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Handprint Ornaments


New Museum Los Gatos (NUMU) is an art and history museum with art making studios located in the Los Gatos Civic Center Plaza. We offer hands-on art making workshops and classes for all ages and all skill levels. Enjoy this fun and easy festive craft to make a special print on this holiday season. Use this simple salt dough recipe to make an ornament with your child’s handprint or your animal’s paw print. 


Salt Dough Ingredients:

Yields 2-3 dozen

  • 4 cups all purpose flour (do not use self-rising flour)

  • 1 cup salt

  • 1.5 cups warm water


Yields ½ - 1 dozen 

  • 1 cup flour

  • ¼ cup salt

  • ⅓ cup warm water


  • Combine all ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until it starts to form a dough.

  • Take dough out of the bowl and knead for at least 10 minutes. (if dry add a splash more water if needed, not too much or it will be too wet). 

  • Place dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll out to about a ¼-½  inch thick. 

  • Press hand or paw into the dough.

  • Use holiday themed cookie cutters or a bowl to trace around the handprint and then cut with a knife (parents help). Get creative and make this any shape you like a tree, heart, or star.

       TIP: You can also use a mason jar lid for a circle cookie cutter

  • Make small two holes in the top of the ornament. (use a straw, skewer or popsicle stick)

  • Bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 1-2 hours. They should be firm to the touch, it could take up to 3 hours for larger ornaments.

       TIP: If you have time, let the ornaments air dry for a day prior to baking this will prevent


  • Once your ornaments are fully dry you can paint them. Add glitter by painting first, then fill with glue and sprinkle on the glitter. 

      TIP: add name and date to front or back of ornament.

  • After the paint has fully dried, seal with either mod podge or clear glaze spray.

  • Select a ribbon and a string through holes for hanging.

Additional Resources:

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