Handprint & Photo Keepsake Ornament

So each year I want to add a photo to our Christmas tree ornaments AND a keepsake too, so this year I combined the two: making a handprint AND photo keepsake ornament!

Keepsake ornament
I used salt dough(after a failed attempt at white baking soda clay, rather don’t ask!)
That is equal amounts of salt and flour(all purpose) with half the amount water. For instance: 1 cup of salt PLUS one cup of flour mixed with half a cup of water. Do pour in water slowly while mixing, and stopping when it becomes dough-like. This was enough dough for these two ornaments and we had left over too.

We added some red glitter to the dough, although we could have added more. The dough was rolled out to 1cm thickness. Then we did the following:

Use these letter cookie stamps to add the name and date:

It was baked for 3 hours on low heat(100’C). You can leave it to dry by itself, but it will take a few days. I added the photo at the back, by simply gluing it to the back and pulled a ribbon through, and voila!

Back side

A cute keepsake ornament! We will be hanging ours on the tree, but it will look equally pretty on the wall! Keepsakes make great gift too! See this Football Keepsake and Heart Keepsake we made as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gift Shop!

Photo ornament

Two years later and the handprint keepsakes are still doing fine, no cracking or crumbling!

I did, however, see with another project that damp weather softened the frame so I would recommend spraying your salt dough project with a Clear Varnish to protect it.

You must see our photo ornaments of last year and an explanation on all our decorations!

More cute ideas:
Gingerbread House

Santa frame
PS Find this idea and 150 more in this awesome book:
(Click the pic to go to Amazon to buy!)


  1. says

    I love the idea of a keepsake handprint photo for Christmas. I have actually used salt dough before with red or green food coloring and it turned out great except now they are cracking only a year later. How do you preserve them for so long or are they not supposed to last that long? My son loves to see how his hand has grown over the past few years.
    michelle recently posted…Gingerbread House Photo Frame OrnamentMy Profile

  2. says

    How thin should the salt dough be rolled out for best results and hoe long should we back it for and havr u found a recipe that works good i have a recipie but am unsure how think it should be n how i keep the hand print from bubbling up

  3. Pattysarts says

    My mom made salt dough ornaments when I was a baby, 40+ years ago. After fully drying she dipped each one in varnish/shellac. They were kept in tissue paper in cardboard boxes to they could breath.
    I never started this with my kids but I am starting it with my grandkids, Thanks you for reminding me of them.

  4. says

    what is the usa conversion of 100 degree Celsius to Fahrenheit please? Also I’m a teacher and would like to do this as a parent gift. If I wanted to do enough ornaments for 25 kids, do you think if I quadrupled the recipe, would the left over dough be enough to make 25? Original one cup recipe said 2 ornaments with leftover dough.

  5. neighborly says

    if you have pets, someone’s dog ate this and died. It is by coincidence that I noticed their post today about losing a dog who ate this ornament and then a few hours later saw this article.
    Please be careful with your pets.

  6. Kristi says

    I just made these to give as gifts to grandparents! They have turned out great. I would prefer not to paint them, but to use glue to add glitter around the handprint. Have you used anything to preserve these ornaments? I’m wondering if there is a sealant I can spray over the ornament.


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