Good morning! I had a lot of fun this year coming up with an idea for a gift Bugaboo could give to his family! There are so many ideas out there on the web and Pinterest, I had to narrow it down. Since last year we gave out pictures of his footprint that read “mistletoes” (an idea I found on Pinterest!) I wanted to do something a bit more three dimensional this year. I found lots of fun salt dough ornament ideas that I thought would be cute. I was drawn to salt dough ornaments because it is an inexpensive project. I’ve found with a toddler its good to not have too high of expectations that it takes away the fun! And really that’s what every craft project with a toddler should be – lots of fun!
For Bugaboo’s salt dough ornaments I decided to do trees and buy some glass beads he could decorate the trees with! I found some great little gift boxes in Target’s $1 section and had Bugaboo decorate these – so the whole gift would be from him!
Toddler-Made Ornament Gift: Salt Dough Ornament and Gift Box
- Salt dough ingredients: salt, flour and water
- Christmas tree cookie cutter
- Glass beads
- Green paint and paint brush
- Red Ribbon
- Gift box
- Red and green finger paint
- White card stock
- Green ribbon
- Thin black pen
- Hole punch
Step 1: Make ornaments. Make your salt dough following the recipe below. Mix dry ingredients together, then slowly add water and mix.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1/2 cup water
Roll out the dough (or flatten it with your hands). Use your tree cookie cutter to cut out a tree. Poke a hole in the top of the tree using your straw.
Step 2: Decorate the ornaments! The fun part! I poured the beads out on a plate so Bugaboo could grab them easily. Bugaboo is just a year and half old so I had to take some safety precautions to do this craft with him. I had him sit in his high chair where I could keep a close eye on him. I also let him keep his binky in since this gives me a heads up if he is about to try putting something into his mouth. I also never left the plate of beads by him while I was prepping things and watched him like a hawk! This is a good one-on-one craft where you can give your full attention to your little one!
Bugaboo loved the project and loved pushing the beads into the dough. I really loved watching to see which beads he would choose and where he would place them! We also worked on our colors and counting!Step 3: Bake the ornaments! Once the ornaments were all done we baked them at 200 degrees for 3 hours. I kept checking them to make sure the beads didn’t melt but they didn’t! Once they are finished if there are any loose beads you could glue them down, we didn’t have any problems with this.
Step 4: Paint and finish the ornaments. If Bugaboo was older I would have let him paint his own ornaments but instead I painted them for him using my green acrylic paint and green glitter paint. Once the paint was dry, I cut a red ribbon and used it to create an ornament loop for hanging. Don’t forget to write your child’s name and the year on the back of the ornament!
Step 5: Create the gift box! I lucked out and found white gift boxes at target, two for $1, in their $1 section. I opened up the boxes so they would lay flat and we let Bugaboo go to town decorating them with red and green fingerpaint. At first he was just poking at them with his finger but he eventually dove right in. We let him put his hands and feet in the paint and then slap or step on the boxes – he really got into this!
Step 6: Assemble the boxes and make gift tags. Once the boxes were dry, I re-assembled them. We made cute little gift tags using Bugaboo’s fingerprint in the shape of a heart. I used a heart cookie cutter for the tag shape and outlined it using a green marker. I punched a hole at the top of the tag and wrote the recipients name with black pen. I used red gift bag filler (also from Target’s $1 section) to fill the boxes and create a nice cushion for the ornament.
Aren’t these too cute!! I can’t wait to have Bugaboo pass them out to his family members at Christmas. I love that he helped with every part of this gift and we had a blast making them!