For our baby’s first Christmas I knew we had to jump on the DIY-ornament bandwagon. I tried both of these Salt Dough and Better Than Salt Dough recipes on Pinterest, and here are my results:

“Salt Dough” by

The first batch of these came out slightly browned, they cooked far too quickly on the outside. I ended up altering the Pinterest recipe AND cooking instructions. Instead of 300 degree Fahrenheit oven, I dropped it to 200 and increased cooking time to one hour instead of 30 minutes for my next batch. VOILA! Here is the altered recipe:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water

– 1 c. flour, 1/2 c. salt, about 1/2 c. water (reserve some to add into the mixture as you knead, until dough like consistency). Bake in a 300 200 degree oven for 30 minutes one hour, flipping every 20 minutes.

Definitely gritty and not good for tiny details, much of the handprints character got lost, but you get the idea how how wee he was at his first Christmas!

*Don’t forget to poke a hole before baking, if intending to hang the finished product.

Wait to cool completely before frosting. I mean, painting.

“Better Than Salt Dough” from

This recipe was about perfect, no altering needed! It also made a very silky porcelain-like finish, if you desire a snowy white ornament, this is your recipe.

You’ll also want to keep your cornstarch handy, I ended up using nearly half a cup to reapply to my work area to keep the dough from sticking. It is harder to work with than the salt dough in this regard, but the finished product is so worth it. I chose to bake these (using her guideline of 175 oven for one hour, flipping halfway).

You can also let them air dry, but if you have ever worked with real porcelain or thrown pottery, you know that inconsistent drying when air hits the outer layers leads to cracking; loosely covering with a moist cloth or plastic sack can help prevent this.

I read in reviews that those who air-dried their ornaments were waiting days if not weeks, so be sure to factor that into your timeline!