DIY “Gingerbread” Ornaments

These non-edible Salt Dough ornaments are the perfect addition to your Christmas decor!  These are so simple, can be made on a pinch, and are even a fun craft to make with the kiddos!

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     I attempted to also make a large gingerbread house to go along with my ornaments… that was a bit of a rookie mistake.  Haha!  I mean, it’s still standing, but there are some tips I wish I would’ve known before diving into such a project.  I will share my house making adventure with you another time.  But for now, these cookies ARE easy, and a great place to start in the faux gingerbread world.  😉   Here is a list of ALL the tools and ingredients you’ll need to make these:

  • Flour
  • salt
  • cinnamon
  • water
  • rolling-pin
  • cookie sheet
  • parchment paper
  • straw
  • cookie cutters of choice
  • Mod Podge (optional)
  • puff paint
  • glitter (optional)

I included the full recipe at the very end of this post for easy access.
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Mix together:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 4-6 Tablespoons of cinnamon (more or less, depending on how dark you want your dough)

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Knead your dough together until well incorporated and smooth.  Now it’s time to roll it out.  You can roll your dough out on some flour if you’d like, but I rolled it out onto cinnamon to deepen the color a bit more.

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Roll the dough out to desired thickness.   I rolled mine out to about 1/4 inch thick.  This dough does not rise at all.  Keep in mind that the thinner you go, the more tendency it will have to curl at the edges as it bakes, and the thicker you go will take longer to bake.

Then cut out your designs!  I used cookie cutters for the ornaments, and a cut out piece of paper for my gingerbread house template, that I then just traced using a sharp knife.

Make a hole for your ornament BEFORE baking, using a straw.

Baking it low and slow is key to keep your dough from bubbling… 225 (or less) for 2-3 hours or until dry and hard.  Be sure to put the cookie face down on the parchment paper covered cookie sheet, as the salt tends to rise to the top while cooking.  (face down, or whichever side you want to decorate)  Be prepared for your entire house to smell like HEAVEN while baking these inedible (unfortunately) cookies!

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Let cool completely before sealing with a thin coat of Mod Podge.  Mod Podge is optional, but it made me feel better knowing I want to reuse these again next year.  Next, “frost” your cookies with some Puff Paint.  Puff paint makes for a GREAT royal icing effect.  I purchased my puff paint at Walmart.  (white matte colored)  You can also find it on Amazon, or any craft store.  Add glitter while still wet if desired.  Let dry completely (my puff paint directions said 4 hours)

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String up your ornaments individually, or as a garland!  Individual knots help the cookies to hang forward and not sideways when strung on a garland…

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And that’s it!  It may seem time consuming, but most of the time, you’re just waiting for them to bake or dry.  haha!  I got a lot of laundry done during that wait time!  😉   And I just love the way these turned out!  My daughter had fun helping me make these, and especially enjoyed using the cookie cutters.  And lucky me, my sister happens to be a professional cookie decorator (true story) and was kind enough to come “frost” my favorite cut-outs for my garland!  Thanks so much, Ginger!!


Gingerbread Salt Dough Ornaments

*makes about 20-25 (inedible) cookies

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 4-6 Tablespoons of cinnamon (more or less depending on how dark you want your dough)

Preheat oven to 225 degrees

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, then knead until smooth.

Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (face side down) for 2-3 hours or until dry and hard.

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