Better than Salt Dough Ornament Recipe (2024)

Amanda - Sunshine Valley WV

Today I’ll show that making your own better than salt dough ornaments is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3! Get ready to get crafty!

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As a kid, I remember making salt dough ornaments. As a matter of fact, I still have the tiny little handprint ornament that I made. I thought it would be so much fun to recreate this childhood memory of mine with Eli and Emmy this year. Problem is, I didn’t have enough salt for salt dough. Solution? Better than Salt Dough Ornaments!

Better than Salt Dough Ornament Recipe (1)

All you need is a couple cups of baking soda, a cup of cornstarch, and some water to create these darling little ornaments. We had so much fun stamping, rolling, and cutting. The memories made are some I’ll always cherish. That’s the best part about anything homemade. There are so many really great memories made doing it!

I used regular old twine to hang mine on the tree, but I love the idea of using ribbon! If I would have had some red ribbon on hand, I would have used it for sure.

How to Make Better than Salt Dough Ornaments…

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups water

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepot, combine baking soda and cornstarch. Stir in cool water and mix completely.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. After 5 – 7 minutes the mixture will begin to brown slightly. It should begin bubbling. Continue stirring for a few minutes as it thickens.
  • Transfer to a glass bowl, and cover lightly with a damp cloth.
  • Let cool for at least on hour.
  • Once cool, knead the dough until smooth. Roll out to desire thickness. Use more cornstarch if needed to keep dough from sticking.
  • Stamp, or press the dough if desired. Cut with cutters. (Make sure to add a hole for hanging. A drinking straw works great for this!)
  • Let cool completely for 24 hours.
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A few tips for making better than salt dough ornaments…

  • When you first mix the ingredients in the sauce pan, it is thin and watery. Don’t add more dry ingredients to thicken it up…trust me. It thickens FAST.
  • I like to let mine cool about an hour and a half before I knead it. If you want too long it starts to dry out, and doesn’t come together very well.
  • Don’t forget to make a hole to hang the ornaments. Don’t ask me how many times I did…ha! If you do happen to forget a dot of hot glue and some ribbon will work for hanging.
  • I’ve seen these “ornaments” used as gift tags, and I think that is a darling idea! You could customize and personalize until your heart’s content.
  • You can stamp the dough before you cut them to add some interest to them. Get creative with what you use as a stamp. I used pine branches, pieces off a wreath, and some berry sprigs to stamp mine.
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They were really so easy to make. The hardest part is waiting for them to dry. I’ve seen someone say that they put theirs in the oven at 175F for an hour. I’ve never tried it, but it sounds like it would work. If you try it, let me know!

Better than Salt Dough Ornaments

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cups cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepot, combine baking soda and cornstarch. Stir in cool water and mix completely.

  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. After 5 – 7 minutes the mixture will begin to brown slightly. It should begin bubbling. Continue stirring for a few minutes as it thickens.

  • Transfer to a glass bowl, and cover lightly with a damp cloth.

  • Let cool for at least on hour.

  • Once cool, knead the dough until smooth. Roll out to desire thickness. Use more cornstarch if needed to keep dough from sticking.

  • Stamp, or press the dough if desired. Cut with cutters. (Make sure to add a hole for hanging. A drinking straw works great for this!)

  • Let cool completely for 24 hours.

As always, thank you so much for stopping by, and spending just a tiny part of your day here with me. I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know!

Better than Salt Dough Ornament Recipe (5)

Here’s an image to pin for later…

Here’s an image to pin for later…

Better than Salt Dough Ornament Recipe (6)

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Better than Salt Dough Ornament Recipe (7)eztc2002 says

    Oh I loved salt dough. I will definitely these a try. I like the gift tag idea. I think that would be cute in my plates of goodies for the neighbors

    • Better than Salt Dough Ornament Recipe (8)admin says

      That is a wonderful idea! It doesn’t take long to whip up a batch, either!

  2. Better than Salt Dough Ornament Recipe (9)Megan says

    We made these today and now waiting on them to dry! Love the pretty white! We added a couple drops of peppermint essential oil to the batch! Thank you!

    • Better than Salt Dough Ornament Recipe (10)admin says

      So excited you made them! I love adding a drop or two of essential oils! I bet the peppermint smells wonderful.

Better than Salt Dough Ornament Recipe (2024)

FAQs

What is better than salt dough? ›

Baking soda dough has a much smoother texture and a much brighter white color, compared to the slightly grainy, off-white color, that salt dough creates.

What can I use instead of salt for salt dough ornaments? ›

Problem is, I didn't have enough salt for salt dough. Solution? Better than Salt Dough Ornaments! All you need is a couple cups of baking soda, a cup of cornstarch, and some water to create these darling little ornaments.

Is air dry clay better than salt dough? ›

The salt dough browns slightly when baked, while the air dry clay stays a bright pure white, and I think the clay also holds the shape of the cookie cutter much sharper and more defined without any shrinkage. But what I love most about this project is how simple and how affordable it is to make.

What can I use to seal salt dough ornaments? ›

You can paint a coat of glossy decoupage glue over the entire ornament to seal and protect it, and to give it a shiny finish. You can also spritz it with a light coat of polyurethane spray. Both methods, along with the salt acting as a natural preservative, help to extend the ornament's longevity.

Which is better salt dough or cornstarch dough? ›

Salt dough was easier to remove from complicated cookie cutters (like the snow flakes) Salt dough looks better cut out thick, than the cornstarch clay – next time I would make thinner clay cut-outs. Note: I used a straw to make the holes in the ornaments/tags.

How long do salt dough ornaments last? ›

How Long Do Salt Dough Ornaments Last? If you seal the salt dough ornaments properly with craft varnish, they'll last for decades! If you don't, expect them to start crumbling after a year or two.

Why did my salt dough ornaments crack? ›

Salt dough is susceptible to moisture, meaning it will pull any moisture from the surrounding air. This causes your projects to turn soggy or even crumble.

Why did my cornstarch ornaments crack? ›

If you add too much cornstarch, the dough will be too dry and it will crumble and crack and you don't want that. Roll out your baking soda and cornstarch dough with a regular rolling pin. Roll out the dough about 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick at most.

Why did my salt dough ornaments puff up? ›

Make sure your oven is set to 150°f. This is SUPER IMPORTANT. I have seen others use hotter temperatures but I haven't been able to do so without getting puffiness. So, plain all-purpose flour, 150ºf oven and 1/4 inch thickness = no puffy ornaments.

What are the disadvantages of air dry clay? ›

Pros and cons of air dry clay
ProsCons
Easy to useDrying times can be long
AffordableNot naturally waterproof
Non-toxicNot food-safe
Suitable for all artistsCan crack easily
1 more row
Sep 1, 2022

Do you paint salt dough before baking? ›

Once you've formed your salt dough, you can cook the creations in the oven to make them set. Once baked, they will harden and can be painted and decorated after they cooled down!

Is salt dough or baking soda dough better? ›

And IT IS BETTER!!!! This baking soda clay has a much smoother texture and a much brighter white colour, compared to the slightly grainy, off white colour, that salt dough creates.

Can you seal salt dough with Elmer's glue? ›

There are several types of glue that can be used for salt dough crafts, depending on the specific needs of the project. Here are a few options: White glue (e.g., Elmer's glue): This type of glue is easy to find, dries clear, and is non-toxic, making it a popular choice for salt dough crafts.

Can you use Sharpie on salt dough? ›

I also wanted the project to be super colorful! The solution, Salt Dough Hand Prints colored with Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers (because when you are managing this crew, paint is a nightmare).

How do you harden salt dough ornaments? ›

The great thing about it is that the salt dough sculptures will harden if you leave them out to dry at room temperature. Depending on the size of the pieces, it will take 2 to 7 days to dry completely.

What is the difference between salt dough and playdough? ›

What's the difference between playdough and salt dough? Salt dough is made from just flour, water and salt. It's less elastic than playdough and dries hard (especially if baked). You can then paint and varnish it and it will keep forever.

What is the best clay to make ornaments with? ›

Is there a clay that's best to use for clay ornaments? As long as you are using a clay that eventually hardens, you should be fine. But choosing a firmer oven bake clay over the texture of a soft air dry clay will give you the ability to roll it out smoother and get cleaner edges with your cookie cutter.

What happens if you make dough without salt? ›

Without salt, your dough will rise faster than it normally would, leading to less flavor development and a weaker structure. To incorporate the salt, mix it with a few teaspoons of water. Return your dough to the mixer, tear it into three to six pieces, and drizzle the liquid on top.

How durable is baking soda clay? ›

It is also very strong and durable when it air dries thoroughly. The best things about the baking soda clay are, that it dries to a beautiful opaque white, shrinks less while drying, and looks amazing when decorated with watercolours or marker pens. However, it is prone to cracking.

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