How to Make Salt Dough

Three Methods:Making the DoughMaking Decorations with the DoughOther Ways to Use Dough

Your kids will love playing with salt dough — and helping you make it too! Salt dough is fun to make and easy to create with. Let your little Michelangelo's' imaginations run wild as they sculpt and cut shapes out of the dough.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Food coloring (optional - see "Tips" for suggestions)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Method 1
Making the Dough

  1. Image titled Create Salt Dough Step 1
    Pour two cups of flour into a large bowl. Add one cup of salt, 3/4 cup of water, and two Tbsp. of vegetable oil bowl. Stir thoroughly until all of the clumps have been removed from the mixture. It should gain a doughy consistency.[1]
  2. Image titled Create Salt Dough Step 2
    Pour the dough onto a flat surface, such as a cutting board. Knead the mixture until it is smooth and thick.[2]
  3. Image titled Create Salt Dough Step 3
    Add food coloring or glitter (optional). Make several batches in different colors. Color can be obtained easily using food coloring available in cake decorating supplies. Glitter adds a lot of pizzazz to the dough.[3]
    • Edible colors include chocolate powder, coffee, spices, beetroot water, carrot juice etc.
  4. Image titled Create Salt Dough Step 4
    Store your salt dough in an airtight container. It will keep for several days so long as the container is properly sealed.[4]

Method 2
Making Decorations with the Dough

  1. Image titled Create Salt Dough Step 5
    Mold shapes with dough by hand or with cookie cutters. Salt dough is a great way for kids to make easy holiday decorations.
    • It is easiest as a beginner to start with flat objects before advancing to 3D figures with details. Layering details over the initial figure should only be attempted when you feel confident about making the initial shape.
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    Dry the decorations. There are several different ways that salt dough can be dried:
    • Air dry your decorations. Choose a warm, dry place to let the figures dry. Place figures on a grill to permit air circulation. This method will take about one week and is only suitable for small, flat and thin figures.
    • Air dry and use an oven. Allow for a little drying by air and then bake the figure in the oven for half an hour at 50ºC (122ºF). You can increase to 100ºC (212ºF) after the initial half hour if more time is needed.
    • Put your decorations directly into the oven. Set the the oven at 180ºF (82ºC) for about 10 minutes. Dry directly on the oven rack to ensure even drying over the entire figure.
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    Check the decorations continuously if choose to dry them in the oven. You do not want to brown or burn the figure.
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    Tap the cooked figure. If it sounds hollow, and will not yield to your finger, it is ready. If not, dry it for a longer period of time. Dry is at a low temperature or air dry it to avoid browning it. Placing it in the oven more than once will increase the chance of your decoration cracking.
  5. Image titled Create Salt Dough Step 9
    Decorate the figures. They can be painted once dry.

Method 3
Other Ways to Use Dough

  1. Image titled Create Salt Dough Step 10
    Create jewelry out of dough. Your kids can make necklaces and bracelets that will look cute and won't put a dent in your wallet if they get lost.
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    Make figurines out of dough. Shape the dough into the different components of something (such as a head, body, arms, and legs of a man) then stick them together! In order to keep them attached, wet both parts that you would like to stick together.
  3. Image titled Create Salt Dough Step 12
    Get crafty by making dough food. You can give dough food figurines to your kids to play house with, or decorate your fridge by gluing magnets onto the back of the dough shapes.


  • If the dough is too crumbly, add more water. If it's too sticky, add a little more flour.
  • You can add paint to the dough before and after you bake it. It is important to ensure that the paint is suitable for baking if you choose to paint before you bake.
  • If you don't have paint, add food coloring while you are making the dough. This will give it its nice color!


  • This dough can be toxic to animals due to its high sodium content. Keep pets away from it.
  • Only use edible ingredients when toddlers are helping you to make it (i.e. no glitter or paint). Supervise the whole process to prevent attempts to eat the dough.
  • Making salt dough is a messy process. Wear old clothes or an apron. Cover the areas that you are working on to protect the surfaces.

Things You'll Need

  • glitter (optional)
  • paint (optional)
  • aroma (optional)

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