Salt dough family handprint keepsake

I have fallen in love with this salt dough family handprint keepsake! Making it is easy if you follow our simple salt dough recipe and the only ingredients that you need are salt, flour and water. I am a huge fan of salt dough crafts and handprint art projects, but this is the first time we have made a whole family salt dough project. I hope you love this salt dough handprint craft as much as we do!

Salt dough family handprint keepsake

Spending time together as a family during lock down has meant lots of time for fun art projects like this family handprint plaque.

Whilst we have found suddenly being thrown into homeschool and worrying about everything going on difficult at times, we have also been making the most of this family time by finding fun things to do together as a family. In many ways what's going on has brought us closer together!

Inspired by all the wonderful family handprints that we have seen across the web and to remember how we have bonded together during this unique time in history, we wanted to make our own piece of family handprint art.

We hope that you have as much fun making your own salt dough handprints as we have. Making a set of family handprints in salt dough is such a special keepsake to treasure.

Here are a few more salt dough handprint crafts that you might like to try with the family:

And here are even more salt dough ideas

You might also like to try making your family handprint art using paper and paint or markers. check out our collection of family handprint art ideas.

Salt Dough Family Handprint Keepsake

family handprint

Salt dough family handprint supplies:

  • 2 cups of flour (plain or all purpose - NOT self raising flour)
  • 1 cup of salt 
  • 1 cup of water (you may need less)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Markers
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Baking tray
  • Foil 
  • Sealer

How to make a salt dough family handprint keepsake

STEP 1: Mix up some salt dough

Making salt dough is easy! Simply mix 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of salt together in a bowl. Then pour in 1 cup of water, adding a little at a time and mixing as you go. Add the water slowly as you may need less water than 1 cup, you don't want your salt dough to go sticky (but if it does, just add more flour!). Once mixed together take the salt dough out of your mixing bowl and knead it.

Check out our easy salt dough recipe for tips, tricks and information on colouring, sealing and storing salt dough.

How to make salt dough

STEP 2:  Roll out salt dough

Now it is time to roll out your salt dough. You need to roll it until it is about 1cm thick.

Salt dough recipe

STEP 3: Transfer salt dough to a baking tray

Your rolled out salt dough is going to be quite large, it needs to be to fit the whole families handprints on it! It is easier to move your salt dough to a baking tray now than once you have added your handprints.

To stop the salt dough from sticking to the baking tray we covered the baking tray with foil in advance.

STEP 4: Take family handprints

Now it is time to take handprints from all the family. This is harder than it sounds if you have several small children! Think about where on your family handprint plaque you want each handprint to go. You may not fit a full handprint from each family member, but make sure you leave room for each member of the family to at least add a partial handprint.

Salt dough handprint

I would suggest doing baby or toddlers handprints first, they are most likely to be wriggly or dig their hands into the salt dough (trust me, I know this from experience with my 2 year old!). By taking their handprint first if you don't get a good handprint you can just roll the salt dough back into a ball and start again.

family handprints

Press each family members hand into the salt dough firmly making sure you press down each finger to make a good imprint.

We left room in the centre of our handprint plaque to add our family name and the year.

STEP 5: Bake salt dough

Now it's time to dry out your salt dough. This family handprint plaque is large so it will take a while to dry out.

The best way to dry out salt dough is to place it in the oven at a low temperature. Ovens vary, but we turned our oven to 100 degrees (celsius) to avoid any burning or the salt dough puffing up.

This salt dough craft took several hours to dry out. Turn the plaque over half way through if you can to help the underneath dry out faster. Your salt dough has dried out when it feels hard to the touch. If it is still soft in the centre put it back into the oven for a little longer.

Salt dough family handprints

STEP 6: Paint family handprints

Now you have baked your salt dough  handprint plaque it is time to paint it. This is where you can be a little creative. Paint all the handprints the same colour, keep to a colour scheme or paint the handprints in each family members favourite colour, the choice is yours! We decided to choose one colour paint each for our handprints and I painted the background yellow.

Start by painting the background. If you can't see the handprint shapes clearly then drawing around them in a pencil may help.

Painting salt dough handprints

Once you have finished the background and the paint has dried it is time to paint each of the handprints in your chosen colours.

family handprint art

STEP 7: Add names and the date

To finish of your family handprint art you might want to add your family name and the year. I have noticed that a few people have been sharing salt dough handprints with the words lock down on them which is a lovely idea too.

salt dough handprint

STEP 8: Seal salt dough

If you want to be sure that your salt dough handprints will stand the test of time you will need to seal the salt dough so no moisture can get in. We would recommend using mod podge or a spray sealer.

salt dough handprint craft

That's it! Your salt dough family handprint art is now complete!

salt dough family handprint craft

You can make your salt dough family handprint art in any size or shape. I love this heart shaped handprint art that was shared to our facebook page by Amanda Horlick-Coutts.

salt dough family handprint art

You can make them for any occasion (or no occasion at all!) Kim Streeton shared this lovely family handprint keepsake for Easter. I love her colour choice!

salt dough family handprint art

Salt dough handprint crafts make such lovely keepsakes and if you seal them correctly they last forever! Making a family handprint is a great keepsake of this time of togetherness that we are currently experiencing.

Salt dough handprints. Family handprint art. A fun salt dough project for families with salt dough recipe.

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