Salt dough ornaments are such a cute and festive way to get the house in gear for Christmas. They add a special personal touch to your brightly-lit Christmas tree.
But let’s face reality: getting the kids involved in the decorating process, especially when it involves flour and kitchen utensils, isn’t always as easy as it looks. In fact, it can be stress-inducing once you picture the aftermath in the kitchen!
So how do you create a beautiful keepsake with little ones, and make the process less stressful for everyone involved?
A little prep work…and an easy trick I use to avoid designing with knives (see list below!).
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This weekend I decided to give the salt dough ornament-making process another try, after a few bad experiences.
Check out what exactly we did to create a Christmas tree ornament using fingerprints as the Christmas lights.
Fingerprint Christmas Tree Ornament
To get started, I made sure to gather all the necessary ingredients:
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1/4 cup water
- Christmas tree cookie cutter
- Rolling pin
- Sharp knife (to cut edges)
- Parchment Paper (for easy baking)
- Acrylic Paints
There are a few variations of the salt dough recipe online – most call for equal parts flour and salt but I found that I was adding more flour to the dough and more water, so adjust accordingly. You will want to start with fewer ingredients and make adjustments as you go to get the ideal mixture.
Once you combine the flour, salt, and water you will need to knead the dough. You can mold it into a ball, squeeze together and apart several times and then flatten out. A rolling pin helps make this A LOT easier.
You can get the kids involved here to provide them with fun, messy sensory play, but keep in mind you will NEED to have lots of paper towels, wipes and patience handy :).
The thickness of the dough depends on what exactly you like. Aiming for something that isn’t too thick (so you can actually hang it on the tree) and something that isn’t too thin (so you can add fingerprints/handprint) is ideal.
This post was very helpful in learning to find the best temperature for baking as well.
Use the cookie cutter to create the tree shape, and have your kid press down firmly with fingertips (or thumb) to create the Christmas lights. Our cutter was small so we only had room for about 4 fingerprints.
Place on parchment paper and set in the oven for 2-3 hours at 200 F.
Finally, the next step is to put those quality paints to use and decorate! You may want to wait to paint the next day when you have some alone time – to make the experience more fun overall :). You can then add a ribbon or string to hang on the tree.
I made a couple for each kid and printed the year on the back. We added a DIY star on one of the trees for even more fun.
I LOVE the way the Christmas ornament turned out and was so easy to do once I had the prep work done and was able to manage expectations. The cookie-cutter made it a no-fuss easy way to shape my ornament and getting fingerprints from the kids was much easier than having them try to keep their hand steady for even a minute.
If you loved this, please PIN it so others can try it too!!
If you enjoyed this Christmas craft, I hope you will check out a few others we made with the kids!
Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a prenatal and postpartum educator at MommysBundle.com.