Salt Dough Recipe and Crafts

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It’s amazing how many people think some crafts are only for certain times of the year. Take salt dough crafts, for instance. Many people think you can only make them during Christmas. Using this salt dough recipe, you can make a variety of crafts for any time of the year.

There are a number of crafters who use salt dough to create wonderful Christmas ornaments which are three-dimensional and normally painted. You may have seen angels, candy canes, or snowmen and not realized what they were made of.

Salt dough is an easy craft medium to work with. The recipe is:

  • 1 cup of fine salt
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of lukewarm water (more or less water may be needed depending upon the humidity)

salt dough sheep

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the water, a little at a time, and stir until a large ball has formed. Take the ball out of the bowl and knead it on a lightly floured surface. Continue to knead the mixture until you’re satisfied with the texture.

If the dough is too tacky, add more flour/salt in the same proportions. Dry dough may require a little more water. For a more ‘rustic’ feel to the dough, use a coarse salt. This recipe will create white dough which will keep for several days in a tightly closed plastic bag. Color the dough by adding instant coffee, cocoa, or curry powder. Adding a drop of vanilla extract will produce a wonderful smell as well as act as a mold inhibitor.

Use cookie cutters, pizza cutters, rolling pins, or garlic presses to create the different elements of your ornaments. You can also make freehand designs by making the dough into ropes which can shaped into wreaths or braids. Roll the dough into balls of various sizes to create little animals, people, or abstract designs. The only limit you have is your artistic ability and your imagination.

Make a bouquet of flowers for Mom on Mother’s day out of salt dough. How about a miniature golf club and balls for the golf enthusiast in the family? You can even use salt dough to create wonderful, artsy jewelry if you want to. Be sure to place a hair pin or ornament hanger on any ornaments you intend to be displayed. If you’re making jewelry, poke a hole in the ornament before you bake it so you can put a piece of ribbon through it.

After you’ve modeled the dough into the shape you want it, place each item on a lined baking sheet and bake it at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1/2 hour. Allow to dry for two days on a baking rack. Alternatively, place them on a microwave safe plate and microwave them in one to two minute increments on high or until they look dry.

When your creations are completely cooled and dry, you can paint them to add more color or leave them as they are. To protect them, you may want to paint a layer of nail polish or shellac. This will help keep the colors vibrant as well as give them a little more stability.

Look around at the decorations you see for the different holidays and then give this salt dough recipe a try. Make decorations, jewelry or gifts using this dough, and you may never buy another present again.

Comments

I have made salt dough ornaments for 35 years and can add comments: Saving leftover dough, even in a tightly closed bag usually results in poor texture-- better to make only as much as you can use in one day. Before baking, insert a wire loop in the top (22 guage florist wire is good) so they can be hung to dry and hung on the tree. I prefer to bake them cooler, and longer-- 275 for 1 to 2 hours, depending on thickness. This helps to prevent puffing and cracking. When they are ROCK hard they are done and don't need to 'dry' for 2 days. I like to use polyacrylamide varnish, dipping the ornaments to fully seal them; hang them to dry and make sure to wipe the drips. Store finished ornaments in the living space in your house, in sealed plastic containers. I have some that have lasted this way since 1976. This is a marvelous enjoyable craft that you can become very good at with practise. Peggy
Thanks so much for adding the additional tips!! :)