How to Make Springerle Cookie Ornaments
Whether your Christmas tree needs a little something extra this year or you’re looking for a unique handmade gift, springerle cookie ornaments are a festive craft made for the holidays!
These intricately decorated ornaments are surprisingly simple to make. You can leave them plain and strung with a festive ribbon, or paint them for an even more unique pop of color for your Christmas tree.
What are Springerle Cookies?
Springerle cookies are a traditional Christmas cookie from the Alsace-Lorraine area of France, and into Germany and Switzerland. They are made with a simple, stiff dough that is then shaped with a cookie mold. The molds are traditionally made from wood and feature beautiful, intricate designs.
And while springerle cookies are delicious to eat, they can also be used to make ornaments for your Christmas tree! Much like gingerbread men ornaments, you can use the actual cookie dough to make long-lasting ornaments for your holiday decor.
I recently saw someone making springerle ornaments with clay and it made me realize there are a few different ways you could make ornaments with springerle cookie molds, including:
- With springerle cookie dough
- With salt dough
- With paper clay
How to Make Springerle Cookie Christmas Ornaments
How you make springerle Christmas ornaments depends on the method you plan to use.
Making Springerle Ornaments with Cookie Dough
If you want to make your ornaments with springerle cookie dough, then you’ll start by following along with my springerle cookie recipe. In that recipe, I break down all the must-know details of making springerle cookies successfully.
Make the dough according to the directions, paying special attention to the dough’s resting times to ensure you get a clean design that holds its shape when baked.
Just after pressing the mold into the dough and cutting out the cookie, take the bottom of a clean pen, chopstick or kebab skewer and create a hole in the dough. Once they’ve baked and cooled, you can thread a beautiful ribbon or an ornament hook through the hole and call it a day!
Making Springerle Ornaments with Salt Dough
Another simple way to make Springerle cookie ornaments is by using salt dough. Salt dough is a modeling material made from flour, salt and water. It’s often used for crafting – especially for creating ornaments! It’s really simple to prepare and can be dried and cured in a conventional oven or even a microwave!
If you decide to make your springerle ornaments with salt dough, simply mix up your favorite salt dough recipe, roll it out and press your mold into it to create shapes. Cut around the designs with a knife or cookie cutter and bake in the oven.
To make salt dough, you’ll need to combine:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup water
Salt dough ornaments should be baked on low heat in a 250F/121C-degree oven for about 30 minutes to an hour. Turn them frequently throughout the baking process so they dry out evenly. If you notice part of your design puffing up a lot more than the rest, you can price the dough with a toothpick to release any trapped air.
Making salt dough springerle ornaments is a great option if you’re working with kids, because the dough is so simple and fast to make.
Making Springerle Ornaments with Paper Clay
Another great way to make springerle ornaments is by using paper clay. Paper clay is infused with cellulose fiber (usually from paper, hence the name!). The mixture adds strength and flexibility to the material and it makes really great ornaments that are durable but not too heavy.
Full disclosure, I’ve never used paper clay in springerle molds myself. But I was recently sent a video of someone using their molds to make clay ornaments and I’m totally inspired to try!
Making clay springerle cookie ornaments follows a lot of the same steps as making your ornament out of cookie dough or salt dough, with one slight variation. Instead of rolling out your clay and pressing the mold into it, you’ll want to press the clay into the surface of the mold. Dust the mold with some cornstarch before doing this to ensure it doesn’t stick.
Then, simply cut away the extra clay, add a hole and allow the clay to air dry for about 24 hours. If you need them done faster, you can bake them at 250F/121C for about 30 minutes to speed up the drying process.
Get a closer look at how to make these ornaments with clay in this video from @stepheniewatts on Instagram.
How to Decorate Springerle Cookie Ornaments
Personally, I love the look of an au natural springerle cookie ornament – especially if I’m making them with cookie dough or salt dough. Adding a colorful ribbon keeps the ornament clean and neutral but still adds a festive pop.
If you want to add more color, you can absolutely paint your ornaments. The way you do it will depend on what material you used.
Painting Springerle Cookie Dough Ornaments
Painting ornaments made from actual dough is a little bit tricky, only because you can’t do it with regular paint. Instead, you’ll want to dilute food coloring with some vodka using a 10-1 ratio of vodka to food coloring. Then, you can use a small brush to paint the colors onto the cookie.
Painting Springerle Clay Ornaments
If you made your ornaments with paper clay, then you’re in luck! You can paint them with any acrylic paint of your choice.