salt dough ornaments

How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments or Gift Tags

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Today, I’m sharing my recipe and process for creating salt dough ornaments, which can also double as gift tags for packaging. These are so cute when attached to items to sell online at craft fairs, or farmer’s markets, but are especially lovely hanging on a Christmas tree. 

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 soap maker and herbalist, 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 to make with kids or want to give a handmade gift during the holiday seasons, you can whip up some salt dough ornaments in no time. Salt dough is the perfect material for making ornaments because it’s inexpensive, easy to work with, and surprisingly durable once dry. It’s definitely one of my favorite Christmas crafts.

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

Tools & Equipment to Make Salt Dough

  • Mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer
  • Cookie cutters
  •  Rolling pin
  • Baking sheet or cookie sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Drinking straw (or other tool for creating a hole)
  • Acrylic stamp
  • Craft Paintacrylic paint, paint pens, paint brushes 
  • Ribbon, string, or twine

Salt Dough Recipe

This is a simple recipe with only three inexpensive ingredients needed. 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup Water
  • essential oil (optional)


Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make salt dough ornaments. There are many 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 require a bowl, mixer, and cookie cutters (or anything else you want to use to cut out the desired shape).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all-purpose flour, table salt & water – start with 1/2 cup of water, then add more water a little at a time as needed.
  3. Continue mixing the ingredients until a smooth ball of dough forms. I prefer to use my Kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook attachment.
  4. Next, place the ball of dough onto a floured surface and knead it a few times. Using a rolling pin, work the dough until it is between ¼ and ½ inch thick.
  5. Use cookie cutters to cut out the desired shapes for your salt dough Christmas ornaments, placing them on a baking sheet lined with parchment 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, twine, or ribbon through. You will need to do this if you plan on hanging your ornaments up. 
  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 in a 250-degree oven for 1–2 hours until dry.
  9. Then color with fine tip permanent markers, acrylic paint, glitter, or other decorative elements.
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 Mod Podge water base 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. I like to use cinnamon or an evergreen essential oil, as this is just so reminiscent of the holidays.  One thing to note is that they will give the dough a slightly darker color, but we think it is worth it!

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

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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If you enjoyed this tutorial on how to make salt dough ornaments, you might like some of these other homemade crafts and DIY projects. Here are a few of our favorites.

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2 thoughts on “How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments or Gift Tags”

  1. Greetings! These are absolutely my favorite diy I’ve found for salt dough ornaments. Truly gorgeous. I tried your link for the acrylic cookie cutters and it was the one for the paintbrushes. I just love those herbal prints. Do you still have a link for them?

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