Years ago, I bought some air-dry clay for Daisy to make things. It wasn’t til recently that I discovered how easy it is to make something similar at home using non-toxic safe things already in the pantry. And, since my li’l nugget asked for a sea-themed Christmas tree, homemade Salt Dough Ornaments were the answer. Not only would I get to spend some quality time with Daisy during the holidays, but we’d also save beaucoup bucks dressing our 7-foot tree!
That’s when our nautical-themed Christmas tree came to be. A simple star-shaped cookie cutter and a round drinking glass inspired salt-dough ornaments modeled after starfish, sea urchins and sand dollars.
In addition to the pretty ornaments Daisy & I made, a model ship I’d bought years ago (like this) makes the perfect tree topper. Gold and silver pipe cleaners bunched together and folded up were inserted here and there elegantly mimic coral. Sea urchin shells (from etsy) dash a realistic feel to the tree. A couple of long pearl garlands (like this or this) add just the right finishing touch.
Daisy and I fished through my jewelry and set up a treasure chest and a little basket with a red crab peeking out under the tree.
These sand dollar salt dough ornaments are so easy to make. No fancy mold is needed. Just use a drinking glass to cut the dough into circles, a drinking straw to emboss a flower-like emblem in the center, a petal piping tip (like this) to cut out the vents and a toothpick to pierce dots throughout.
For the starfish, a simple cutter is required. For the sea urchin, a mold (like this) and time will be needed.
The salt-dough ornaments are my favorite. Remember that the thicker your dough, the less likely the ornament will shatter if dropped. This is a craft project best enjoyed with little ones. There is no rush. So put on some festive holiday music, sip on hot cocoa and relish in every moment spent creating one-of-a-kind ornaments with your sweethearts.
DIY Salt Dough Ornaments
Prep: 5 minsOven: 300F/150C
Bake: 60 mins
4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
nontoxic craft glue
Combine the flour, salt and water to form a dough.
Roll out to about 1/4-inch thickness.
Use whatever cookie cutters you like and cut into desired shapes.
If you don’t have cookie cutters, be inventive. A drinking glass is perfect for cutting circles.
Use toothpicks or cookie presses to carve designs into the circles.
To make sand dollars, use a toothpick to “draw” a five-point flower into the center and a few slivers cut out at each apex.
Preheat oven to 300F/150C.
Arrange ornaments onto a baking tray. Because these will not puff up, you can put quite close to each other.
Use a drinking straw to pierce a hole at the top for the ribbon or hanging hook.
Transfer to hot oven and bake 60 mins.
Cool completely, then decorate as you wish.
Paint, glue on glitter or rhinestones. Let your imagination run free.