Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments

How to make Handprint Ornaments

These salt dough handprint ornaments that I did last year, turned out to be one of my most treasured ornaments.  I thought I would share them with you all because these are extremely sentimental, and I highly recommend you all to do these for your little ones.

How to make Handprint Ornaments

Because time moves too fast, not to document childhood & those precious little chubby hands.

This just happens to be a hand print from each of my twins. I wanted it to look as raw & natural as possible. Capturing a moment in time.

Here’s my inspiration for the keepsake handprint:

For some reason these two hold hands a lot. It’s their “twin thing” to do. AND I love it. As all moms would, my heart melts when they hold hands.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of fussing over toys at our Nest as well, but these two will go down the hall holding hands. They will sit in their car seats holding hands side by side. It’s their “thing”.

I want to capture this before these moments will soon go by.
Here’s what you’ll need~
4 cups of flour
1 cup salt
Food coloring
Large Mixing Bowl
Water to moisten
cookie sheet
just a tad of oil
a small rolling pin or wooden dowel
a drinking straw
a plate for a guide
paint *if desired
*My goal for this batch was to do a handprint with both twins’ hands on one keepsake & then to have a separate one for each.* This recipe had enough to make 3 keepsakes. Depending on the size & how many kids you have, you may need to double the recipe.*

In your mixing bowl ~ gradually blend in your flour & salt with water.
*Remember to add gradually, because you can always add more water then takeaway.*

It was easier for me to lightly grease my baking sheet with oil & form & roll out on the cookie sheet. Once you have your form made, I suggest you use your straw to make a whole in it before you have your kids emboss their hand print.

Keep in mind you need to have your dough thick enough to form the handprint. If your dough is too thin, it will not work. Place in a 150* degree oven for an hour. Or you can air dry over night & for 24 hours.

Here’s the picture of all 3 finished. They each have their own hand print & then the one combined. You can paint or gloss however you’d like. For me personally, I wanted it to look as organic & natural as possible.
This truly makes my heart swoon. I love every bit of the natural & raw aspects of seeing their hand prints together. Making these ornaments has captured some beautiful moments that we are experiencing right now in our home. I personally feel any keepsake ornament that can mark a moment in time is the best kind of ornament there is. It tells a story & I love that about homemade ornaments, there’s nothing better.*This was a guest post I did last year for Stephanie Lynn.  I never published it on my blog last year, but wanted to do it this year.  Of course, looking back & seeing how much the twins have grown melts me as well. 😉  sniff sniff.*
Let’s pin together!  Do you like crafty stuff, kids stuff, a good DIY, food or fun home decor???  Well, then I do too!  Follow Nest of Posies on Pinterest & let’s get inspired together.
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  1. says

    I need to do this. My girls just keep getting bigger and bigger and I am getting so sad. I have their hand prints in the cement in the backyard, and for that reason alone I would be a wreck if we ever moved!!

  2. says

    I’ve heard of salt dough ornaments before but had never really seen any directions. I like to do something homemade for my parents and this will have to be this year’s project…dough handprints of the grandkids. Thanks for sharing!!!

  3. says

    Reading about how your twins hold hands brought tears to my eyes…being a mom has made me such a baby. My babies are 1 and 2, 15 mos apart, and I’ve been having a difficult time lately dealing with how quickly they are growing and that they aren’t really “babies” any more. We had them close together with the hope that they’ll be close friends. We’ll see…if they ever hold hands (not as part of a wrestling manuever), I’ll probably start sobbing. thanks for sharing such a sweet moment

  4. says

    Oh my heavens that picture of them laughing at each other is cute!!! Amazing!!! Great tutorial, going to do it for sure. Thanks! (By the way, I LOOOOOVE the bag you made for me—I am Courtney’s friend Sarah from Bombshell Bling Jewelry.)

  5. Vanessa says

    I will do it when in my moms house for holiday n i will do for both her grandchilds! I have to say, ur twins looks soooo gorgeous, i am melting on the pic they are holding hands n so happy! God bless!

    • Jamie says

      I agree. This did not work for me. The dough never dried enough and spread a little so the hand prints are barely there as the dates I put on them are nearly gone. I found another recipe that was 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup water, I will try that tonight. I don’t see how you only got 3 out of this recipe either. I got 8 big ones out of it that I was able to have both my kids hand prints on them.

      • ankhamungus says

        I had to play with this recipe as well
        1 cup PLAIN flour (NOT self-rising)
        1/2 cup table salt
        1/4/cup water added a little at a time
        KNEAD until dough feels like Play Dough (at this point a few drops of food coloring makes interesting ornaments for Christmas)
        Roll out with rolling pin or plastic glass
        Now cut out your designs using cookie cutters, glasses, plates–use your imagination this is an endless amount of fun for kids and adults!
        Place on cookie sheet and put in oven on 250 degrees for one hour then I flip mine and cook for another hour–PULL OUT
        let them get to room temperature and then paint them with acrylic paints ($1 at Dollar Store) and seal (I use spray polyurathane) They all turned out GREAT!

  6. Ashley says

    FYI- I used about 3 cups of water and made 6 handprint ornsments- 2 each of my 4,2, and 1 mo old. Plus a large sign with our last name on it so I could’ve halved it. :) are you able to hang yours on the tree?? Mine might be a little thick- seem heavvvvy! Had fun doing it with the kids- though their first instinct is to squish it!!!

  7. Merideth says

    I am going to make these with my girls…my 19 year old and my 6 mos old. For Christmas gifts & most importantly for making special memories! Thank you for the sweet idea!

  8. Willows Mom says

    Thank you so much for sharing this.. I have a 5 month old and my friend has a 2 month old. So we got together at my house and made these this past week,, They came out great and are hanging on my tree. :)

  9. Beka says

    So I just tried this with my 11-month old and it didn’t really work too well. I added around two cups of water (added very gradually) and there was TONS of dough (I only needed three ornaments). But it wouldn’t hold his handprint (and he wasn’t super cooperative either :) I think I needed to 1) add more water so that it would be sticky enough to “hold” the print and 2) not mix it as much as I did since the more I mixed it/rerolled, the less impressionable it seemed to get. It probably would have worked but we’d already tried a couple of times by the time I figured this much out and he had lost all patience with the project. Not sure yet whether we’ll try again but hope this helps someone else.

  10. Anne says

    Made these tonight with my 22-month-old and we all had a great time! They are drying now and I can’t wait to give them to the grandmothers!! Used about 2 cups of water.

  11. Olivia says

    Love this – my heart is melting already! I’m going to make ornaments today and thinking they would make great one-year birthday favors when B turns one in a couple months. Thank you so much for sharing this idea – imagine all the families who will have these ornaments and bring them out year after year!

  12. krystle says

    Love this idea so much!
    Going to do this as soon as my husband gets home with the salt (for whatever reason I knew I was going to make these, but just completely forgot to pick up the salt!) with both of my little ones…
    This year has been extremely tight for us money-wise, so we had just enough to buy for our kids… I try to do something sspecial for the grandparents every year (since my husband’s folks are divorced he has two sets to buy for and I have my mother) I didn’t think we’d be able to do anything for them this year then I remembered a project from my past when I was in grade school – salt ornaments.. I searched the internet for the recipe and was immediately overwhelmed by everything brought up – then I came across this site and loved it! I added it to my favorites so I could pull it up when it was time to make the special gifts.
    My son is 3 and we just added a new little blessing to our small family in october – our baby girl. She is the first granddaughter for my mother inlaws family and my mother.. So I can only imagine having such special ornaments for them will mean so much! I just hope I can get my 3 year old to cooperate :) I plan on making some ornaments for myself as well – because like you mentioned, they do grow up so fast and this will always be somethign special that will be a memory of their first Christmas together.

    • says

      I hope everything turns out for you! they do take a while to try. well, depending on how thick you make them. i just placed mine on top of the fridge for a couple of days & they were good to go!

      good luck & merry christmas!

  13. lani says

    I just tried making this with my children it is the most stickiest mess !!!! Doesn`t work you cant even roll it cause its so sticky sucks my son was looking forward to it

  14. Shannon says

    After trying and failing with a couple other recipes I tried these and they worked great! I made these 2 nights ago with my 2 yr old. We made 9 ornaments out of this recipe for her grandparents, aunts and uncles and myself. If your dough is sticky and messy when you make it you’re adding too much water. It should be a little dryer than play dough. I used just under 2 cups. I baked them for about 30 minutes and just let them dry for over 24 hrs. They got pretty hard but haven’t totally hardened yet, just a little soft. I’m sure they’ll dry better after a little more time. Everyone loved the gifts for Christmas. Thanks so much for the recipe!! :)

  15. June says

    Hi I just did this project with my kiddies 3 times and I find that in some spots that it rises and looks funny..and I doing something wrong..I followed the reciept and it still rised like poofs out in the middle like a cookie would..any help

  16. sabrina and brittany beam says

    Thanks for this daughter and I did this today with her daughter who is just 5.5 months old
    We even did her feet prints. My daughter made her handprint then we it her daughters inside of it.
    Thanks again wonderful idea…..


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