#AtoZChallenge | Salt dough tags to up my gift wrapping this year

Santa winning at a Slot Machine and a San Francisco Trolley Car hang in my tree each Christmas. Salt dough memories of wonderful trips that I’ve taken with my girlfriends over the years. My mother in law also gave me one with a decorative wreath and a newlywed couple where the husband was blond and the wife brunette. Not as easy to find as you would think. Trust me!

I had a phase where I loved that style of ornament. They were affordable and came in just about any design imaginable. 

Three simple ingredients and a little bit of patience while my artful creations spend six hours in the oven?  This sounded like the perfect project to do while working on other things. After a burst of creativity, I could move onto other items on my to do list. I love the idea of multi tasking even if I know it’s not really a great thing to do but in this case it seemed possible.

I was sold and ready to jump into a salt dough project. But what do do?

I found a great recipe from the Intimate Weddings site. They made beautiful wedding favors out of salt dough. I didn’t have a wedding in the works but loved the tag like appearance of the creations so decided to make some for Christmas and all the other gift giving events that come up during the year. They would be a nice, personalized embellishment to put on my wrapped gifts. The holidays especially are always a busy time of year so doing a little advanced preparation seemed like a good plan.

I’ve amassed a collection of stamps over the years. It’s an advantage of being a memory keeper. I’m never at a loss for supplies. I pulled out a few to use for this project along with various colored ink pads and some biscuit cutters. 

Below are the instructions for how I made my salt dough tags.

Step 1) Mix the dough.

Mix the dry ingredients: 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of salt. Slowly add up to 1 cup of water until you have a dough like consistency.

Step 2) Roll out the dough.

The dough was extremely sticky so it took a bit to get the hang of working with it. I rolled it about 1/4-1/2″ in thickness. I did a few in both size as the 1/4 seemed a little thin.

Step 3) Create your designs.

I stamped various designs into the dough. I had both dye and pigment ink pads. The dye ink barely registered on the dough. The pigment inks were much better and I especially liked the red, pink and teals. The brighter colors looked better on the dough.

Step 4) Cut out the shapes.

This was one of the  hardest parts as the dough kept losing it’s shape as I transferred it from my counter to the cookie sheet. I used both circular biscuit cutters as well as a metal spatula to cut around the design.

I also tried different options to keep the cut dough’s shape including cutting directly on  the cookie sheet. This worked a little better, although as the cookie sheet filled up with my creations it became less of a viable option. I also tried rolling the dough on parchment paper thinking I would cut and carry it to the cookie sheet on the paper. This did not work well and I wouldn’t recommend it.

Overall, whichever method I used, I ended up doing a little reshaping after they were on the sheet. I think it adds to the whimsical charm to not have them be perfect.

Step 5) Poke a hole in the top.

I used a bamboo skewer but a toothpick or straw would work too. The hole is where you’ll use ribbon or twine to attach the tag to the gifts.

Step 6) Put them in the oven and wait. And, wait. And, wait.

I set my alarm to be sure I didn’t completely forget they were there. Since it was almost 1:00 AM when they came out, I let them cool on top of the stove overnight and finished them the next day.

Step 7) Sand the edges.

The edges were a little rough so I grabbed my file that I use to sand down the edge of my papers and gently smoothed the outer edge of my ornaments. 

Step 8) Embellish.

I wanted my tags to be shiny so I covered them in a few coats of mod podge. You don’t have to do this step but I like the shiny look. I suspect it adds to durability too.  I also added glitter to a few of them.

This recipe is makes a lot of tags. It’s like making cookies but with permanent dough.

I’m ready for the holidays and any other gift giving evet that gets thrown my way.

But, how is this a home craft?

I snuck a home embellishment tag to use as a decoration on my craft supply closet. Can you guess which one? I love Maine of course!

It will also be a good reminder to pull out the other tags as I wrap gifts throughout the year. 

I also ended up making six floral tags for my Minute for Mom kits for Maine Needs. I blogged about this nonprofit organization earlier in this challenge with my post: Cleaning Kits with a Little Extra Heart. I like adding something personal to my donations and these tags will be perfect for my next donation kits.

Have you ever made anything with salt dough? 

I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2021. I will be posting new content every day this month except most Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Craft Projects for my Home. To read more of my A to Z posts from this year, click HERE.

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39 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge | Salt dough tags to up my gift wrapping this year

  1. Lisa says:

    Those are cute. Much nicer than the versions that were popular back in the late 70s. Even the magazines had us making ugly things then! Yes, I made them. I made lots of Christmas tree decorations for my first Christmas tree as a married woman!


  2. Arti Jain says:

    This is such a love-filled post Karen.
    Love the way you described your Xmas tree ornaments.
    And to add such personal and gorgeous tags to donations–Ah! you made my day even more beautiful.
    God Bless. xx


  3. cassmob says:

    This is a fun idea. One year I got Pinterest inspiration and did something similar with the grandkids including their handprints at that stage…a good memory at several levels.


    • Weekends in Maine says:

      That’s a great keepsake! When our girls were young we made a mold of their footprints in the sand at the beach using plaster of paris. It’s kind of cool because it’s in reverse so the feet stick out of the sculpture and have a sandy finish. Sadly, one fell and broke but I still have the other. They hung on my wall for years. I love those type of visual memories.


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