These salt dough handprints painted as Santa Claus are the ideal Christmas craft for your kids! Wrap them up and give them to Grandma and Grandpa as an EASY homemade Christmas gift!
Are you still looking for ideas for a homemade Christmas gift from your kids to their grandparents? You’re in luck! This is as easy as it gets, friends! We gifted these salt dough Santa handprints to my parents this weekend during their weekend visit. It was fun to make them and they loved receiving them!
Although they are too big and heavy to be ornaments on your tree, they are great as a table decoration or fireplace mantle — maybe even on your kids’ nightstand if you decide to keep it and not gift it.
The steps are simple. Quickly mix together flour, salt and water. Separate into two halves (equal size or one bigger than the other to suit each child) and roll into a thick flat round. Have your child press their handprint into the dough, then place it on a baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for a few hours, until dry. Flip it once during baking to ensure the back side also dries. You can also air dry it instead for 3-4 days (again, making sure to flip once halfway).
After it’s dry, you can paint it! I used paints we had on hand… washable paints, even. Who knows how long the paint will last. I didn’t spray it with any finisher or use any special materials. I’m the least crafty person I know, so I don’t really know much about all that stuff and usually just hope for the best. 😉 That said, if I can do this craft, YOU can do it, too!
Salt Dough Santa Handprints
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1/4 cup water (more or less)
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. (Skip this step if air-drying.)
- Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Slowly stir in the water until a dough forms. You might not need all of the water, or maybe a little more. This can vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen. The consistency of the dough should be thick and not too wet and slimy. More like clay. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead a few times with your hands, until soft and pliable, adding more flour as necessary.
- Divide the dough into two halves. (You might be able to get three portions if doing three very small children's hands.) Roll each portion into a round disc no less than 1/2-inch thick. You want it thick enough so the handprint will show. Press the child's hand into the dough and then carefully transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 3-4 hours, or until dry, flipping once halfway. Alternatively, you can air dry them. I placed mine on a flatten paper bag and air dried for a few days, turning once halfway.
- Once dry, paint the handprints as you wish (or as Santa Claus like we did!) Once the paint was dried, I used a black Sharpie marker to draw the eyes and mouth, then glued a cotton ball to the ends of the hat.