Easy Salt Dough Recipe No Bake For Kids

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Salt Dough Recipe No Bake

What is Salt Dough?

Salt dough is a popular crafting material that can be made from just a few ingredients.

You can use our salt dough recipe to manufacture ornaments, decorations, and even small sculptures. This dough recipe is easy to make and does not call for baking.

Benefits of Salt Dough Play

It’s easy, inexpensive, and nontoxic. Even the process of making it is entertaining.

Homemade salt dough is a fun and easy activity to do with kids. Perfect for a rainy day.

It is a fun and beneficial activity for children to improve hand-eye coordination and motor skills. This fun activity is also an amusing way for kids to explore new shapes and colors.

kids dough

Children can use a play dough type activity to create anything they can imagine, which helps stimulate their creativity.

Best Salt Dough Recipe No Bake

It is an easy-to-make dough that can be used for a variety of purposes, from creating ornaments to modeling sculptures. The ingredients for the salt dough are simple: flour, salt, water, and oil.

What You Need to Make Salt Dough No Bake

The recipe is rather basic that kids can mix its ingredients even without assistance. There are no baking requirements.

Salt dough ingredients:

  • 250g wheat flour or all purpose flour
  • 250g table salt
  • 150 ml of (warm) water
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Food coloring (optional) or glitters (optional)

Step-by-step Salt Dough Recipe No Bake for Kids

This easy DIY salt dough recipe is perfect for kids who want to make something creative and fun!

Here are the steps:

1) Mix together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.

salted flour

2) Add oil to make it less sticky.

salt dough bowls

3) Add a sufficient amount of water until the dough is soft but not too sticky.

salt dough recipe air dry

4) Knead the dough slightly until it is smooth.

salt dough recipe easy
Simple Salt Dough Recipe for Crafts

4) You can either use your hands or with a help of a rolling pin roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.

If it feels lumpy, sprinkle a bit more water on it, then roll it out again.

If it’s too sticky add more flour.

5) Cut out your desired shapes by using cookie cutters.

salt dough ideas
Homemade Salt Dough Ornaments

6) Allow the finished dough shapes to air-dry, or speed up the process by placing them in the oven on parchment paper.

Salt Dough Recipe Microwave

There is an existing idea of a faster drying process with microwaving salt dough. It promises approximately 3 minutes of drying time.

It has to be microwaved in 10-15 seconds intervals not to overcook it, but depending on the thickness of your ornament it should be dry in 3-4 minutes.

Of course, if it’s still wet, put it back in the microwave. You can give it a go, but for us, it didn’t work out well. It became yellow and raw in the middle but started cracking on the outside. But it hardened a bit at least.

microwave salt dough

How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments to Decorate With

One of the best things about salt dough ornaments is that you can personalize them any way you want.

With our salt dough ornament recipe, you can create hand and footprints, leaf and flower prints, or of course different holiday ornaments too. 

The possibilities are endless with our idea of making salt dough ornaments for kids and salt dough crafts!

You can turn the ornaments into magnets by gluing a magnet on the back of the print.

Leaf and Flower Prints

Collect leaves and flowers in nature during your walk or hike. You can even pack the dough in a plastic container and bring it with you to the park. These prints can also be done during camping since you are already in nature.

Roll up the dough into smaller balls, roll it out, then press the leaves or flowers into them. Carefully pick up the floral bits, once it’s done, and let the prints dry evenly.

salt dough for ornaments
salt dough flowers

Paint it with a Sharpie or water paint as you like.

things to make with salt dough
Salt Play Dough Craft
dough recipes
Salt Dough Art

Hand and Footprints

This is a perfect salt dough recipe for handprints and footprints too. Shape a ball and flatten it into a circle. Press your child’s hand or foot strongly into the dough.

You can cut the shapes around, or leave them as a circle.

hand print ornament recipe
Salt Dough Handprint
footprint and handprint ornament recipe no bake
Salt Dough Footprint

Pierce the salt dough creations to hang before drying them (optional).

handprint salt dough recipe
Salt Dough Handprint Plaque

After drying you can paint them if you want.

salt dough handprint recipe
Painted Salt Dough Handprint Keepsake

Christmas Ornaments

Making Christmas ornaments are a great way to get into the Christmas spirit and create unique, personalized gifts for your friends and family. Best of all, they can also be created easily and inexpensively and they are perfect to decorate a Christmas tree after this Christmas activity.

You can even make the salty dough in different colors. Color it with food coloring, then kneed it.

Roll out the salt dough flat with a rolling pin.

Use Christmas cookie cutters to shape your no bake salt dough Christmas ornaments. My favorites are Wilton’s Christmas Cookie Cutters. I use them for gingerbread too.

creative salt dough crafts
Wilton Christmas Cookie Cutters perfect for salt and flour ornaments

After cutting them and drying you can also paint your no bake dough ornaments, or add some glitters. Then cover with a layer of polyurethane spray or Mod Podge to seal the paint.

We used some rubber stamps and ink pad to decorate our natural salt dough Christmas ornaments. After drying we used red ribbons to hang on our Christmas tree.

salt playdough recipe
recipe for salt dough

We also made a Christmas Garland.

salt dough recipe for ornaments
salt.dough recipe

Easter Ornaments

Making flour salt ornaments is a fun and easy Easter craft that both kids and adults can enjoy. Our salt dough ornaments for toddlers will give them such a good time practicing fine motor skills as they knead them and paint after forming the dough.

Include them in the Easter basket or Easter hunt accessories. Using Easter cookie cutters, cut out the desired shapes. We used some plunger cookie cutters to add patterns to our Easter Eggs.

how do you make salt dough
Easy Salt Dough Ornaments

Poke a hole on top or glue them to skewers and add them to the Easter grass. 

Paint the dough with food coloring before shaping, or with acrylic paints or water coloring after they are hardened.

homemade ornament dough
Painting Easter Carrot Ornament
how to make salt dough recipe
Painted Flour Dough Ornaments for Easter

Decorate them with gem stickers or glue colorful beads on them.

home made ornament dough
3D Salt Dough Ornaments – Butterfly

Halloween Ornaments

Looking for a fun and enjoyable, but easy craft to do with your kids this Halloween? Flour and salt dough ornaments are the perfect projects! 

Use our salt dough recipe to prepare the dough, and add a little pumpkin spice for a festive smell. 

Use Halloween-themed cookie cutters to make homemade dough ornaments. Paint them in Halloween colors. We love our air drying salt dough ghosts.

best salt dough ornament recipe
No Bake Salt Dough Ornaments

Make a dough ball and add two or even more googly eyes and use pipe cleaners for spider legs. Decorate it with Halloween sequins.

how long to cook salt dough
Salt Dough Sculpting

Turn a salt dough ball into a pumpkin with the help of a piece of string. 

Make a small ball, wrap the string around it, and pull it tight. We have a very enjoyable Smash the pumpkin! activity here.

how to make dough ornaments
Halloween Pumpkin in progress
air dry salt dough recipe
Salt Dough Pumpkin Keepsakes

Dinosaur fossils

Making dinosaur prints is a fun and low prep time activity when using our salt dough recipe.

Form some dough into a ball, then press it flat with the palm of your hand.

Press a toy dinosaur’s body or feet toy into the dough.

Gently lift it up to see the result. 

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Dinosaur Fossils in Progress
salt dough ornaments recipe air dry
Salt Dough Crafts Ideas

Dry the dough then cover it with sand. Give a paintbrush to your child and let them excavate the dinosaur fossils.

how long does it take for salt dough to dry

Thank you Gifts

Make a thank you gift ornament with our recipe.

This is an excellent project for older kids to come up with as a token of gratitude to their teachers or friends. You will need stamps and inkpads. After the dough is ready and prepared, roll it out to the desired thickness.

Then, use a stamp to create an impression on the dough. Press the cookie cutter to cut out the shapes you like. Punch a hole for hanging or add a magnet, it’s up to you.

flour ornament dough no bake
Salt Dough Keepsake

Add a layer of Mod Podge for a shiny result, when it’s dried out.

Salt Dough Map

Making a salt dough map is a fun way to learn about geography. It can be a fun project for the whole family.

The salt dough map recipe is the same as the dough recipe above.

How to make a salt dough map?

To start cut a piece of cardboard and draw the continents with a sharpie. Then cover the cardboard with clear tape.

Continue your salt map project by pressing the dough onto the cardboard, making sure to cover all of the continents, and smooth it out evenly. Once it’s dry paint each continent in a different color.

 salt map dough
salt map recipes

You can make different salt flour maps. We chose the continents as our kids are only introduced to the world map. While we were making each continent, we mentioned our friends who live there and talked about the native animals and famous places on the certain continent.

Tips For Success With Salt Dough Hanging Decorations

Salt Dough Tools

As you can see we used many cookie cutters for our projects. When using a cookie cutter, dip it into flour before use.

If you are planning to hang your salt dough projects, poke a hole with a skewer, toothpick, or straw into it before drying them in the oven on a baking sheet.

We painted our salt dough crafts using watercolors. Ready mix kid’s paint didn’t work for us because they peeled off as we tried to paint on them.

We sometimes also used coloured water-based ink pads with rubber stamps.


Is it better to bake or air dry salt dough?

Actually, it can be called a bake salt play dough since baking can be used at one point to speed up the drying procedure. 

It can be air-dried but it could take an entire day or more for the air-drying process.

recipe for salt dough ornaments
Salt Dough Animals
salt dough recipe for sculpting
Air Dried Salt Dough

How Long Does Salt Dough Last?

As long as an airtight container is used for storing salt dough, it can be kept for up to two weeks in the fridge. How long do salt dough ornaments last? The ornaments can last for years if preserved and sealed properly, Mod Podge can do wonders.

How Long Does Salt Dough Take to Dry?

Air drying can take days or even longer, depending on the thickness of the dough. Drying in the oven can save you time. Start at 135 ° C for 10-15 minutes with an open oven door, then close the door and bake it for another 30 minutes.

How to Know When Salt Dough Ornaments are Done?

Salt dough playdough is such a fun activity to do with kids. However, you don’t want to spend all that time making them just to have them turn out bad. Here are a few tips on how to know when flour salt dough ornaments are done.

The first sign is that the ornament will be firm and not wet. Pressing your finger into the dough does not leave an indentation. The ornament should also be dry to the touch.

Another way to tell is by its color. The dough should be a dull white after it has been baked. If it is still sticky, baking it for longer will not help; in fact, it might make them too hard.

Can You Eat Salt Dough?

Salted dough is not edible and is not toxic, so it is safe to use for children’s crafts, but it’s not meant to be eaten.

gluten free salt dough
Fun Dough but Not Edible

It is made from materials found in the kitchen, but it is not edible. It is made from salt, flour, water, and oil.

Photo of author


Eniko is a mother and wife, ex-teacher, and world traveler. Loves to be creative and admires spending quality time with her family. Enjoys outdoor activities-, and connecting to nature. She loves sharing her enthusiasm and inspiration. For more details check out Messy Learning Kids.

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