Christmas/ Christmas craft

Gingerbread Salt Dough Ornaments

This recipe for scented Gingerbread Salt Dough Ornaments is SO simple to make!  Great for tree trimming and gift giving this holiday season. Did I mention how amazing they smell?!

This is one of those Christmas crafts that comes together so quickly and so easily!  Use this gingerbread salt dough recipe to make pretty homemade ornaments for your Christmas tree, or give them to friends and family as gifts.  Homemade is the best gift of all.

A Gingerbread Salt Dough Ornament hanging from a Christmas tree

All the gingerbread men!

I have always wanted to make gingerbread ornaments to hang on my kitchen Christmas tree, so when I came across this gorgeous gingerbread man embossed rolling pin I knew exactly what I was going to do with it…use it to make Gingerbread Men Salt Dough Ornaments. Gingerbread men are the cutest.  FYI, this is the rolling pin I used.

A ball of gingerbread salt dough, a gingerbread cookie cutter and a gingerbread man embossed rolling pin

These ornaments smell amazing!

I love the look and colour of gingerbread salt dough, but I also LOVE the smell of it!  I have added a lot of cinnamon, ginger and cloves to this dough recipe because I wanted them to smell lovely, and they do!  And let me tell you, when these are slow baking in your oven, your home will smell incredible…everyone will come out of the woodwork wondering what you’ve been baking all day. 😉

A gingerbread man embossed disk of rolled out gingerbread salt dough

Embossed is fun, but not necessary!

You don’t have to use an embossed rolling pin to make these gingerbread salt dough ornaments…using a regular rolling pin and a gingerbread man cookie cutter is just perfect.  But if you happen to have bought an embossed rolling pin and you’ve been waiting for just the right thing to use it for, then these ornaments are it!  You can use any patterns to make these…anything works.

Gingerbread salt dough rolled out with little embossed gingerbread men

It’s all in the details!

And because the pattern in the dough are little gingerbread men, what better shape to use than a gingerbread man cookie cutter!  I love the detailing in the little embossed men in the dough…so cute!

A gingerbread man cookie cutter on top of rolled out gingerbread salt dough

Gingerbread salt dough rolled out with gingerbread men cookie cut outs in it

Perfection is not the goal!

When I cut out the little men, I just randomly placed the cutter over the dough…I wanted them to be rustic and fun. All of the ornaments look a little different and I love that about them.

A side view of gingerbread salt dough gingerbread men

Keep rolling rolling rolling!

Once you cut out your first batch of ornaments, you will be left with scrap dough.  So press those scraps into a ball and start again…keep doing this until all the dough is used up.  This recipe will make about 20 small-ish ornaments.  Then line all the little men on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, press a hole into each ornament for hanging, then pop them into the oven for 2 hours at 250 degrees.  So simple.

A side view of gingerbread salt dough gingerbread men

A tip for Gingerbread Salt Dough that turns white:

After baking you may notice that your ornaments might have a white tinge to them, that’s just the salt that rose to the surface during baking…it’s annoying but I have a fix for this!  To get rid of this white, once the ornaments are cooled, rub them with a little bit of vegetable oil and they will return to their dark colour (see picture below for the before and after).  Doing this also gives them a nice little shine.  I actually don’t even mind how these ornaments look with the white texture…

A top down view of gingerbread salt dough gingerbread men

Before (on the left) and After (on the right).

Two gingerbread men side by side

The finishing touches!

Once the ornaments are cooled and ready to go, tie on little ribbons or add ornament hooks so you can hang them on your tree.  Look how cute they are!

A cookie sheet with gingerbread men ornaments strung with red and white string

A Gingerbread Salt Dough Ornament hanging from a Christmas Tree

Three gingerbread men ornaments hanging in a Christmas tree

Gingerbread Salt Dough Ornaments Recipe Tips:

Making a hole for hanging: 

Use a straw or the end of a chopstick to make a hole somewhere on the ornament so it can be hung. You need to make the hole a little larger than you might think because it will close in a bit as it’s baking.

Why am I baking my salt dough ornaments upside down? 

The side that faces down on the cookie sheet will be darker and that’s what you want.  The side facing down will also likely have little to no white salt tinge.

Why are my gingerbread salt dough ornaments white? 

After baking you may notice that your ornaments could have a white tinge to them, that’s just the salt that rose to the surface during baking.  To get rid of this, once the ornaments are cooled, rub them with a little bit of vegetable oil and they will return to their dark colour (see picture above).

Why did my salt dough ornaments puff up?

This sometimes happens if the oven is too warm.  I also have noticed this happens when the dough is a little more thick…some of the ornaments from the same batch, baked at the same temperature, puffed up and some didn’t…the ones that puffed were a little thicker than the ones that didn’t.

Can I air dry my salt dough ornaments? 

Absolutely, it just takes more time for the ornaments to dry (hours and hours). The upside to air drying is that the ornaments won’t puff up.  The downside is that I think they turn more white from the salt by doing it this way.

Tips for using and embossed rolling pin.

  • If you are using an embossed rolling pin my biggest tip is to use a bit of force as you roll over the dough…press the rolling pin down firmly into the dough as you roll it. And move quickly or the dough will stick to it.
  • If the dough sticks to the pin, just gather the dough together and make another ball and start over.
  • You may need to clean off the embossed rolling pin, but DON’T use water.  Just rub the rolling pin, or use a brush, to get rid of any dough that may be sticking to it.
Print
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Gingerbread Salt Dough Ornaments


  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 20 small ornaments 1x

Description

This recipe for scented Gingerbread Salt Dough Ornaments is SO simple to make!  Great for tree trimming and gift giving this holiday season. Did I mention how amazing they smell?!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, salt and spices.
  3. Then using a mixer, slowly add the water and mix until everything is fully combined and you end up with a loose ball.
  4. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and shape it into a ball.  Then flatten it into a circular disk…I like to do this before rolling because it’s much easier to roll the dough when it’s flat.
  5. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper, and place your disc of dough on top of it.
  6. Then using a regular rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness.  Tip:  If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, I will lay a piece of parchment paper over the dough then roll it out.
  7. If you want to emboss the dough with an embossed rolling pin, now is the step to do that.  Remove the top sheet of parchment paper if you’re using one.  Then smooth out the dough with one last sweep of the regular rolling pin.
  8. With your embossed rolling pin, use a bit of force as you roll over the dough, pressing the rolling pin down firmly into the dough as you roll it. And move quickly or the dough will stick to it
  9. Now using your cookie cutters, cut out the dough into shapes.
  10. Keep rolling out the small scraps of dough and make more ornaments until all of the dough is used.
  11. Lay your ornaments out onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  12. Using a straw or the end of a chopstick, make a hole somewhere on the ornament so it can be hung.  Tip:  the hole will close in a bit as it’s baking, so make it larger than you think.
  13. Then flip over the ornaments and lay them FACE DOWN on the cookie sheet.  (See tips)
  14. Bake at 250 degrees for about 2 hours.
  15. After baking you will likely notice that your ornaments may have a white tinge to them, that’s just the salt that rose to the surface during baking.  To get rid of this, once the ornaments are cooled, rub them with a little bit of vegetable oil and they will return to their dark colour.
  16. Run a piece of ribbon or twine through the hole and hang!

  • Method: Baking

Keywords: gingerbread salt dough, salt dough recipe

More fun DIY Christmas Ornaments:

Have a Very Merry Day!

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