Best Salt Dough Recipes for Ornaments & Crafts

Salt Dough Recipes for Ornaments & Crafts
Rate this post

Salt Dough Recipes for Ornaments & Crafts

Creating your own ornaments and crafts can be a fun and cost-effective way to bring a personalized touch to your home décor or holiday celebrations. Among the myriad of crafting techniques available, salt dough is a favorite for many.

It’s versatile, kid-friendly, and, best of all, requires ingredients that most of us already have in our kitchen. Here’s your guide to the best salt dough recipes for ornaments and crafts.

Why Choose Salt Dough?

Salt dough has become a cornerstone in the world of homemade crafts, and its appeal isn’t just by chance. Delving deeper, one can discern the myriad reasons behind its widespread popularity.

The primary allure, of course, lies in its non-toxic nature. Families with younger children especially find peace of mind in this attribute. There’s no fretting over kids possibly ingesting harmful chemicals or facing allergies.

Beyond safety, the dough’s tactile satisfaction and ease of preparation make it a top choice for spontaneous craft days. It’s malleable, ensuring even little fingers can easily shape and mold, and hardens beautifully, either by air-drying or baking.

Furthermore, the dough’s innate versatility transforms it into a blank canvas, beckoning creators to paint, glaze, or even leave it in its natural state, cherishing its earthy texture. Today, many craft enthusiasts turn to salt dough for DIY ornaments, appreciating its simplicity and the personal touch it brings to festive decorations.

With that said, let’s start with the basics and move on from there.


1. The Classic Salt Dough Recipe


  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • Up to 1 cup of water


  • Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt until they’re well combined.
  • Add Water Gradually: Slowly begin adding the water while stirring. You may not need the full cup, so add just enough until you get a smooth, playdough-like consistency.
  • Knead the Dough: Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until smooth.
  • Craft Away: Roll, shape, and mold your dough into whatever ornaments or crafts you desire.
  • Drying the Crafts: Leave your crafts out for 24-48 hours for a natural drying method. Alternatively, preheat your oven to 200°F (93°C) and bake for 2-3 hours or until completely dry.
  • Decorate: Once your crafts are dried, they can be painted, varnished, or decorated in any way you see fit!


2. Colorful Salt Dough Recipe

Try this variant if you want to skip the painting process but still desire colorful ornaments.


  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • Up to 1 cup of water
  • Food coloring or natural dyes


  • Prepare the Base Dough: Follow the same steps as the classic recipe, but stop before adding water.
  • Add Color: Divide your dry mixture into smaller portions. Add a few drops of food coloring or natural dyes to the water and mix it with each portion separately. This way, you can create multiple colors from a single batch.
  • Proceed with Shaping: Once your colored dough is ready, shape it into ornaments or crafts.
  • Dry and Decorate: Dry your colorful creations using your preferred method and add any additional embellishments if needed.


3. Gluten-Free Salt Dough Recipe

For those with gluten sensitivities or looking for an alternative, here’s a gluten-free version.


  • 2 cups of gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 cup of salt
  • Up to 1 cup of water

Instructions: Follow the same steps as the classic salt dough recipe, replacing the regular flour with the gluten-free blend.


Crafting Tips for the Best Results

  • Consistency Matters: Aim for a dough consistency that’s not too sticky or too dry. If it’s sticking to your hands, add a bit more flour. If it’s crumbly, add a little more water.
  • Thickness: Try to roll out your dough to about 1/4 inch thickness for ornaments. This ensures they are sturdy but not too heavy.
  • Drying Time: The thicker your creation, the longer it’ll take to dry. Be patient to ensure it dries thoroughly.
  • Storing: If you’re not using the dough immediately, store it in an airtight container. This prevents it from drying out.
  • Sealant: Once you’ve painted your crafts, consider sealing them with a clear sealant. This preserves the colors and increases the longevity of your ornaments.


4. Innovative Salt Dough Projects for Every Season

Salt dough is incredibly versatile, making it perfect for year-round crafting. With each season bringing its distinct themes and celebrations, there are endless opportunities to get creative.

  • Springtime Blooms: Embrace the vibrant energy of spring by crafting flower-shaped ornaments. Paint them in pastels or bold colors, or add a sprinkle of glitter to mimic morning dew. Another idea is to make Easter egg decorations or bunny figurines.
  • Summer Sun and Sea: As the temperature rises, you can replicate the summer vibes in your crafts. Think sun shapes, palm trees, or even seashell imprints. Given salt dough’s textural properties, it’s fantastic for mimicking sand textures or even creating faux seashells.
  • Autumnal Hues: The fiery reds, deep oranges, and golden yellows of autumn leaves are awe-inspiring. Craft leaf-shaped ornaments, paint them in autumn colors, and add them to a DIY wreath. Halloween enthusiasts can also make spooky crafts like ghostly figurines or pumpkin ornaments.
  • Winter Wonders: Snowflakes, Christmas trees, reindeer – the choices are boundless! Consider making an advent calendar with 24 tiny salt dough ornaments or even crafting a unique tree topper.


5. Beyond Ornaments: Everyday Uses for Salt Dough

While ornaments are the most popular choice, salt dough has practical applications, too.

  • Name Tags: Craft small slabs of dough, imprint names, and use them as personalized name tags for events or even as labels for herb pots.
  • Magnets: By embedding small magnets into your creations, you can adorn your fridge with custom-designed pieces.
  • Jewelry: Salt dough can be used to make pendants, earrings, or even brooches. Paint, varnish, and add the necessary findings to sport your handmade jewelry.
  • Keychains: Small salt dough figures attached to a key ring can create fun and personalized keychains.


6. Caring for Your Salt Dough Creations

Like any other craft, salt dough ornaments and items require care to ensure longevity.

  • Keep Dry: Even after your pieces have been dried and sealed, keeping them away from moisture is essential. This prevents potential molding or softening.
  • Avoid Direct Sunlight: Constant exposure to sunlight can fade the colors of painted crafts.
  • Store Carefully: If you’re putting away your crafts, especially seasonal ornaments, wrap them in tissue paper or bubble wrap and store them in a dry place.



Salt dough crafting is an age-old tradition that never loses its charm. Its ease of use, coupled with its adaptability, makes it the perfect medium for both novice crafters and seasoned artisans.

Whether you’re looking to start a new family holiday tradition, seeking a fun weekend activity, or searching for a unique gift idea, salt dough offers endless possibilities.

With the recipes and tips provided, you’re well on your way to creating beautiful and personalized ornaments and crafts. So, roll up those sleeves and let your imagination run wild!