Make a gorgeous PEACE dove salt dough handprint keepsake as an alternative ornament or gift for family this Christmas! Easy and inexpensive to make and will last as a sweet memory for ever.
To add to our extensive salt dough keepsakes collection this year the kids have each chosen different designs to have made using their handprints. My eldest loved the idea of making a PEACE dove and it was easy-peasy to create the right shape and then decorate afterwards.
How to make a dove salt dough handprint:
1 cup salt
1 cup plain flour (all purpose) NOT self-raising
1/2 cup warm water
Paint pens (optional)
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Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl and stir in the warm water. Mix vigorously until combined and then turn it out onto a floured surface and start to knead it until it becomes soft and stretchy, similar in consistency to play-dough. It shouldn’t be at all sticky or crumbly. If it is, add either a little more flour or a little more water until it is just right.
Then roll it out, again on a lightly floured surface, until it is 1-2 cm thick at the most. Form a basic circle, just bigger than your child’s hand, and then ask them to stretch their fingers far away from their thumb and press their hand in that shape, firmly into the dough.
The thumb will form the dove’s neck and head and the other fingers will form the body and feathers. Those four fingers need to be held close together with no gaps in between.
It is sometimes easier to roll it onto baking paper so that it can be transferred straight to the baking sheet afterwards, to avoid it getting stuck to the table top.
Next, use the drinking straw to make two holes near the top, evenly spread out. The ribbon will be thread through here to hang the ornament later.
Now place the salt dough hand print into the oven on a baking tray and leave it to dry out for approximately 3 hours on a VERY low oven temperature. I advise around 100 degrees C (approx 212 F) and no higher. The salt dough can rise and get bubbles if the oven is too high.
If the salt dough is still doughy in the middle after 3 hours then turn it over and put it in for another 2-3. Make sure it’s not too thick to begin with as these sometimes don’t harden properly.
Now it’s time to decorate! I recommend using acrylic paints as they will act as a sealant and won’t absorb into the salt dough. We painted the dove with 2-3 coats of white acrylic paint first, then did the background in a bright blue. Obviously you could leave it blank or choose any colour you like. Bright neon pink would look awesome!
Once both of those were thoroughly dry, we added the beak, olive branch and a black dot for an eye.
We nearly left it just like that but then used a white paint pen (love these ones for decorating rocks, shells, wood, decorations and more!) to write the word PEACE over the top of the dove as it seemed fitting and a lovely message to have displayed on the wall or tree.
Then we used some thick ribbon to thread through and make a hanger, ready to display!
I wrote my child’s name, age and the date on the back so that we can remember how small her hands were when she was 9! [Check out these gorgeous FOOTPRINT KEEPSAKES I made when they were tiny! ]
And now ready to hang, either on the wall or on the tree. When your child’s hand is big the salt dough ornament will be heavy, so it might be better to prop on the shelf or mantlepiece to keep it safe.
These ornaments will keep indefinitely when kept in a dry place without humidity.
If you liked this one you will love our Christmas Tree Salt Dough Handprint Keepsakes too!
And just a few weeks ago we made these gorgeous Fingerprint Gingerbread Men Keepsakes which are so cute.
If you want a straight up post about making simple Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments then this one is for you.
And a whole host of other salt dough ideas here too! Plus an adorable Christmas Tree Clay Pinch Pot here!
If you enjoyed reading this idea I would be so thrilled if you could share it on social media and leave me a comment! Thank you.
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