[Stacie Hooder is the fantastic jewelry making editor for Craft Gossip at http://jewelrymaking.craftgossip.com, and she abounds in the holiday spirit! Stacie generously agreed to share her secrets for making salt-dough jewelry with holiday style.]

North Little Rock, ArkansasEach year when it starts to turn frosty outside, I love to turn on my oven and bake. The warmth from the oven and good smells make me reminisce about holidays spent in my grandma’s kitchen.

Since I love to eat cookies and other baked confections, I’ve found an alternative to expanding my waistline each winter — baking salt dough. For several years I’ve made salt-dough holiday ornaments for my friends and coworkers. Not only are these ornaments inexpensive to make, it’s tons of fun to gather your friends and have a day of crafting, since everyone needs a few little gifts and stocking stuffers to complete their holiday gift list.

Salt dough ornaments are perfect because you won’t break the bank to make them, and yet each one can be personalized to become a cherished object to the dear ones on your list.

This year I’ve done something a little different. Instead of making holiday trimmings for the home, I’ve added findings to make holiday jewelry adornment for you!

Take a look at the tutorial below to learn how to craft some wearable holiday cheer all your own. And while you’re here, leave a comment by 9 p.m. EST on Monday, December 20, to enter for a chance to win the snowman earrings pictured above! One winner will be selected at random and announced on Wednesday, December 22. Click through for the official rules.

You’ll need:

  • Salt dough
  • Head pins (or wire to make your own loops)
  • Paints and brushes
  • Varnish (I prefer spray varnish since it’s easier to use)
  • Earring findings or jump rings to form a pendant
  • Assorted beads
  • Embellishments

To make salt dough, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of water

Mix the flour and salt together, then gradually add water to form a dough. (If you add too much water, your dough will be sticky and may sag when you start to form your pieces.)

If you’re going to use cookie cutters to make your pieces, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface at about ¼-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to make the desired shapes or use your imagination to form your own.

I’ve found the thicker an object is, the more likely it is to crack during baking. I typically roll out the dough and cut shapes or form canes that can be sliced or rolled thin.

Since salt dough can be tinted with food coloring and shaped into canes (just as you would with polymer clay), you can quickly make a batch of “candy canes” or “peppermint sticks.” Using a slightly different technique, you could make “starlight mints.”  As long as your canes are sliced to a consistent thickness and kept on the thin side, you shouldn’t have any problems with cracks when baking.

Add eyepins before baking your adornments. You could also use a flat head pin and form loops at the top if you want the wire to go through the entire piece.

Bake at 250°F (120°C) until your piece has completely hardened. Baking time will vary depending on the thickness of the objects you’ve made. (I baked these small pieces for about 30 minutes.) To test, press the thickest part of your piece. If there is any give, bake longer. (Keep watch, though. If you over-bake, your pieces may burn.)

Paint each piece, then seal with varnish on both sides, allowing each side to dry in between. If you varnish after you embellish, some things won’t do well. For example, glitter will lose its shine when varnished.

Embellish your pieces with ribbon, glitter, sparkles, or feathers as desired.

To form earrings, add beads and ear wires to form drop earrings or simply glue a post on the back. To form a pendant, add a jump ring. You can also glue pin backs onto your pieces to make holiday pins.

Now you’re ready to wrap your gifts. I wish you happy holidays, and hope to see you over at http://jewelrymaking.craftgossip.com!

– Stacie Hooder, jewelry making editor, Craft Gossip


47 Responses

    Klansee j. Tozer says:

    Stacie! You are so creative and talented. The jewelry is adorable! Thanks for sharing! :)

    Denise Pote says:

    These are so cute! I make some jewelry, but I don’t think I would have the patience for this. :-) Maybe this should be my new year’s goal…

    Moodymom says:

    I would love to have those earrings. Nice Job!

    Colleen says:

    How great- thanks for the tutorial. Would love to have those cute earrings!

    Donna Johnson says:

    Love the photo of the earings. So cute! Bet they would make my face smile if they were on my ears.

    Scrapbookdba says:

    I love the snowmen! They are so adorable! Thank you for sharing your talent!

    Sunshineouac49 says:

    You put an extra effort in handmade and detailed tutorial that will last as ornaments for years after wearing them. My mom wants them although she doesn’t have her own computer to enter. Marilyn Pelt loved roaming in craft-gossip with me.

    Patricia H says:

    The earrings are so adorable. How creative! I love it. I cant wait to try the salt dough and creating items for myself and my little niece. This looks like so much fun to do with my son.

    Sunshineouac49 says:

    Did you see the giveaway at I want to win the Janome Memory Crafter 6300P from CraftGossip http://bit.ly/h1SUWz?

    Elena says:

    This brings back so many memories! The earrings are adorable :)

    Janna says:

    Those snowmen are so adorable! This looks like a fun project for some kids home from school on Christmas break. I think mine would love making some Christmas ornaments and painting them. And earrings for their grandmothers. I can think of so many things they could make using this dough. Thanks for a wonderful tutorial!!

    Mssilverdragon says:

    I absolutely love this. I have over a hundred cookie cutters and don’t get to use most of them very often. This great idea can be used for jewelry all year long. Thank you so much.

    Muddy says:

    Love the snowman earrings. What sort of paint do you use? Tempera, gouache, acrylics?

    Jennifer Hutchings says:

    Stacie-You did an awesome job with this! Great instructions and a too cute pair of earrings! Hmmm…might have to add this to the list of things I have to try out!

    Slb3334 says:

    How cute.

    Charles Opperman says:

    For my wife

    Debbie Nelson says:

    You never cease to amaze me….so talented..love them!

    Stacie says:

    I used acrylic paints. I think they work well because the help seal the dough from moisture in the air.

    Crystle tellerday says:

    my friend sarah loves snowmen i would give these to her

    Beadinggem says:

    They are adorable! The tutorial has inspired me to try my own. Just tweeted and facebooked to share it! Pearl

    Lag110 says:

    You have made this project seem so easy! I would love to try it!

    Sweetpea89406 says:

    I love these.I haven’t made salt dough in over 20 years I am going to now.Make me remeber both of my grandmothers.Thank you

    erma Hurtt says:

    I love the earrings and so easy to make.

    Vickie says:

    I just discovered salt dough for making ornaments then I find out you can make jewelry!! Love the snowman!

    Kndakrfty says:

    I haven’t worked with salt dough in a very long time, but this tut has got me all excited about trying it again…so cute!!

    Anonymous says:

    These earring are so cute. My mother would love them. Thanks!!

    erose says:

    Great earrings! Would love to win these!

    Paula says:

    These snowmen are so cute! I have several pairs of snowmen earrings, but I think these would be my favorite! I will be trying this project to make gifts for Christmas next year!

    Those are so cute! When I get some more free time, I have to try making some.

    Anonymous says:

    this sounds like a fun project! suelee1998 @ gmail.com

    Anonymous says:

    i would love to try it too
    susansmoaks at gmail dot com

    Wombatpurple says:

    aww so cute and I’d like to give these to Laurie shes a friend who doesnt have much I think she’d like them!

    Diane B says:

    They are so cute and look like they would be fun to make make.

    Charlene Kuser says:

    The earrings are adorable and snowmen are my favorite.Thanks for the detailed instructions,I will have to try making
    some items some time using this recipe.Thanks do much for the giveaway

    Golfgranny58 says:

    Love your ideas! I know I’m too late for the giveaway, but love to get new ideas anyway. :o)

    Ray Hemachandra says:

    We have a winner for Stacie’s snowman earrings: Vickie Les of Sterling Heights, Michigan, was selected at random from all entries. Thanks to everyone for participating, and thank you to Stacie and Craft Gossip for this great post! Happy holidays, Ray Hemachandra and the team Lark Jewelry & Beading team

    [...] Make Salt-Dough Holiday Jewelry (plus a Giveaway of Snowman … [...]

    Anonymous says:

    It is a foody post. I like your post because I always ready to eat new recipes. Its looks so tasty and delicious. I like spicy and hot foods. Pizza is my most favourite food. 

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    [...] Another Taco Eve ornament. Get the recipe for salt dough and my tutorial for wearable holiday cheer! [...]

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