Last year was the first time that my son was really, really into Christmas.  He was so excited for Santa, Christmas music, snow, setting up our Christmas tree, and of course all of the gifts associated with the holiday.  And if you know us at all, then you probably know that also means incorporating trains into EVERYTHING.  The polar express, train cookies, trains as gifts, and the most fun of all – DIY train ornaments!

I will admit, I initially went searching to find an easy train ornament tutorial somewhere, but to my surprise I found nothing.  So I had to come up with this on my own and luckily it turned out great!  It was simple, my son was able to take part in every single step, and we were able to make enough for the whole family to receive at least one.

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These saltdough DIY train Christmas ornaments are so fun and easy! They are a perfect Christmas gift for grandparents, aunts, and uncles and are easy enough for your kids to complete each step of the way.


So if you’ve got a train lover on your hands, I highly recommend you give these train ornaments a try!  There’s no doubt in my mind, I want to look back on this time and remember my son’s love of trains.


What You Need

So here’s what you’ll need to make the train ornaments:


For the cinnamon salt dough:

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Water

To create the ornament:

To decorate the ornament:



Ready to go?  Here’s how you make your DIY Train Christmas Ornaments:


Step 1: Create the Dough

For the dough, we used a basic cinnamon salt dough recipe:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • ½ cup of cinnamon
  • ½ cup of salt
  • ¾ cup of water

Mix everything together and head to Step 2!


DIY Saltdough Train Ornaments


Step 2: Cut Out the Ornaments

Cutting out the ornaments is another simple step that your kids can definitely help with.

First lay out some parchment paper and roll the dough out nice and flat using the rolling pin.

Then with your train cutter, cut out as many trains as you can.

**Use a straw to cut out a hole where your string will go. This is a very important step!  If you forget to do this, you will really be out of luck!


Step 3: Dry Overnight

Leave your train cutouts on parchment paper, but put them somewhere safe so they can dry overnight.  In the morning, I would flip them over so the bottom can get a chance to dry too.


Step 4: Paint

This is the really fun part!  Let your kids design their trains with kid-safe paint (unless you’re really, really wild and want to let them use real paint).


Step 5: Dry Overnight

Time to let the ornaments dry again!


Step 6: Sign the Back

Once the paint is dry, we flipped ours over and signed the back and wrote the year with a sharpie marker.


Step 7: Mod Podge Front

This technically isn’t a critical step, but it looks way, way better and will keep the paint from smearing in the event the ornament gets wet.  All you need to do is spread some mod podge over the painted side (you want to use a foam brush for the mod podge)!


The perfect Christmas activity with your kids! Salt dough train ornaments!


Step 8: Dry Overnight

Mod podge doesn’t take a whole night to dry, so if you’re pressed for time,  you can just give it a few hours.  But we waited overnight just to spread this activity out.


Step 9: Mod Podge Back

Now do the same on the back side!  Again, this isn’t critical, but it will look way, way better.


Step 10: Tie & Wrap!

Now for the last step!  Tie a piece of string or twine around the hole you created with your straw so that the ornament can hang and wrap them up for your family and friends!


This DIY train ornament activity made the Christmas season a lot of fun, especially since we have a huge love for trains in our house!  I hope you’re able to enjoy it as well.  

Merry Christmas!


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These DIY train Christmas ornaments were so easy and fun to make with my preschooler! We used a simple salt dough recipe and then decorated them however my son wanted. They were a perfect gift for the grandparents!