When I was a child, my grandmother decided to start a nutcracker collection for each of her grandchildren. Year after year, she would buy us a new one to add to the collection. I'm older now, and my grandmother is no longer with us. Every year, at Christmas time, my family gets out that nutcracker collect and I smile. I smile at the memories and love. Our nutcracker collection has sparked an interest in the Nutcracker Ballet, from books to the music to the nutcrackers themselves. To remember those times and to keep the tradition going we have a simple nutcracker saltdough fingerprint ornament to make for the Christmas Tree.
We have included links to the materials we used and recommend book for creating these simple saltdough decorations for the Christmas Tree. If you purchase via the links we may earn a small commission.
This year, we got out our copy of The Story of the Nutcracker Ballet by Deborah Hautzig. It's a well-loved copy that came along with a nutcracker one year. To go along with the book, we made a couple of keepsake saltdough Fingerprint Nutcracker Ornaments.
How to make these Keepsake Nutcracker Ornaments
These easy Christmas Tree Ornaments are the perfect keepsake decorations to make with your kids during the holiday season. Salt dough is a simple homemade clay that can be dried in the oven or in the microwave and is great for working with kids to create decorations for the Christmas tree.
Materials Needed to Make this Nutcracker Keepsake Salt Dough Ornament
Making the Nutcracker Ornaments
- Begin by making a small batch of salt dough. The following recipe will make about four of these saltdough keepsake Ornaments. Double or triple the recipe if you need more.
- Roll out the dough to around 1cm thick.
- Have your child press their entire index finger into the dough, so you have a nice imprint of the length of the finger. Lift up their finger carefully so you don't make any more indents in the dough.
- Use a drinking straw or a pen to make holes in the top of each ornament.
- Lift the dough carefully and place it on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Place in a 225 degree F (around 100C) oven for 30 minutes at a time to harden.
- Check on your dough after every 30 minutes until completely dried.
- Once it's hard, you can remove it from the oven. Our ornaments took an hour in the oven. You could use the Quick Salt Dough Recipe here on Rainy Day Mum paying careful attention to 10 seconds at a time and it will reduce the drying time.
- After you remove them from the oven, flip them over to make sure the bottom is hard too. If not, let it air dry for a while.
- When your ornaments are cool and dry, it's time to paint. We usually wait until the next day to paint, but as long as your salt dough is cool and dry, you can start decorating.
- Use the joint lines on your fingerprint for a guide. The top section will be your nutcracker's face. Paint this section in a flesh color.
- Paint the next two sections red, green, or blue acrylic paint for the nutcracker's uniform.
- Add a little square of black to the bottom for boots.
- Paint a simple hat on top of the head in a color of your choice.
- Paint the background if you desire. We had some glitter paint so we added a sparkly background.
- After the paint is dry, use the Sharpie to add a simple face and details to the uniform.
- String twine through the hole at the top so you can hang your ornament on your Christmas tree.
- Don't forget to use the Sharpie to write your child's name and date on the back.
Won't it be fun to pull these out in 10 years and smile at the memories of these Fingerprint Saltdough Nutcracker Ornaments?
Discover more Nutcracker Inspired Crafts and Activities for Kids with our collections of fun ideas to do when you read the book, watch the movie or the ballet this Christmas.
More SaltDough Christmas Crafts for Kids
Looking for more inspiration of simple salt dough decorations to create with kids this festive season then check out these simple ideas below.
Dress your Christmas Tree with this simple to create Christmas Scented Saltdough Star Garland with ginger, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and orange it's lightly scents the room whereever it is.
It's never too early to start crafts with your kids and these Simple Salt Dough Decorations for the Tree are ideal to make with your toddlers. My daughter LOVED her pretty sprinkles whereas my son wanted to paint his and make them colourful.
Using the same recipe for salt dough as we used for our Star Garland we created another pretty garland a Gingerbread Man Garland which instead of hanging on a tree we placed in the window above the kitchen sink.
You can find Terri at Creative Family Fun, where she shares fun learning ideas, crafts, and activities for kids and their families.