Salt Dough Ornaments

In the weeks before Christmas J and I were racking our brains trying to come up with a good gift for the grandparents, aunts and uncles from Baby C.  The typical framed photo just wasn’t appealing, plus picture frames can get pricey.  Inspiration struck when I was browsing Pinterest and came across The Imagination Tree’s salt dough handprint ornaments.  I can remember making homemade ornaments as a kid with my mom, and it seemed like a fun project.

We decided to personalize the ornaments by putting a photo of Baby C and the recipient on the back side of the ornament.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have photos of everybody in the right size, so in those cases we just used a cute photo of Baby C.

I followed the dough recipe as written — 1 c flour, 1 c salt, up to 3/4 c water ; knead well — and then rolled the dough out to about 3/8″ thickness.  I pressed the mouth of a large plastic souvenir cup into the dough to mark the circle and traced the mark with a knife.  We then pressed Baby C’s hand into the center of each circle.  This was definitely a two person job!  J used a pen cap to make a hole in each ornament (to put ribbon through later), and then I transferred the ornaments to a cookie sheet to dry.

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After two days, the ornaments still weren’t fully dry, so we put them in the oven at 175 degrees for a few hours to finish them off.

To cut out the photos, J used the mouth of a mason jar as a guide and then cut around it with an X-acto knife.  This method worked really well since he could see through the jar to make sure that we got the best part of the photo.

I then glued the photo to the back of the ornaments with some Mod Podge and wrote Baby C’s name and the year across the top with a Sharpie paint pen.  To finish them off, I painted both sides of the ornaments with Mod Podge, and then sprayed them with a quick-drying clear coat (letting the ornament dry thoroughly in between sides and coats, of course).  After everything was nice and dry, I threaded red ribbon through the holes, and the ornaments were finished.  I forgot to take a photo of the finished project, of course!

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Everyone seemed to like their ornaments, and J and I had great time making them.  I look forward to hanging ours on our tree every year!

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