Making salt dough is an annual tradition in our house. You’ll find all the ingredients you need in your pantry, and there’s no limit to what you can create. I’m sharing a variety of salt dough crafts that will inspire you to make memories with your kids that will last a lifetime.
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How to Make Salt Dough
To begin, follow the instructions in my salt dough ornaments post to mix flour, salt, and water according to the recipe below.
Easy Salt Dough Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup salt
- 3/4 cup warm water
Once the three ingredients are well blended, roll out the dough and begin using cookie cutters to make salt dough ornaments for Christmas. Don’t limit yourself to ornaments, though. My friends and I have plenty of creative options for using salt dough in other projects, as you’ll see below.
Allow the salt dough to dry at room temperature for 4-7 days, or bake the salt dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper at 200ºF for 1-2 hours. (Instructions for some tutorials may differ slightly.)
If you need a small batch of salt dough, try this salt dough recipe instead (and get ideas for adorable Easter ornaments as well).
Christmas Salt Dough Ideas
Salt dough rises in popularity around Christmas time every year. Many readers have shared stories about making salt dough ornaments as a child and passing on the tradition to their kids or grandkids.
Here are a few Christmas crafts to help you start a new salt dough tradition for the season.
If you’re looking for a grownup version of salt dough ornaments, these cinnamon salt dough ornaments fit the bill. They have a neutral finish that matches any decor, and you can embellish them with any ribbon you like.
Salt Dough Christmas Card Holder
Salt dough ornaments make a great garland or wall display, like this salt dough Christmas card holder. With the chalk-painted star ornaments, this wall art lets you enjoy your Christmas cards all season long.
Gingerbread Salt Dough Ornaments
Gingerbread salt dough ornaments are perfect for decorating with kids. You can use paint pens or markers to add features to your gingerbread ornaments like the mittens shown above.
Santa Salt Dough Ornaments
How adorable are these Santa salt dough ornaments? A Farm Girl’s Kitchen shares details about where to find the perfect cookie cutters and paint the details of this Santa face.
Salt Dough Garland
This beaded salt dough garland is the perfect adornment for a Christmas mantel. Patti from Hearth & Vine shows you how to add shimmery details to the star ornaments for some extra Christmas sparkle.
Gingerbread Snowflake Wreath
This salt dough snowflake wreath has loads of rustic charm and looks great hanging from a cabinet or bookcase. My friend Jennifer has tips for adding “frosting” to the snowflakes for a realistic gingerbread cookie look.
Mini Salt Dough Garland
This mini salt dough ornament garland has such dainty details that make it the perfect accent draped over a mirror, lamp, or window. My friend Jayne from Chalking Up Success has helpful tips for hanging individual ornament pieces on a string.
Salt Dough Christmas Trees
The layered design of these Christmas tree ornaments gives them a fun dimension. Anna from In The Playroom has great tips for painting small details like the dots. This would be a great elementary school craft to give to parents as gifts for the holidays.
Christmas Salt Dough Houses
Create a whole Christmas village with these spectacular salt dough houses. I could imagine creating a Christmas tradition adding new houses to the scene each year.
Colored Salt Dough Ornaments
Many salt dough crafts include instructions for painting the finished ornaments. Another option is to use food coloring to dye the dough itself. These Christmas tree salt dough ornaments are perfect for toddlers and pre-schoolers. Kids can add extra details like stars and glitter with school glue.
Modern Salt Dough Ornaments
On the other end of the spectrum, these modern salt dough ornaments look sophisticated enough for grownups. This would be the perfect project for a ladies’ craft night. The ornaments look pretty enough to use as gift tags too.
Salt Dough Keepsake Crafts
Since salt dough is non-toxic and easy to sculpt, it’s the dough of choice for kids. Consider making these salt dough crafts to preserve childhood memories and create unique DIY gifts for loved ones.
Salt Dough Thumbprint Hearts
Many parents use salt dough to create easy prints of a child’s hand as a keepsake. These heart-shaped thumbprint charms would make the perfect gift on a keychain or as a pendant on a necklace.
Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments
Making a salt dough handprint ornament is almost a rite of passage for kids. You can use acrylic paint to decorate these ornaments and seal them (or even add glitter) to remember those little hands forever.
Family Handprint Craft
Why let kids have all the fun? This salt dough family handprint is a great way to preserve a moment in time with your family. Any team or group of friends could also create a similar keepsake and add a personal dedication.
Glitter Thumbprint Ornaments
These glitter thumbprint ornaments made with salt dough have such a sweet vibe. You could make a big batch of these heart-shaped thumbprints as a unique gift from the kids. (Kids love feeling like they can contribute something special for Christmas.)
Salt Dough Handprint Bowl
For another twist, you can create a whole salt dough handprint dish. This would make a great jewelry trinket tray, and older kids can easily cut the hand shape themselves after tracing it onto the dough.
Salt Dough Crafts for Other Holidays
While many folks associate salt dough with Christmas, the creative possibilities span across nearly all holidays. Given the budget-friendly nature of salt dough, kids of all ages can create a salt dough craft for just about any occasion. Try these holiday favorites, for a start.
Valentine’s Day Salt Dough Keepsake
While handprints always make a great keepsake, don’t forget about the feet! This adorable footprint salt dough keepsake is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Any preschool teacher would love this idea for toddlers.
Easter Salt Dough Ornaments
Use Easter cookie cutters to make these fun Easter salt dough ornaments. Get tips for applying a glossy finish using glitter or sparkly sealers to embellish these ornaments.
Earth Day Salt Dough Project
Mixing flour, salt, and water to create salt dough is an important science lesson in itself. To take it one step further, students can create these fun Earth Day salt dough charms. Art and science in perfect harmony!
Father’s Day Salt Dough Paperweight
For Father’s Day, have the kids whip up a salt dough paperweight with pebbles. Any dad would love having this special memento from the kids.
Salt Dough Haunted Houses
You can make a whole spooky village with these salt dough haunted houses. It’s the perfect Halloween craft for older kids looking to express their creativity.
Handprint Halloween Salt Dough Craft
While this ghost footprint craft is made from air dry clay, you could easily replicate the process using salt dough. Kids would have a blast making these Halloween crafts and decorating them to look like spooky creatures.
More Salt Dough Projects for Kids
Salt dough is a great boredom buster any time of year. On a rainy day, spring break, or summer vacation, you can whip up a batch of salt dough and let the kids use their imaginations to make the following salt dough crafts.
Salt Dough Sea Stars
How fun would it be to make these salt dough sea stars after a trip to the aquarium? There are multiple ways to create the star shapes and add details with basic household supplies.
Salt Dough Picture Frame
This salt dough picture frame would make a sweet gift for Dad, but you could recreate the idea with any letters to personalize a gift. Use paint pens or sharpie markers to add the names of kids or a dedication.
Salt Dough Map
Do you need a fun craft to teach social studies or geography? This salt dough map fits the bill! You can insert toothpicks to make major cities or attractions, and kids can get fancy trying to sculpt the topography.
Salt Dough Beads
Kids can make their own necklaces with these salt dough beads. Since the beads are small, it takes only about 10 minutes to dry them in the oven before painting and stringing them.
Salt Dough Fossils
These salt dough dinosaur fossils are another great way to teach kids about science. It’s also a wonderful craft for a dinosaur birthday party.
Salt Dough Peacock
Making animal shapes with handprints creates a world of possibilities with salt dough. Consider making this salt dough peacock using a child’s handprint, or experiment with other animals like porcupines, turkeys, or hedgehogs.
Benefits of making salt dough crafts
Salt dough not only promotes hand dexterity and fine motor skills in kids but also creates opportunities for families to craft together. That’s always a win in my book!
Salt dough crafts can last many years since the salt acts as a preservative. Some readers have shared stories of salt dough ornaments lasting several decades! Without a doubt, the memories can last a lifetime.
Let me know which of these crafts you plan to try with your family or students!