. It’s the perfect material for making ornaments because it’s inexpensive, easy to work with, and surprisingly durable once dry.

salt dough ornaments

What is Salt Dough?

Have you ever wondered what salt dough is? Salt dough is a type of dough made from a combination of flour, salt, and water that can be used for a variety of crafts. Simply put, It’s just flour, salt, and water mixed together until it forms a moldable consistency. The best salt dough recipe is flexible and easy to work with. With a little practice, you’ll be making homemade salt dough ornaments in no time.

salt dough ornaments

Salt Dough Recipe

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup Water

Instructions

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make salt dough ornaments. There are many different recipes out there that I have not tried, but this one I have with good results. 

  1. Gather your ingredients. All you need is flour, water, and salt. You also need a bowl, mixer, and cookie cutters (or anything else you want to use to cut out the desired shape).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt & water – start with 1/2 cup of water, then add more water a little at a time as needed.
  3. Mix together until a smooth ball of dough forms.
  4. Next, place the ball of dough onto a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, work the dough until it is between ¼ and ½ inch thick.
  5. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes, placing them on a sheet of wax paper. I actually used a small glass overturned to cut out my shapes. 
  6. Then, using a pencil, the back end of an artist’s brush, or drinking straw, create holes for threading string through.
  7. To stamp your dough, carefully place a clear acrylic stamp onto a cutout piece of dough. Apply medium pressure to ensure it stamps evenly. Then lift stamp straight up.
  8. Allow tags to fully air dry for 72 hours, flipping them once daily. Alternatively, you can bake the ornaments at 250 degrees for 1-2 hours until dry.
  9. Then color with fine tip permanent markers or acrylic paint.
salt dough ornaments

Supplies I Used for Decorating Salt Dough Ornaments

If you want to know exactly what supplies I used to decorate my salt dough ornaments, you can refer to the list below. 

salt dough ornaments

Tips and tricks

One thing I recommend doing after your ornaments are dry and decorated is to apply a coat of Modge Podge waterbase sealer to make them last longer. You can choose from matte or gloss finish depending on the look you are going for. 

If you’re making salt dough ornaments for Christmas or another holiday, it’s a nice touch to add a bit of scent to your dough. It is optional to add essential oil to your dough to give them an amazing scent. One thing to note is that they will give the dough a slightly darker color, but we think it is worth it!

salt dough ornaments

We hope you have enjoyed and been inspired by this salt dough craft. I would love to see what you create!

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