How to Make a Kids Clay Christmas Santa Hand Print Ornament

Updated on November 23, 2016
Adorable Santa made with a child's hand-print. A treasured keepsake that will last for many years and is very easy to make. Step by step instructions.
Adorable Santa made with a child's hand-print. A treasured keepsake that will last for many years and is very easy to make. Step by step instructions. | Source

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 childrens 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 (for further tips on working with salt clay dough, please reference my other hub here for complete directions and advice on working with the clay: How To Make Easy Salt Dough Clay for Kids Art Projects)

A Santa Ornament from a childs hand-print, made out of salt dough clay
A Santa Ornament from a childs hand-print, made out of salt dough clay | Source

Ingredients for the Santa salt clay dough

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water


  1. Mix the salt dough clay ingredients together, then roll out the dough with a rolling pin on parchment paper. If dough is not pliable enough you can add more water, sparingly.
  2. Sprinkle flour on the childrens hands before making the print, it will make it easier to remove their hand 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 childs 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 childs hand out, try again and put more flour on the childs 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 childs 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 childs hand-print, leaving a small lip around the hand-print (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 3 hours at 200 degrees.


Painting your childs Santa salt clay hand-print

I used acrylic craft paint from Michaels 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 so you can paint on the detail and have close, crisp lines.

The steps for painting 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 Santas face and the beard.
  • Next paint the red hat.
  • Paint in small white eyes, Santas mustache, and Santas red nose.
  • After Santas 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 do Santas eyes in "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 get this at the craft store also) This is not a necessary step but 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!

A Santa ornament made from a childs hand-print, made from a salt dough clay recipe.
A Santa ornament made from a childs hand-print, made from a salt dough clay recipe. | Source

Questions & Answers


    Submit a Comment

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      This is about the cutest thing ever! A clever and fun project for children. Thanks for sharing.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      4 years ago from sunny Florida

      This is too cute. I will have my grandson make this for his Mawmaw (Mom) and Daddy. He loves doing crafts.

      Pinning and shared

      Voted up up and away

      Angels are on the way ps

    • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

      Dorsi Diaz 

      4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      Thank you WriterJanis. It was a very fun craft to do with the kids.

    • WriterJanis profile image


      4 years ago from California

      What a cute and simple idea.

    • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

      Dorsi Diaz 

      5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      @TopTenChrsitmas) It is fun, you need to make sure though that you thoroughly bake the hands. Have fun if you try it - we all loved the way they turned out!

    • TopTenChristmas profile image

      Brandon Hart 

      5 years ago

      Cute and easy. Sounds perfect for a church activity.

    • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

      Dorsi Diaz 

      5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      @Peggy) Thank you and I hope you enjoyed your holiday!

      @Ruchira) Let me know if you decided to do this. Merry Christmas to you too Ruchira!

      @mary) Thank you so much.

      @who) Glad it brought back some sweet memories for you. Happy Holidays!

    • whonunuwho profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      I liked your sweet idea and it reminds me so much of our kids growing up and how we attempted to try new and unique crafts at Christmas and other times of the year. Thanks for sharing this. whonu

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      5 years ago from Florida

      My kids (when they were little) and I make a lot of salt dough! This is such a cute idea.

      I voted this UP, and will share.

    • Ruchira profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      Wow...I loved this. Our craft store has a big sale on clay. Will do this. So appropriate!!

      Merry Christmas Dorsi :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What a darling and meaningful Christmas ornament! Hopefully these Santa hand prints can be saved for years and years to come and even passed down in the family. Up and useful votes and sharing.

    • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

      Dorsi Diaz 

      5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      @tannie) YW!

      @jule) Thanks jule.

      @Sweetie) Glad you liked it Sweetie.

      @Janine) YW Janine.

      @Vellur) Thanks Vellur, the kids had a lot of fun doing this.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 years ago from Dubai

      Very interesting and a wonderfully creative idea. Voted up. Love the Santa hand print.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      5 years ago from New York, New York

      This is awesome and am pinning to try with my kids. Thanks for sharing!!

    • SweetiePie profile image


      5 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Beautiful craft idea, Dorsi!

    • jule729 profile image


      5 years ago

      this is so cool! great idea!

    • tanniew78 profile image


      6 years ago from Montana

      This is such a wonderful idea.

    • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

      Dorsi Diaz 

      6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      @sleepylog) Thanks so much. Great craft for nephews, nieces, grand-kids also (the hand-prints here I did with my 4 year old grandson)..... maybe you can drum up a small kid to do this with!

    • sleepylog profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      Very cute and so easy to make. Makes me wish my kids were younger. They may be too old to do this, but others aren't. so I've Tweeted, Pinterested and posted your article on Stumble Upon. Keep up the great work and have a Merry Christmas.


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