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Sanity with Sarah: Salt Dough Ornament Activity Recipe

Sanity with Sarah: Salt Dough Ornament Activity Recipe

Like many parents being told they will be quarantined with their children for the next two weeks or more, my first instinct was to hide all the good snacks and barricade myself in my bedroom.

My second thought was to figure out what to do with these kids to keep them (and me) from climbing the walls in boredom.

As an amateur cookier, I have tons of baking and decorating supplies in my house, but I didn’t necessarily want to waste all my eggs, butter, and edible glitter (I know my kids—they always go straight for the glitter, edible or otherwise) on cookies that my kids love to decorate, but not so much to eat.

So I decided to let them make some simple salt dough ornaments and use some of my cookie stuff to decorate with a little more flair. Now we have some cute Easter ornaments and food coloring-dyed hands. Voilá!

mixing homemade play dough

Salt Dough Ornament Recipe

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup table salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water, plus 1/4 cup reserved
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Mix the flour and salt together until combined.
  3. Trickle in the warm water while continuing to mix. If you have added the 3/4 cup water and your dough is still too crumbly, trickle in a little more water until it’s a good consistency (it might still be a little crumbly, and that’s ok!)
  4. Pour dough out onto a piece of parchment paper and knead with your hands. The warmth of your hands as you knead will help the dough come together so that it is smooth.
  5. Place another piece of parchment paper over the ball of dough. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough flat to between 1/8”-1/4”. Try to make them all the same thickness, so that they all bake to the same color.
  6. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Use a straw to poke holes at the top of the ornaments so that you can string a ribbon through later. Transfer shapes to a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 300°F for about an hour, then let cool.
Tip: I placed a couple of heavy sheet pans on top of the ornaments to flatten them as soon as I took them out of the oven, because the dough had bubbled up a little in places.


    To paint, we used some of my Cookie Countess airbrush colors poured into a small paint palette. I lightened the colors with a bit of Whipped White or Pretty Pearl Shimmer, since the airbrush is so dark and concentrated. You can certainly use any markers or non-toxic paints you have lying around, as well!

    My 9-year-old wanted to get a little fancier (of course), so we used edible marker to stencil designs on a couple of the cookies, and then she painted them in. (Although we obviously weren’t going to eat these, I didn’t want to ruin my stencils with Sharpie, hence the edible marker).

    home painting projects easy

    Let everything dry, and then string a thin ribbon through the holes. Fun and easy for the kids!

     Here's where to find the Stained Glass Cross Stencil, and the cute Bunny Love Stencil!

    Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more fun activities and inspiration!

    Previous article Live tutorial replay! All about layering and using multi piece stencils.

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