How to Make a Kid's Clay Christmas Santa Hand Print Ornament
This easy-to-make Christmas ornament of your child's hand print is made from an inexpensive salt clay dough recipe. The ingredients are so simple that anyone can make this dough—all you need is flour, salt, and warm water.
I recently did this craft with our Sunday school children, and the kids and adults alike enjoyed making these memory keepsakes of their children's hand prints. This is a precious way to remember your child in the years to come and would also make a great gift for grandma!
To make the ornament, all you will need is to follow the simple directions below to make the salt dough clay.
Note: For further tips on working with salt clay dough, please reference my other article: How to Make Easy Salt Dough Clay for Kids' Art Projects.
Ingredients for the Santa Salt Clay Dough
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
Instructions for Making the Dough
- Mix the salt dough clay ingredients together.
- Roll out the dough with a rolling pin on parchment paper. If the dough is not pliable enough, you can add more water (sparingly).
- Sprinkle flour on the children's hands before making the print. It will make it easier to remove their hands out of the dough.
How to Make the Clay Santa Ornament
- After making your salt dough clay, roll it out onto parchment paper. If working with groups of children, cut off a small piece of parchment paper so that each child has their own work space. (Make sure that the parchment paper is large enough to have the child's entire piece of dough on it.)
- Work with each child one at a time. The kids will naturally want to stick their hands in the clay mixture, so prepare to possibly having to roll out the clay again. Have the child open their fingers slightly apart so that their thumb can make Santa's hat. (If you don't get this quite right, don't sweat. It will still come out cute.)
- Press the child's hand down into the dough with your hand, and gently rock their fingers so that their fingers make a good impression. If you find that it's too hard to get the child's hand out, try again and put more flour on the child's hand so that their fingers don't stick when you try to pull their hand up. (This can be a little trial and error sometimes.)
- After you get a good impression of your child's hand, have the child move away from the creation, because sometimes they want to press it in again. (This is a good time to have them just sit and watch at this point.) Use a small knife and cut around the child's hand print, leaving a small lip around the it—how much you leave is up to you.
- Once you have the print just how you want it, bake it on low in the oven for three hours at 200°.
Painting Your Child's Santa Salt Clay Hand Print
I used acrylic craft paint from Michael's to complete my painted Christmas ornament project. The colors you will need are red, white, and some black paint for Santa's eyes. If you prefer, you can also skip buying the black paint and finish the eyes with black sharpie marker.
The flesh tone can be made from using just a little red mixed with white. But if you prefer a closer flesh tone color, you can add a little yellow to the mixture, or you can buy a small bottle of the flesh tone acrylic paint. (I made my flesh tone color with red, white, and a little yellow.) Also, have a fine brush handy, so you can paint on the detail and have close, crisp lines.
How to Paint Your Santa Hand Print
- Paint the entire Santa white, both front and back. (You don't have to paint the back, but I think it gives it a nice finished look.)
- After the white dries, paint the flesh tone Santa face. Make sure you leave white around the face for the trim on Santa's face and the beard.
- Next, paint the red hat.
- Paint in small white eyes, Santa's mustache, and Santa's red nose.
- After Santa's white eyes are dry, paint the outline for his eyes either with black acrylic paint and a fine brush or a black Sharpie. (You can also use "googly" eyes purchased from a craft store and glue them on if you prefer.)
- Let the whole thing dry.
- if you want a more permanent sealant, spray acrylic fixative on the front and back of the ornament. You can also get this at the craft store. This is not a necessary step, but it is recommended.
- Add your ribbon to hang your child's Santa hand print.
- You're done! Now hang your sweet little ornament on the tree and enjoy it for years to come!