Salt Dough Ornament Advent Calendar

I have a feeling this will be a Thanksgiving Break activity for the next few years…we all love it and the final product makes me smile. I am glad we’re a little early this year as it just means a few extra days to look at the boys’ hard work. The boys were able to do the majority of the work. After helping to mix the dough, I divided it into two halves and let the boys roll it out:

And then handed over the cookie cutters:

I love how they are completely covered in flour…heh. On Ty’s face, shirt, arms…everywhere:

We worked in batches and the entire process took us about three days. I ended up making three batches of ornaments: two were perfect, one, I forgot to punch the holes in the top. Grrr. This is the third different salt dough recipe I’ve tried. I wasn’t happy with last year’s and gave this new one a try. I think it’s a keeper. Simple: 1 cup salt, 2 cups flour, 1+ cups water until thoroughly mixed. Bake at 250 degrees for 3 hours…

After letting the ornaments cool over night, I set the boys up for painting. Christmas music on in the background for inspiration, paints ready to go, and the boys went to town:

Batch one: success. I painted a quick, light layer of Mod Podge on each ornament after the boys went to bed:

As soon as they woke up, they begged to make the ornaments “beautiful”. I handed over the bling, sipped my coffee, and watched them beautify the ornaments:

Makes me swoon…

As I stringed the ornaments, I had the boys make super simple bead ornaments to add to the mix. All you need are a few pipe cleaners and beads. I put a star on the end and bent the pipe cleaner about 3/4 of an inch up to give me room to work with and finish the ornament:

Good for fine motor skills practice and takes a loooooooong time. One bead at a time…

Their finished ornaments:

And our family advent calendar. Each day, the boys will hang one ornament on our tree…

Loving the addition of Star Wars ornaments this year:

I had a little ornament-making fun as well:

Kid made holiday goodness…bring on the December crazy!!


10 Comments on “Salt Dough Ornament Advent Calendar”

  1. oh wow, those ornaments are awesome! I am totally doing this with my 3yo! Thanks for the idea. Any idea how durable they are? or do you just throw them out at the end of the season?

    • momruncraft says:

      I kept our ornaments from last year and plan to keep these as long as they’ll last. I still have some from when I was younger!! They should last a loooooong time if stored nicely. Look forward to seeing your ornaments!

      • Ooh, thanks for the reply! I didn’t know if they go bad, etc 😉 We’re putting this on our Family Fun Holiday List for sure! How did you do the glittered one? Just added glitter when it was wet, or used Mod podge? Sorry for all the questions 😀

      • momruncraft says:

        I used acrilyc paints with glitter but Mod Podge makes a glitter product that I used last year (and loved). Have fun!!

  2. Lindsy M says:

    Do you have two ornaments for each day (one per kid)?

  3. Thanks for all the info! I’m going to save this link for next year. I was at Jo-Ann today and they had wooden ornaments for decorating for super cheap (50 cents) and I figured that would be less work, and then we could spend baking/cutting/decorating time on actual cookies instead! Plus we don’t need as many ornaments since we don’t do the advent calendar. But I stole your idea and bought a bunch of bling for T to pretty up her ornaments, and I also took your tip to seal with Mod Podge. Thanks for the idea!!

  4. Val says:

    Perfect timing on this post. I have our kids make some homemade gifts each year for family (grandparents, cousins, etc). And I thought salt dough ornaments would be good this year. I love your advent calendar idea with a ornament for each day. We might have to do this!!!

  5. Heather says:

    Thanks I look forward to doing this with my four kids. P.S. your boys are adorable

  6. Becky says:

    Just a thought if you haven’t done so already but you could make magnets out of the ones that you forgot to put the holes in. They would be cute too.

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