Easy Salt Dough Recipe Plus 8 Great Craft Ideas

salt dough

The things you can make with salt dough are truly endless, and your kids can spend hours delightedly moulding and crafting all sorts of weird and wonderful things. This salt dough recipe is cheap, simple and quick to make. We've compiled a list of fun crafts for you to enjoy with your kids.

For more fun crafts to get stuck into, try our great guide to paper marbling or our list of fun finger painting ideas.

Salt Dough Recipe

This easy recipe is quick, cheap and effective. If you're pressed for time, or can't bear the thought of waiting for the dough to dry out in the oven, you can also dry in the microwave, by placing your designs on a plate covered in kitchen roll, cooking on 30-second bursts.


- 2 cups of plain flour

- 1 cup of table salt

- 1 cup of water


1. In a bowl, ask your child to mix together all three ingredients for the dough.

2. Knead the ingredients together on a floured surface until they form a smooth dough.

3. Roll the dough out to be roughly 1cm thick, and use cookie cutters to form the shapes that you want.

4. Put your salt dough into the oven on a baking sheet on top of a sheet of baking paper, and cook on a very low heat for 3 hours, or until it has dried out completely. You can also leave to air dry for 24 hours, if you'd prefer not to use the oven at all.

5. Allow to cool before painting.

Dinosaur Fossil

For toddlers and little ones obsessed with dinosaurs, this is our favourite of the salt dough crafts! Kids will have endless fun 'discovering' the fossils of long-lost dinosaurs, and it's a great way to test them on the names of each. You'll need some small dinosaur plastic toys for this salt dough craft, and it's so easy you'll be finished in five minutes!

Roll your salt dough into a small circle or oval, just bigger than a dinosaur toy. Gently press the toy down into the dough to make an imprint, and your fossil is complete!

If your little ones aren't into dinosaurs, you can still do this using most small plastic toys.

flattening dough with rolling pin

Shell Mosaic

The crafts you can do with your salt dough are endless, and we love this idea for using up any shells and beach treasures you have in the house from holidays you've been on in the past.

Just roll out your salt dough into a thick circle, and press any shells and stones into the dough in any pattern you desire. The salt dough will stick to the shells if you push them deep enough and when your craft has dried they will stay firmly in the dough.

You can add a hole for ribbon if you'd like to hang your mosaic up as an ornament, by using a straw to poke a hole 1cm from the top edge.

Play Food

These non-toxic fake foods are great fun for your little ones to play with in their make-believe kitchens, and the non-toxic paint means they're perfectly safe to put in your mouth! Creative kids will spend hours working on fancy lattices for their pies and pastries.

Monster Friends

Monster friends are our favourite thing to make with salt dough because they're so easy and fun to create.

All you need to do is roll your salt dough into small balls between 5cm and 20cm thick, and bake in the oven.

Once they're dried and cooled, you can go crazy painting your salt dough rocks into monster faces! Just paint the rock in one colour of acrylic paint, and once it's dried, add a mouth, some fangs and some eyes, and your monster is ready to be given a name and a personality. If you have googly eyes, this is a great time to use them.

boy holding different coloured balls of dough

Hand Print

Your little ones seem to grow up much too fast, and this is one of the cute and quick salt dough crafts that will allow you to preserve a memory of how small they are now. This salt dough handprint is a lovely craft to do with babies and toddlers once every few months to mark how quickly they're changing and growing.

Simply roll your salt dough into a circle about 3cm thick, that is a bit larger than your child's hand. Press your child's hand gently into the dough, taking care to press each finger down to create an even salt dough handprint. Remove your little one's hand, and the handprint is complete, and you're ready to bake.

You might like to sign your salt dough handprint with a date or your child's name, and this craft is great to do with babies feet - when your kids get a little bit older they won't believe how small they once were!

Salt Dough Bowl

This lovely salt dough bowl is a great make for kids who take an interest in their bedrooms. Teens and tweens will love creating a personalised bowl to store pens, jewellery or bits of clutter. They make great gifts for grandparents too!

Sun Catcher

This cool sun catcher is a great way to use your salt dough recipe and also make use of any spare plastic beads you have lying around from other craft projects. You'll need a handful of beads that are partially clear for this recipe. These salt dough ornaments make great gifts for family members and friends, and they look beautiful hung in the window as they catch the light.

Roll the salt dough out to roughly the same thickness as your beads, in an oval shape about 20cm by 30cm on a baking tray.

Cut a hole in the middle of the dough using a cookie-cutter of your choice - less complicated shapes work best.

Carefully remove the cut shape, and fill the hole with plastic beads.

Poke a hole with a drinking straw about 1cm from the top of the sun catcher so you can thread a ribbon through once it's baked.

Bake until the beads have melted together, and then take out of the oven carefully to cool.

Once cooled, paint the salt dough with some acrylic paint (other paints will work too, but maybe not as well) and cover with some glitter if you like.

Thread some ribbon through the hole, and tie in a knot, and you're ready to hang up your suncatcher.

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Hand Bowl

This easy salt dough recipe makes a perfect jewellery holder, and kids will love to decorate the salt dough with glitter, paint and lots of imagination!

Roll your salt dough into a 1cm thick flat piece that is larger than the hand of your child. Have them place their hand flat on the dough without pressing down, so no mark is made. With a plastic knife, cut around their hand to create your hand shape.

Turn a small bowl upside down, and place your hand over the bowl, so it droops around the edges. This is what's going to make the salt dough bowl look 3D. Bake in the oven as per the recipe above, and then decorate with paint and glitter when cooled.

child handling dough


At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents. 

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.  

Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong. 

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