11 Incredible Salt Dough Ideas to make all year round


Salt Dough Crafts are not just for Christmas though of course Salt Dough ornaments are super fun to make and a great childhood classic. There are all sorts of projects you can make from salt dough and I have picked out my top Salt Dough Ideas for you to try throughout the year.

Salt Dough Ideas
Having fun with Salt Dough crafts since 2010

Have a go at our Easy Salt Dough Recipe. Making Salt Dough Crafts in the summer is particularly fun, as you can let the salt dough dry naturally in the sun, instead of baking it in the oven. Though of course both air drying salt dough and oven drying salt dough works! There are lots of lovely keepsakes you can make too (I especially love the salt dough shell necklaces!).

Note, we haven’t shared any salt dough handprint ornaments here today, as there are a whole set of fantastic Christmas Salt Dough DIYs you can make!

Top Tips for these Salt Dough Ideas:

Salt Dough Summer Crafting – if you are making these salt dough ideas in summer, get a damp art cloth or old tea towel and place over the salt dough you are currently not working with. This will prevent the salt dough from drying out whilst crafting and cracking.

Simple is Best – though salt dough is gorgeously versatile, it doesn’t always keep it’s “detailed” shape. It can spread a little during the baking process – and you often want to “repoke” holes, whilst it drying etc. You can add details later when painting and decorating your salt dough projects!

Some quick questions answered:

Does salt dough go mouldy?

The short answer is: sadly, yes! As salt dough is made from flour and salt, which are natural materials that absorb water, they CAN go mouldy. Stored carefully in an air tight container or away from a humidity – this can be avoided.

Alternatively, especially with “play items”, you can seal the salt dough by using acrylic paints or a glaze/ spray. Though, none of our salt dough crafts have needed this.

Why does my salt dough have bubbles in it?

Usually, if your salt dough shows a bubble in it, it is because your oven is too hot and you have dried it too quickly. Or instead of using plain flour you have used self raising flour, which has a raising agent in it. The key to a smooth salt dough is drying it at a moderate temperature for a long time!

What is the best Salt Dough Recipe?

To make salt dough, all you need is

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour,
  • 1 cup of salt and
  • UP to a cup of water (warm water is nice, as it combines a little more quickly)
  • You can also add good quality food colouring to dye your saltdough before drying
  • Baking sheet for the oven
  • A rolling pin is handy for many projects too

Baking in the oven for 3hrs at 50-80C

For an extra sensory experience you can even add a little cinnamon to your DIY dough, making it smell gorgeous! Though we do also have a special cinnamon salt dough for Christmas. You can also add a little glitter for that extra sparkle at the end (see the salt dough photo frames shared below). Some people also like to use a sealer to seal their salt dough crafts with some mod podge or PVA glue. Again, it isn’t strickly necessary!

Grab some bowls and your ingredients and you are ready to get started!

Can you make coloured Salt Dough?

coloured salt dough

Yes!!! It is super easy! Use the same recipe as for you regular Salt Dough Recipe and add GOOD quality food colouring. If you use cheap food colouring, it will pale significantly once dried. For vibrant colours, use great food colours! If you coloured salt dough comes out “dulled” once dry, you can varnish it to bring the colours out again. Follow our easy instructions to make this “coloured clay”!!

Incredible Salt Dough Ideas to make all year round:

Saltdough rainbows
Salt dough rainbow clouds – a summer salt dough ornament craft idea

As part of our Sky Kids Series 1 – Best Makes Ever! – we made these gorgeous little rainbow cloud ornaments. A super lovely way to decorate your room with! Using our favourite Salt Dough Recipe, cookie cutters and acrylic paints, this is a great project for summer! You could even have a go at this using our coloured salt dough recipe – for that more natural feel.

salt dough hedgehog
Easy Salt Dough Hedgehogs

Combine salt dough and pine cones for this lovely eco friendly nature activity – Pinecone Hedgehogs. A simple modelling salt dough project for kids – and the best bit? It is fully bio degradable too!

Collection of salt dough and sea shell turtle craft for kids to make at group
Salt Dough Turtles Fridge Magnets

SImilarly, you can have fun with shells and salt dough.. combining the too to make these adorable Sea Shell Turtles. Why not also add a magnet and make them into keep sake Turtle Fridge Magnets?

salt dough crabs

Similarly make a set of salt dough turtles and salt dough crabs as fun fridge magnets for summer! So cute!

When the kids were very little we first had a go at making salt dough beads! Later we upskilled these to Emoji Beads and Peas in a Pod craft! You literally can make any kind of salt dough bead. We have seen some super cute Earth Day Necklaces by Natural Beach Living too..

wearable salt dough ideas - salt dough sea shell pendants
Salt dough shell pendants

Though we love the saly dough beads.. these pendants are even easier to make. An easy way to turn any nature finds into a wearable craft – turn sea shells, snail shalls, mini pinecones or favourite rocks into pendants with these colourful Salt Dough Pendants. Again, these are fully biodegrable should you tire of wearing them! A tooth pick or straw is useful for making your pendant holes.

Button salt dough hearts
Salt Dough Hearts – baker’s twine is lovely for hanging your salt dough ornaments or pendants

If you haven’t made Salt Dough Hearts at least ONCE in your life, now is the time to make some. So easy and so pretty.. salt dough hearts are perfect for any time of year – from lovely room decor, to Mother’s Day gifts, to Valentine’s Day and of course Christmas Salt Dough ornament crafting too!

Salt dough ideas: toys
Salt Dough Toys: Toy bakery

Salt dough is great for making your own toys! Especially, you own salt dough toy bakery – grab your salt dough clay, some parchment paper and “get baking”… I mean, it is a salt DOUGH, right? So what better related craft. Adore the salt dough pretzels and plaited loves. So cute!

salt dough ideas - fridge magnets
Salt Dough Hugs

With a year of “missing” hugs behind us, why not send a “Hug” through the post, with these lovely Salt dough HUG Fridge Magnets. What a lovely little gift idea!

Salt Dough Votive

So.. what to make when you have a salt dough ball left over and the kids have run out of steam? You can wrap the salt dough in cling film and it will keep a few days in the fridge (you may need to just give it a good knead, when ready to work with it again). Alternatively, make this super quick and easy salt dough votive. Little ones will LOVE sticking beads into it. You can even go and use the coloured salt dough recipe for these too! Quick and easy Salt Dough idea for kids!

salt dough frames

Check out these adorable Fridge Magnet Photo Frames from Best Ideas for Kids.

See out full list of Salt Dough Ideas, including wonderful Christmas Salt Dough Projects here:

Salt Dough Crafts - Christmas Ornaments
Salt dough is great for Christmass tree ornaments!
Salt dough ideas for kids
Lots of salt dough craft ideas!