29 Best Salt Dough Crafts

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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.

Collage of salt dough crafts for Christmas.

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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.

Colorful salt dough ornaments made from simple 3-ingredient salt dough recipe made for kids.

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).

Salt Dough Alternatives

If you want to avoid making salt dough from scratch, you can also use air dry clay. Just plan to let the clay dry at room temperature for 2-3 days after crafting.

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.

Cinnamon salt dough ornaments in various Christmas shapes shown with cinnamon sticks and cookie cutters.

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

Final DIY Christmas card wall hanging using salt dough ornaments.

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

Salt dough gingerbread mitten ornament hanging on Christmas tree.
Source: Tikkido

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

Santa face salt dough ornaments.
Source: A Farm Girl’s Kitchen

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

Salt dough bead garland with stars on fireplace mantel.
Source: Hearth & Vine

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

Salt dough snowflake wreath with ribbon hanging from cabinet.
Source: Cottage on Bunker Hill

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

Salt dough ornament garland with mix of shapes on lamp.
Source: Chalking Up Success

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

Christmas tree shaped salt dough ornament.
Source: In The Playroom

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

Salt dough houses painted in Christmas colors.
Source: Crafts by Amanda

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

Colored salt dough Christmas tree ornaments with glitter and decorative stars.

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

Star shaped salt dough ornament with gold accents.
Source: Lovely Indeed

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

Small heart-shaped charm made from salt dough, held in a hand.
Source: Homan at Home

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 Ornament and Footprint Ornament

Salt dough handprint ornament and footprint ornament hanging on a Christmas tree.

It’s easy to make a handprint ornament or footprint ornament out of salt dough. Sometimes footprints are easier to make with infants. Add brown or pewter-colored paint to accentuate the details of the prints for a beautiful keepsake.

Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments

Salt dough handprint ornament.
Source: The Best Ideas for Kids

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

Salt dough family handprint keepsake with five handprints imprinted and the name of the family and year made.
Source: Messy Little Monster

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

Glitter thumbprint ornaments with heart shape imprint made with salt dough.
Source: Our Kid Things

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

Hand shaped dish made with salt dough.
Source: Messy Little Monster

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

Footprints in the shape of a heart imprinted in salt dough with dedication written around the edges.
Source: Red Ted Art

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

Salt dough ornaments in the shape of Easter eggs, bunnies and carrots.

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

Salt dough pendant shaped like the Earth.
Source: Little Bins for Little Hands

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

Paperweight that reads "Dad Rocks" made with salt dough and pebbles.
Source: Ottawa Mommy Club

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

Painted haunted houses made with salt dough.
Source: Crafts by Amanda

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

Ghost craft made from footprint using clay.
Source: Mod Podge Rocks

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

Sea stars made from salt dough, shown with shells and beads.
Source: Barley and Birch

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

Salt dough picture frame with letter shapes that spell Dad.
Source: The Soccer Mom Blog

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

Salt dough map of Australia with toothpicks inserted for cities.
Source: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Blog

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

Painted salt dough beads on a string.
Source: Little Bins for Little Hands

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

Dinosaur imprints in salt dough to create fossil effect.
Source: MomBrite

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

Salt dough peacock using the shape of a child's hand for the features and head.

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!

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Collage of salt dough crafts, including DIY ornaments, handprint keepsakes, and pendants. Text overlay reads "29+ Salt Dough Craft Ideas".

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