How to make salt dough

Here is a set of simple instructions for the salt dough recipe we use to make all our adorable salt dough crafts and keepsakes. Salt dough is cheap and easy to make using everyday ingredients and such an easy material to craft with. Any creations will last for years once sealed. Take a look at all our salt dough craft ideas for kids below. 

How to make salt dough recipe.  Simple printable recipe and instructions.  Lots of salt dough craft ideas for kids.

Scroll down to see all our salt dough creations. Click on the images for full instructions or click on the links below. You might also like our DIY keepsake craft ideas

Salt dough can be used to make some beautiful gifts, but we also have lots of other homemade gifts kids can make for you to browse through too. 



Simple instructions on how to make salt dough (printable salt dough recipe). Includes salt dough craft ideas for kids and details on colouring, drying out, sealing and storing salt dough.

How to make salt dough




You will need:

  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of water (you may need less)

Salt dough recipe


  1. Mix 2 cups of plain flour and 1 cup of salt together in a large bowl. 
  2. Add 1 cup of water.  Add it in slowly as you may need less. 
  3. Knead the mixture into a dough. 
  4. Get creating! 

You can't really go wrong with this simple salt dough recipe. If the mixture is too sticky add more flour, if it is too dry add more water. 

Colouring salt dough

You can colour salt dough before you make your creations by adding paint, food colouring or natural spices to your salt dough mixture. Click here for more information. (TIP: add lots of colouring as the salt dough will fade a little once dry). 

Alternatively you can wait for your creations to dry out and then paint them using acrylic paint (UK affiliate link/ US affiliate link). 


Drying out salt dough

The best way to dry out salt dough is to put it in the oven at a low temperature. Ovens do vary, but I turn the oven to 100 degree (celsius) to avoid any burning.  Your creations will take several hours to dry out depending on their thickness. Thicker models may take longer. Turning your creations over every now and again can speed up the drying process. 

Alternatively salt dough can be dried by leaving it out in a warm room but this will take several days. 

Sealing salt dough

You must seal salt dough (on the front and back) if you want it to last. We use Mod Podge all in one sealer glue and finish (UK affiliate link) (US affiliate link) to varnish and preserve our salt dough. Once sealed your salt dough creations should last for years. 


Storing salt dough

Your salt dough creations must be kept in a warm, dry room.  If any moisture gets into the salt dough it will go soggy and be ruined.   If you have made ornaments that you want to store away for part of the year ensure that they are kept in an air tight box to avoid any moisture getting into them. Wrapping your creations in white kitchen roll or tissue paper will also help to protect them. 


KEEP SALT DOUGH AWAY FROM DOGS AS IT IS DANGEROUS FOR THEM IF EATEN. 


Take a look at all our DIY keepsake craft ideas


Simple instructions on how to make salt dough (printable salt dough recipe). Includes salt dough craft ideas for kids and details on colouring, drying out, sealing and storing salt dough.




Take a look at some of our salt dough creations (click on the images for instructions): 

Salt dough santa handprint - salt dough craft ideas for kidsSalt dough snowman ornament - salt dough craft ideas for kidsSalt dough fingerprint christmas tree - salt dough craft ideas for kids

Salt dough photo frame ornament - salt dough craft ideas for kidsSalt dough penguin footprint - salt dough craft ideas for kidsSalt dough robin handprint - salt dough craft ideas for kids

Salt dough thumb print magnet (thumbbody loves you) - salt dough craft ideas for kids Salt dough reindeer footprint - salt dough craft ideas for kidsSalt dough fingerprint heart magnet - salt dough craft ideas for kids

Salt dough heart candle holder - salt dough craft ideas for kidsSalt dough marbled hearts- salt dough craft ideas for kidsSalt dough we love you to pieces heart - salt dough craft ideas for kids

Salt dough thumb body loves you print magnet - salt dough craft ideas for kidsSalt dough thumb body loves you print magnet - salt dough craft ideas for kidsSalt dough handprint bowl / dish - salt dough craft ideas for kids

Salt dough fingerprint ginger bread man ornament  - salt dough craft ideas for kidsSalt dough handprint photo frame  - salt dough craft ideas for kidsSalt dough handprint keepsake - salt dough craft ideas for kids



21 comments

  1. how long does salt dough last

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    Replies
    1. My sister made a salt dough ornament in girl scouts almost 40 years ago! I want to just add something from our experience, take very good care of them, they're fragile:) hers has just the head of a angel on it lol ��

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Unless the mice find them!

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  4. How many handprints can you make out of 1 batch?

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    Replies
    1. i made 3 sets of hands and 3 feet

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    2. This recipe yielded 6 hands and 3 feet ornaments?

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. I am going to try this out this week end with my 5 year old granddaughter

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  7. Did you know what other kind of sealing can i use, because in my country doesn't sell mod podge....

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    Replies
    1. Any clear varnish would work (or even a layer of glue). Its just to stop moisture getting into the salt dough and ruining it.

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  8. Am I adding warm or hot tap water or boiling water?

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  9. Just cold water, it doesn't need to be warmed up.

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  10. Do you seal before or after you paint the salt dough?

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  11. How many christmas tree ornaments does this salt dough recipe make?

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  12. Can you use non-toxic paints like finger paints instead of acrylic?

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