Have you ever wondered how to make salt dough? It’s such a simple thing to make; perfect for kids crafting – as well as grown ups!
This is the best salt dough recipe I’ve ever come across, as it has just three ingredients.
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What is Salt Dough?
Salt dough is a simple mixture primarily made of table salt, all-purpose flour (plain flour), and water.
It’s great for crafting, and it is particularly good for children to use because it’s non-toxic and easy to make at home.
Once you’ve created your mixture, simply form into shapes – either free hand or use cookie cutters. The salt dough shapes can then be air-dried or baked to harden, and then painted or decorated.
How Do I Make Salt Dough?
If you Google ‘how do I make salt dough,’ you’ll see literally gazillions of different methods!
There are so many different recipes! Some people add vegetable oil, which apparently makes it easy to manipulate.
Other people add food colouring — which makes it more like play dough. This is great for play — rather than crafting.
Is it Better to Bake or Air Dry Salt Dough?
The jury’s out on this one! I think it’s down to personal preference.
If you’re patient — or it’s a sunny day — you can air-dry salt dough.
I prefer to put mine in the AGA. But my friend Cerys from Rainy Day Mum puts hers in the microwave.
I think that baking your creations makes them last longer. I made some salt dough Easter ornaments years ago — and they still get bought out, years later.
But the boys made some salt dough Christmas ornaments at nursery, as they went moldy and had to be thrown away.
What is the Ratio for Salt Dough?
Again, I’ve read so much conflicting information on this!
One says one part salt to two parts flour, and another says one flour to a quarter salt.
My favourite recipe — and the simplest recipe I’ve come across — is literally equal measures of salt and flour. And just enough warm water to bind it all together.
Salt Dough Recipe for Ornaments
This recipe used just three ingredients.
The ratio for salt dough is one part salt to one part flour; and I think the amount of salt really preserves the dough and — if you’re making salt dough ornaments — this simple recipe ensures that they will last a long time and not go moldy.
- Take one cup of plain flour (all-purpose flour), one cup of table salt and mix together in a large mixing bowl.
- Add a little warm water. Some recipes suggest a whole cup water but I probably used three quarters. You want to add as much water in order to make a pastry like dough.
- Knead the dough to form a ball – making sure the dough isn’t too dry — or too sticky.
- Roll out your dough and start to cut out your shapes. If you’re making hanging ornaments, remember to make small holes at this stage for your ribbon or twine to go through (I like to use a drinking straw for this).
- Lay on a baking tray and cook in the oven on a low heat. I cook ours at 100 degrees for 1 hour, then turn them over and cook for a further hour. After 2 hours, I turn the oven off but leave the dough shapes to carry on baking with the residual heat.
- Paint your salt dough decorations, then leave to dry.
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 cup of salt
- Water - Three quarters to one cup of water
Take one cup of plain flour, one cup of salt and mix together in a bowl.
Add water. Some recipes suggest a whole cup but I probably used three quarters. You want to add as much water in order to make a pastry like dough.
Knead the dough to form a ball - making sure the dough isn't to dry — or too sticky.
Roll out your dough and start to cut out your shapes.
Lay on a baking tray and cook in the oven on a low heat. I cook ours at 100 degrees celsius for 1 hour, then turn them over and cook for a further hour. After 2 hours, I turn the oven off but leave the salt dough shapes to carry on baking with the residual heat.
Paint your salt dough decorations then leave to dry.
Nutrition InformationYield 30 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 15Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 3773mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 0g
Calculations was calculated by Nutritionix and is approximate
This is such an easy recipe. And great for kids as it’s non-toxic.
Granted, it is very, very high in salt. But it doesn’t taste very nice; which will make them spit it out quickly if they do decide to have a nibble!
Salt Dough Crafts To Make
This is the perfect recipe for salt dough ornaments and decorations. You can create all sorts of things, but here are a few of my favourites:
- Christmas Tree Decorations
- Easter Eggs and Hanging Ornaments
- Play Food
- Fridge Magnets
- Trinket Bowls
- Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments (these make perfect Christmas gifts for the grandparents!)
- Baby Footprint Keepsakes
- Decoupage Items
One of the best things I ever made for the boys was some play food for their little toy kitchen.
I created a play pizza and some toppings. Painted the base so it looked like pizza slices, with tomato and cheese on the top. Then created lots of things to put on top; onions, olives, peppers etc.
Then I made some biscuits for them to serve with their little play tea-set! I got served those biscuits a million times over!! I had no idea, when I made them, that we’d be using them for so long.
They finally got thrown in the bin a couple of years ago! Definitely looking a bit faded and worse for wear.
And the best thing about that was, they just dissolve to nothing and won’t remain in landfill for ever and a day.
How to Decorate Your Salt Dough Ornaments
How creative are you feeling?! When it comes to decorating salt dough, the world is your oyster! There are so many variations on a theme.
- You can add food coloring to the mix — or glitter.
- Use acrylic paints to decorate the shapes, then varnish to protect the surface.
- You can even glue tiny disc magnets to the back to make fridge magnets.
- Decoupage your salt dough ornaments using Mod Podge and pressed dried flowers — or paper napkins. Have a look at our Decoupage Pumpkins for inspiration!
- Have fun — and let your imagination run wild!
Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.