How to Make Salt Dough

Making salt dough is very easy and fun. If you have any experience in the kitchen and enjoy rolling pie crust or making cookies, then this recipe will be a breeze for you. Salt dough is great for making ornaments, beads or even making letters to hang up for decorations.

Ingredients for salt dough

one cup of salt
two cups of flour
one cup of water

You will need cookie cutters, or you can shape items by hand or use a butter knife to make your own designs.

Directions for making

In a large bowl, mix the salt and flour together. Next you add half of the water. Mix well, adding a few drops of water at a time until you have the desired consistency of dough that can be kneaded and rolled. Do not make it too sticky with too much water. Knead the dough on a flat counter or surface. Roll into a ball.

Your ball of salt dough is ready to be divided into four to six portions, depending on the size of an area you have to work with. Start rolling the dough to a 1/8-inch thickness with a rolling pin. You can then cut out any shapes you desire.

If the shapes you cut out are going to be used for ornaments, take the end of a paper clip or a flat toothpick and make a hole in the top of the shape for a string or ribbon to be put through for hanging the ornament. Wiggle the paper clip or toothpick around to make the hole a good size. Place the shapes or ornaments on a cookie sheet and bake them in the oven at 200 degrees until they are good and hard, usually eight to 10 minutes, depending on how thick you made them. Let them cool for a while before decorating.


You can also let your shapes dry on wax paper for a couple of days, turning them over each day. It is important that they dry all the way before you decorate them.

You can also add two teaspoons of oil to the recipe.

You can add food coloring into the salt dough to make several different colors of dough. You will need to add it to the water when you are mixing the water into the salt and flour.

You can paint the shapes with acrylic paint after they are totally dry. Use some sandpaper to smooth the edges of the shapes. After painting you should use clear varnish on them and they will last a long time. You can also spray polyurethane on them.  

You can add glitter to the mix of salt and flour and bake it right in. You can add glitter to the freshly painted ornaments, or after they are sprayed with polyurethane, too.

Instead of using cookie cutters, you can make beads by rolling some of the dough in a line like a snake. Then cut in half-inch or one-inch segments. Take a paper clip and put through making a hole to be able to string the beads. This is a very fun craft for kids of all ages.

When storing these shapes, it is best to put them in a tight sealed jar or an airtight plastic container.

Making salt dough is easy and very fun to use for various crafts. Enjoy whatever you decide to make with this recipe.