How to make salt dough

Salt dough is a very versatile material and there's almost no limit as to what you can make out of this homemade play dough!

You will find our easy to follow recipe as well as some ideas what to do with children of different ages - you might want to use cookie cutters with toddlers and preschoolers whereas older children can start making little animals such as mice or teddy bears.


Time needed:

depending on your project, it might take up to a few days if you include drying time as well as colouring it

What you need:

  • salt dough (see recipe)
  • rolling pin
  • cookie cutters
  • food colouring
  • items to press into your dough
  • modelling tools
  • oven to dry

How to make it:

  • 2 cups of wheat flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 3/4 cup of water

Depending on what you want to use it for you can add more water or flour. If it is too crumbly you need to add more water, if it feels too sticky you simply add more flour.

Knead it well so that it is really smooth!

How to make coloured dough:

Simply add some drops of food colouring to your dough. If you only want one colour, add it to your mixture straight away but if you want several different ones just cut a bit of your dough off and knead it together carefully.

Drying time:

There are different ways of drying your project.

1. Air:

It's the cheapest way of drying your model but also the one that takes the longest. The result is not necessarily the best either.

2. Drying in the oven:

Calculate about 1 hour at 75 degrees per 1/2cm. Then continue for 1/2 hour at 100 degrees, another 1/2 hour at 125 degrees and 1 hour at 150 degrees.

If you would like your project to turn brown, keep it in the oven at 200 degrees until it reaches the colour you want - keep a close eye on it though!

Even if it takes a while to dry your project this way, I think it is worth it.

You can tell when it is all done by tapping it with your finger - if it sounds dull, it's not completely dry, if it sounds like dry clay, it is done.

Colouring your project:

If you want to colour your project, you can use water colours or acrylic paint.

Salt Dough Hand and Foot Prints

Hand and foot prints are a great keepsake when you have children as well as a much appreciated homemade gift for mothers, fathers and grandparents alike.

It's very easy to make them using our recipe although it can be a bit tricky when your own your own and want to create one of a young child. It's useful to have a helping hand!

Time needed:

  • 15 minutes to make the print
  • drying time

What you need:

  • salt dough

1. Using our recipe, create your dough.

2. If you want to have a coloured print, add some food colours.

3. Create the impression by gently pressing your child's hand or foot down.

4. Clean your child's hand/foot.

5. Follow our instructions to dry.


This is a great homemade gift for Mother's Day as well as any other occasion. Have a look at our other gift ideas, hope you will find something you would like to make!

Printable Mother's Day cards

Toddler Heart Art

Recycled tetra pack vase

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