How to make salt dough

Welcome to the first in our summer kids craft series of video tutorials for children's craft activities – find out how to make easy DIY decorations with our salt dough recipe and video guide

Try our easy salt dough recipe

Looking for summer holiday kids craft ideas? User our salt dough recipe and video guide to how to make salt dough to whip up simple decorations that will keep tiny hands busy shaping, baking and painting for hours. The best bit? All you need is flour, salt and water, plus paint to decorate…


You Will Need

  • Flour (1 cup)
  • Salt (1 cup)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Rolling pin
  • Paint, We used poster paints and squeezy fabric paints
  • Cookie cutters, Optional
  • Paint brush
  • Food colouring, Optional

Total time:

Basic salt dough recipe

Step 1

Measure 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of salt and mix them together in a bowl.

Salt dough recipe step 1

Step 2

Pour out 1 cup of water and mix it into the salt dough mix, a little bit at a time. If it feels wet or sticky to the touch, add a bit more flour until you can form a dough that holds its shape but doesn’t stick to your fingers.

Salt dough recipe for kids

Step 3

Roll out the dough on a floured surface using a rolling pin until it’s 1cm thick.

How to make salt dough step 3

How to make salt dough ornaments

Step 4

Use cookie cutters to cut out a range of shapes from the dough. If you don’t have cookie cutters you can also use play dough cutters or just trace around your hands with a pencil and then cut out the shape with a blunt knife (smaller children may need a grown up to help with this bit). If you’d like to hang your ornaments later, then pierce a hole in the top of each one with a pen or skewer.

Top tip: For a sweet baby keepsake, press your tot's hand or foot into the dough to form an imprint, then cut around it to form a circle (you could use a glass as a cutter).
How do you make salt dough pottery

Step 5

Place the shapes on a shallow baking tray and bake them in a pre-heated oven for 3 hours at 140°C (Gas Mark 1).

Top tip: Set a timer for 2 hours and check on your decorations to make sure they're not cooking too quickly (as the type of oven you're using may vary to ours!. If they're cooking at an uneven rate you can also move them around on the tray at this point before you put them back for a final hour (mind your fingers - they're hot!)
How long do you bake salt dough?

Step 6

Take out the shapes and leave them to cool for about half an hour. Now they’re ready to decorate.

How do you make salt dough for crafts?

Step 7

Use paints to add colour and pattern to your decorations. We’ve used poster paints and some squeezy fabric paints that we had in our stash for ours. You could also use glue and sequins, beads or pom poms from your craft kit to add finishing touches.

How to make salt dough step 10

Any other kids craft ideas?

Why yes we have a few other projects you might like! Head to our kids crafts section to see!

These finished decorations make lovely thank you gifts or Christmas tree decorations and they are one of our personal absolute favourite ways to introduce children to the joy of crafting!

How do you make salt dough for crafts?

How long do you bake salt dough?

Bake your salt dough shapes for 3 hours at 140°C (Gas Mark 1)

What flour do you use for salt dough?

Use plain white flour to make your decorations