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Salt Dough Handprint Ornament

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Just in time for Christmas – this is a really easy and fun craft for the kids. Learn how to make this pretty and glittery Salt Dough Handprint Ornament to place on your Christmas Tree! What I love most about these salt dough ornaments is that they’re made from all ingredients you have in your kitchen! And because of this it’s completely safe for the little ones to work with.

RELATED: Salt Dough Ornament Recipe

Salt Dough Handprint Ornament Recipe

Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments

With Christmas coming up, We love focusing our crafts on the holiday season. We have always seen Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments before and thought they were a really nice way to make a memory of your little one’s hand to cherish on the Christmas tree.

You could easily make a new one every year and have a nice memento for the Christmas tree you can compare to each year! Simply add the year on the back of the salt dough ornament to keep track of the different years.

Kids will love helping to make this salt dough recipe. Part of the fun is them being able to stamp their hand into the salt dough! This was one of the best parts. They will also have fun decorating the salt dough ornaments by painting it. Of course if you want a really nice keepsake – you may want to make a few extras to paint one that is fully painted if you have a younger toddler.

How to Make Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments


The sky is really the limit for decorating this Salt Dough Handprint Ornament. We decided to paint it red using acrylic red paint but you could choose green or even silver or gold. Then you can decide to leave the handprint portion of the salt dough ornament either natural, or you could paint this a different colour or use glue and add glitter to it like we did.

There’s so many different ways to decorate this ornament! Another idea is you could apply some glitter stickers around the outside of the handprint also.

Once you are done, don’t forget to seal with either mod podge or a clear glaze spray. We like this spray for a durable finish. Adults should do the spraying and always follow directions of the product chosen. Sealing the final ornaments will help stop them from cracking in a few years.

Finally, just a friendly reminder to keep these out of reach of pets (they can be toxic to dogs especially) and small children that would want to put them in their mouths.

Note: If you find that the ornaments are still a bit doughy, put them back in for another hour or so.

The thickness of the dough will determine how long you have to bake them for. You can also raise the temperature up to 325 degrees F but do this gradually as they may start to puff up. We prefer to bake them at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for longer and let them air dry for a few days.

Watch the full tutorial video here before you get started! 

How to Make a Salt Dough Handprint Ornament – Easy Salt Dough Recipe!

Handprint Ornament
5 from 4 votes

Salt Dough Handprint Ornament



  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Combine all of your ingredients and knead for 10 minutes. If your dough is too dry add a little bit more water in and continue to knead.
  3. Roll out the dough to a thickness that you'd like your salt dough ornament to be.
  4. Using a large cookie cutter, cut out different shapes for your salt dough ornament.
  5. Have your child place their hand into the salt dough ornament. If the dough is too hard to get an imprint it may be too dry and you can continue to knead by adding in a little bit more water.
  6. Using a straw, make a hole in the top for where you want to hang your salt dough ornament.
  7. Bake for 1-2 hours. If your ornaments are still doughy, put back in for another hour. (It will depend on your thickness how long you need to bake for. The thinner ornaments will take less time but thicker may take more).
  8. If you encounter too much puffing, roll out thinner ornaments and this will help reduce the puffing. If the ornament is still a bit doughy, bake for longer or let sit out a few days to harden before decorating.  The thickness of the dough will determine how long you have to bake them for. You can also raise the temperature up to 325 degrees Fahrenheit but do this gradually as they may start to puff up. We prefer to bake them at 250 degrees Fahreneheit for longer and let them air dry for a few days.

  9. Once cool, you can decorate by painting with acrylic or kids paint.
  10. To make the hand glittery, fill the handprint with glue then sprinkle glitter on top of the glue, shake off the excess and let it dry.
  11. Spray with a clear glaze finish or finish with mod podge.

Nutrition Information

Recipe For Salt Dough Handprint Ornament

There you go – that’s all it takes to make your very own Salt Dough Handprint Ornament. Pretty easy, right?

Looking for more Christmas fun activities and crafts for the kids? 

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122 comments on “Salt Dough Handprint Ornament”

  1. Hi, I would like to try this with my preschool students. Can they be air dried?

  2. Hi, I have been making these bread dough ornaments for years. I have used coffee to dye the dough for a natural two tone look. I also put the dough through a garlic press to make hair on my dough people. Just moisten the dough with water where you want to apply the hair. My “ dough people are quite chubbie with a head, belly and chubby arms and legs. Some have stocking hats. Once dry…like after several weeks, I paint them with acrylic paints and spray them with Krylon. Some of my ornaments are 10 years old. I always store them in a nice dry place, individually wrapped. Wish I could show you some. Carolyn

  3. Hi i was wondering if i could use a polyurethane to seal? I use it to seal the paint when refinishing furniture 

  4. How many handprint ornaments does the recipe make?

  5. Tip:
    You can color this recipe by adding food color to the water before you add it to the dough. It doesn’t work as well adding the color any other way so try to get the measurement of your color what you want right the first time. ( I’m picky about the theme and colorof my Christmas tree ornaments) Just color the water and add it in like the recipe says

  6. Hi ,

    I put the glitter before sealing with mod podge. Should I brush mod podge over it anyway??

  7. Hi….this is my first time trying this. My dough was quite hard to press my granddaughter ‘s little hand into. Is this normal? Also, what dough is left, I sealed and put in the fridge. Is it reusable, or to be thrown out?

  8. Can I use self rising flour? 

  9. How can these be made non toxic to dogs? Just in case our dogs decide to get into the ornaments hanging on the tree? What ingredients are toxic?? Thanks 

  10. Do you paint it then put the sealer on then the glue and glitter?

  11. Can you seal with clear fingernail polish? I’m kindof broke so my daughter and I are painting these with fingernail polish and I don’t know if you can glaze it with a top clear coat fingernail polish…

  12. Hi a customer of mine has tried to make the salt dough ornaments and put them on a 200 degrees and burnt very quickly. She used acrylic paint, could this be the reason?

  13. Hi, what would happen if I sealed them before they were completely dried through? Baked them for a few hours Thursday, and have been sitting out till Sunday; didn’t want to bake them longer because the tops werw starting to crack.

  14. Hi! I tried making these with my kids and the dough was so sticky we couldn’t get the dough to hold shape. When we pulled the cookie cutter off all the dough with it. Any tips? I tried adding more water and that made it stickier. What did I do wrong?

    • Hi Decon – you need to add more flour to your surfaces, cookie cutter, hands etc if it is too sticky. If the dough is too sticky then add more flour.

  15. Hi! Procrastinator here! Wanting to make these for a relative for Christmas! Would have to mail out at least before Christmas Eve! Can you bake them on low heat extra long so that they don’t have to sit out for days?! Would love to make, bake, decorate and send them out as soon as possible! Thank you!

    • Yes you can actually raise the temperature and that should speed the process up but just keep an eye on if they start to puff up because then you’ll want to lower it again if they are puffing. They should be hardened even after 1 day.

  16. Pro tip: if your kiddo will likely not be able to get their hand centered in the shape you cut out, just have them press it down anywhere on the rolled-out dough and cut out the shape around it!

  17. What kind of glue should I use for the glitter handprint?

  18. Is it normal for the back to look lighter and still be all dry? Or does it mean it needs more time to try. It doesn’t feel doughy

  19. Hi! I am a kindergarten teacher and would love to make these as parent gifts. I was wondering if I could make the dough and cut them out ahead of time. Then, I would take them to school the next day to let the kids put their hand prints in them. Would they be sitting out too long before the hand print?

    • You could make the dough in advance but don’t precut them as they’ll start to harden once exposed to air. So if you can cut before you take the handprints that would work.

  20. I tried making the double handprint snowman ornament. Let it air dry for a few days still doughy so I put in the oven on 200 for 2.5 hrs and cracked everywhere and still doughy. What am I doing wrong.

    • That one isn’t ours but my guess is it’s too thick and big. I’d recommend making it thinner and smaller if you can. Put in oven first and then let it air dry for a few days.

      • Oh ok. Thanks. I’m trying it again today and following your salt dough recipe for Just the handprint. How thick should I make it and do I need to flip it over during cooking process?

  21. So I just used mod podge super gloss and I spread it evenly and it kinda looks like I ruined it is that normal with mod podge?

  22. Hello, This maybe a silly question… What do you bake the ornaments on? Non stick baking sheet? Thanks, Susan

  23. I followed the instructions when placing my daughters hand it was so hard to get her print . Any suggestions

  24. How many ornaments does each batch of dough make?

  25. My plan is to have each of the kids make a pair of mittens with their handprints attached with a ribbon for hanging purposes. What would you suggest I use to string the ribbon through vs putting a hole through the dough? Paperclip? Also, what is the ideal thickness of the rolled dough?

  26. If the children I’m working with are 8-10 years old. How many hand prints do you think I can get out of one batch?

  27. How do I store kneaded dough for Sunday school project so need to do several batches before hand.? Would overnight be OK? Need to refrigerate?

    • We haven’t tried refrigerating overnight but assume it would be OK. The dough would get very hard so you’ll need to let it rest at room temperature for a few hours before trying to work with it. If you have time in the morning to make the dough that would probably be better.

    • I put mine in a ziplock bag and left out on the counter. I had two of my granddaughters one weekend and my baby granddaughter came to visit a few days later. The dough was still perfect to make her tiny handprint. ?

  28. Hey can you an alternative to the mod Podge. I have something similar to that, but wanted to check first because I don’t want to ruin them!

  29. Hi Kim, can you add coloring to the dough? What would you suggest?

  30. Hi. How many ornaments approx can you get from one batch. I want to make about 10 hand print ones

  31. I am trying to make this currently and kneaded for 10 minutes still too sticky and added more flour. I followed the ingredients perfectly. What is going on?

    • It sounds like maybe too much water if too sticky. Just keep adding a bit more flour in slowly until it’s not too sticky. Put flour down on your surface and hands when kneading.

  32. This recipe is perfect, not sticky at all to work with. Thank you!

  33. So could you cut the recipe in half if you don’t want to make as many?

  34. So I made these with my kids on saturday, we only did the dough, handprints and baked in the oven. The middle was still doughy so I baked for 3 hours. I thought they would dry out the rest of the way and I just checked them and they are more doughy than they were on saturday, I guess I shouldn’t have stacked them on top of each other. I just put them back in the oven with a higher temp. I really hope this works, we are decorating them on Wednesday with paint but I was hoping to get the glitter on them tonight.

  35. Can it be painted with spray paint to seal it?

  36. Need Help! So I made some handprints….I think my dough is a little too think. The top of them look great! But when I flip them over…doughy in the middle. I tried tuning them over and baking them for a couple hours lingers but isn’t working! Should I just let them air dry?? I just don’t want to ruin them! The handprints look great! Any thoughts on what to do??

    • Julie – pop them back in the oven for another hour or two and if still not dry, let them air dry for a few days and they will harden up. Then you can seal once completely dry through.

  37. What temperature should you bake?

  38. Can you add fragrance to the dough maybe gingerbread smell or cinnamon

  39. Hiya do u add glue to the mixture or coat with glue after then bake

  40. Hi can you use pva glue to seal them

  41. I tried doing it with my daughter and the dough just stuck too her hand

    • If it’s too sticky you can just grab a little bit of extra flour and put it on your surface or your hands when working with the dough.

    • Same with my 8 week old. What I did was dust flour on top of the dough before putting my daughters hand in it. Peeled off perfectly. I didn’t think of this until about the 8th attempt

  42. I used this recipe once and made the most adorable heart shaped “cookie” ornaments…without the string. After baking, I painted them dark brown to look like choc glaze and “drizzled” with ivory acrylic paint and then glittered with clear glitter. My husband thought they were real cookies! Lol! That was several years ago, they still look great and I use them to accent a candle in a cute cocoa mug. Adorable!

  43. could you spray them with hair spray?

    • Spray with hair spray to seal the glitter on if you’d like but you’re better off using the acrylic sealer on the whole thing to protect the salt dough from cracking.

  44. How many do you bake at one time?

  45. I can use this for decoration ?

  46. how about putting in the dehydrator, that way you could do lots at a time?

  47. If you make them for a classroom, could you make them in class and take them home to back later in the day, or do they need to be baked right away?

    • Hi Kara, We’ve been told you can air dry clay so it should be fine. We would just recommend wrapping in some clear wrap and then put in a container so it doesn’t get smushed.

  48. Do these last long?

    • They should last quite awhile if baked. You could always add some extra mod podge around the paint to prevent any flaking too. 🙂

      • Hey Kim!! My children made these absolutely years ago and I’ve hung them on our Christmas tree every year!! The “kids” are now 33, 30, & 28 years old!! So they can last a very long time!!!

  49. Can I make the dough the night before and keep it in a ziplock bag until tomorrow morning?

  50. What kind of glue did you use for glittering?

  51. Do you think this would air dry? I would love to do this in the classroom but it would be hard to get them into an oven right away. Is have to take them home and bake them. Thank you for sharing this adorable project!

    • Hi Lynn
      You do need to bake them. However you could do the hand imprints and send them home with instructions to bake! Hope that helps!

    • Teachers check with the cafeteria before hand to see if you might use one of the ovens and when. A lot closer than taking them home, also less risk in getting damaged.

  52. Hi! I plan on making 26 ornaments any idea as to how much Flour and salt I will need?

    • Hi Kelley,
      You may be able to do only 2 batches depending on the size of your cookie cutters and the thickness you make them. You may want an extra batch handy though just in case!

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