6 Easy Salt Dough Craft Ideas

Easy Salt Dough Craft Ideas

Salt Dough is a wonderful craft for kids (and adults) of all ages.  Salt dough projects are very popular during the holiday season for tree decorating ideas, but let’s not forget this wonderful craft idea can be used year-round.  You probably already have the main ingredients on hand, flour, and salt.  Just add water!

In this project, I’m going to show you 6 creative salt dough craft ideas. Check out our polymer clay dough craft ideas, too!

Let’s get started!

Supplies needed for these easy salt dough craft ideas are:

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Cutting Board
  • Acrylic Paint – (at minimum red, yellow, blue, and white)
  • Palette or paint mixing surface (paper plates work well too)
  • Paintbrushes (various shapes and sizes)
  • Water Container
  • Paper Towels (not shown)
  • Parchment Paper (not shown)
  • Baking Sheet (not shown)
  • Cookie Cutters (optional – not shown)

Easiest Salt Dough Recipe in the World!

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

I’ve used several recipes over the years and found this one provides the best results.  Feel free to adapt this recipe as needed to make more/less dough for your project needs but maintain the ratio of flour/salt/water.

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Start by measuring out your ingredients and then combine the dry ingredients first in the bowl.  Use a paintbrush handle to mix them.

Add the water ¼ of a cup at a time and knead the mixture.  Add flour/water to adjust the mixture if necessary, for a dough that is not too sticky or too dry.

Once your dough consistency feels good, sprinkle some flour on your cutting board and start shaping your dough.

To make simple hearts, follow these steps:

  • Roll the dough into a small ball.
  • Roll the ball between your hand to create a caterpillar size shape.
  • Fold the caterpillar shape in half.
  • Flatten the ends a bit with your fingers and smooth the seam in the middle.
  • If your heart is too big, just pinch a little dough from the end and reshape.

  • You can make two different styles of hearts:
    • Flatten the hearts to about ¼ inch thick to create an ornament and use the end a paintbrush to create a hole to add a ribbon or string or,
    • Keep the heart in a more puffy 3D shape.
    • Optional – design your own stamp from a wine cork.
      • Draw the desired shape on the bottom of the cork with a pen and carve the cork away from it with an X-Acto knife. (adult supervision).
      • Use your custom stamp to stamp the design into your heart.

Other salt dough ideas:

  • “Dough”nuts
    • In a bowl add a few drops of yellow food color.
    • Mix the food color into a piece of the salt dough and knead to fully mix the color.
    • Follow the first three steps for the heart shape and then fold the caterpillar shape into a circle.
  • Beads
    • Roll the dough into small circles and use a toothpick to create holes through the bead that are large enough to thread yarn or embroidery floss through.
  • Pendants
    • Roll the dough into small circles and flatten to about ¼ inch thickness.
    • Use a toothpick to create a hole large enough to thread yarn or embroidery floss through.
    • Use your custom cork stamp to stamp a design into the pendant.
  • Ornaments
    • Roll the dough on the cutting board to about ¼ inch thick and use cookie cutters to create any shape you’d like.
      • To create the Easter Egg ornament simply flatten a small ball into a circle and reshape into a tapered egg shape.
    • Once your ornaments are finished lay them on parchment paper on a baking sheet and use the end of a paintbrush to create a hole to add the string/ribbon to the ornament.

Once your salt dough designs are finished, space them evenly on parchment paper on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 200 degrees for an hour and a half.

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Ideally, the temperature is low enough to simply dry/harden the ornaments quickly.  The salt dough may “puff” slightly while in the oven and then deflate a bit once it cools.  Allow the salt dough to continue to dry/cool overnight before painting.

Time to decorate!

Keep a paper plate under your salt dough while to paint to cover all the edges, plus it makes for easy cleanup.

Painting/Decorating Tips:

  • Use a toothpick to help hold the beads while you paint them.
  • To add sprinkles to your “dough”nuts, wait for the first layer to dry – then paint the sprinkles.
  • The “powdered” donut is simply white paint!
  • Once the ornaments are dry – add a ribbon or string of your choice.
  • If you have a flat shape that does not have a hole and you’d like to make an ornament, you can simply glue a ribbon to the back (see the image below of the red/white heart).
  • You can glue magnets to back to make refrigerator magnets or add pinbacks to create your own custom pins.

Once you have finished decorating your salt dough and they are completely dry, I recommend coating them with Mod Podge.  This will create a nice shiny clear coat and seal your salt dough.

Mod Podge is cloudy when applied and then dries clear if you use the gloss finish.

My favorite… Salt “Dough”nuts! 

Enjoy these salt dough craft ideas at any time of year.  You can easily adapt this craft for any holiday occasion.

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About the author

Crystal Foth has worked in the arts and taught drawing and painting for over 25 years in Los Angeles. She spends her free time creating art, planning fun art projects and enjoying creative adventures with her family.

View all articles by Crystal Foth

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