Crafts | DIY

Adorable Penguin Footprint Salt Dough Ornaments

Precious DIY Salt Dough Ornaments!

Baby handprint and footprint salt dough ornaments can be fantastic holiday gifts for those important family members. You know, like Grandma, for starters! You can start with classic handprint ornament kits to become comfortable with the process, or dive right into the crafty handmade ornaments like Santa handprints and penguin footprints.

Salt dough is easy to make and these DIY salt dough ornaments can become a fun tradition for your son or daughter each holiday season.

Perfect Penguin Footprint Salt Dough Ornaments - Red, Silver, & Gold Clay ornaments with black and white footprint penguins

To make penguin footprint ornaments, you first need to make some salt dough. It’s very easy to make!

Salt Dough Recipe


2 cups flour

1 cup salt

Up to 1 cup of water

Snow Writer Penguin Footprint Ornament Name and Date

Salt Dough Steps:

  1. Mix the flour and salt together until combined.
  2. Mix in the water a bit at a time until you reach a non-sticky dough. Add more flour if the dough becomes too sticky. Add more water if it’s too dry and inflexible.

Cinnamon Salt Dough Recipe

For a festive twist, try a cinnamon salt dough, instead. I remember making something like this in elementary school! The fragrance alone is enough to lift your spirits.

Cinnamon Salt Dough Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 cup salt

Up to 1.5 cups of cinnamon

Up to 2 cups of water

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How to Make Cinnamon Salt Dough:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together – flour, salt, and cinnamon.
  2. Gradually add water until the dough comes together smoothly. Be careful not to over saturate the dough.
  3. Knead until fully smooth. Now you’re ready for the real fun!

How to Make Penguin Footprint Salt Dough Ornaments

Here are the simplified steps to creating a penguin footprint ornament from salt dough.

Penguin Footprint Salt Dough Ornaments - Silver, Black and White Clay Ornament on Christmas Tree

  1. Make the salt dough first, as explained above.
  2. Roll out the dough and make an impression of your toddler’s or baby’s footprint.
  3. Cut around the footprint, leaving room for the hook or hanger as well as a place to write the year and your child’s name.
  4. Optional: Consider carving details, like the beak, eyes, and a bowtie, with a toothpick.
  5. Insert a paperclip into the top of the ornament. Slide it in-between the dough and press it down so only a little loop sticks out. This will hold the hook.
  6. Place ornaments on a cookie sheet.
  7. Repeat as desired until you have enough penguin ornaments for all the special people in your life.
  8. Bake at 200 degrees for at least two hours, turning the salt dough ornaments over a few times. Cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of your ornaments. Be sure to set a timer so they don’t burn! (Speaking from experience here.)
  9. Allow to cool.
  10. Once fully cooled, paint, decorate, and seal as desired.

    Suggested Paint Colors:

    • Black footprint to form penguin, with heel as head
    • White oval belly
    • Orange triangle beak
    • Red or green bowtie
    • Silver, Red, or Green backgroundHand Holding Handmade Salt Dough Penguin Footprint
  11. Allow to dry.
  12. Apply a coating of Mod Podge to seal the ornaments.
  13. Use a snow writer 3D white puffy paint, or another paint pen to write the child’s name and the year.
  14. Glue on wiggly eyes.
  15. Tie a piece of red ribbon or cord onto the exposed paperclip.
  16. Put each handmade penguin salt dough ornament into a gift box and surprise that special someone!

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Finishing & Storing Salt Dough Penguin Footprint Ornaments

If your kids are big enough, let them help you paint! My daughter was only one when we made our penguin footprint salt dough ornaments, so I did most of the painting. Now that she’s older, she loves painting the salt dough ornaments we make each year.

Salt Dough Penguin Footprint Ornaments in a Metal Lunch Box - Red, Silver, and Gold

Also, remember to be very careful with these, as they can break very easily! We store ours in latching tins when they aren’t hanging on our tree. These penguin footprint ornaments are a lovely gift for any grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle, or godparent. Enjoy and happy holidays!

If you like this craft, you might also want to check out our main crafts page for more toddler-friendly activities.

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