How to Make Easy Salt Clay Dough for Kid's Art Projects

Updated on November 13, 2017
Dorsi profile image

Dorsi is a freelance writer/researcher in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also a photographer, art educator, and artist.

How to make easy salt dough clay for kids and children with just flour, water and salt. So easy!
How to make easy salt dough clay for kids and children with just flour, water and salt. So easy! | Source

Salt Dough Is Fun for Kids

Salt dough clay is an easy-to-make recipe that can be used for a variety of kids and adults craft projects. I recently used the recipe to make some ornaments for our Sunday School kids, and the craft was an absolute success.

It is not only easy to make, but it is also very durable when baked properly. Once dry, it can be painted with a variety of paints (I use acrylic) and if you want further sealing, you can also spray your craft with fixative to preserve it even better.

The salt and flour clay is also a great medium to let your children play with (supervision recommended for the younger ones). The other day I spent some great time with my four-year-old grandson, letting him play with the leftover clay from the Sunday School project.

He was mesmerized for a good hour shaping the dough into balls (I taught him how to roll the dough with the palm of his hand). and he also had fun making holes in the clay with a straw, cutting the clay into sections, and making snowmen.

The ingredients are reasonable to purchase and easy to get (just buy them at your local supermarket) and the results, when done properly, are pretty amazing. As an art teacher and art educator, I highly recommend this craft — it's easy, reasonable and fun!

Salt clay dough is so easy to make - just flour, salt and water
Salt clay dough is so easy to make - just flour, salt and water | Source

Recipe Details

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 3 hours
  • Ready in: 3 hours 20 min
  • Yields: Half of a medium mixing bowl full of dough

Ingredients and Items Needed

  • 4 cups all purpose water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • Roll of parchment paper
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Rolling pin
  • Mixing spoon
  • Cutting board

Instructions

  1. Mix salt and flour together in a mixing bowl, then slowly add the warm water. Mix thoroughly with a mixing spoon.
  2. Add more water if necessary. The dough should be pliable but not too sticky. I use my hands to finish kneading the dough so I can feel how pliable it is.
  3. Roll your salt dough clay out on parchment paper, otherwise it may stick to the surface.
  4. Leave your salt dough clay on the parchment paper and start your craft. If you have several crafters working at once, lay down a square of parchment paper for them to work on with their dough.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Making kids hand-prints with salt clay dough.Use a rolling pin to make the salt dough clay nice and flatRolling the salt clay doughA childs hand-print made out of salt dough clay
Making kids hand-prints with salt clay dough.
Making kids hand-prints with salt clay dough. | Source
Use a rolling pin to make the salt dough clay nice and flat
Use a rolling pin to make the salt dough clay nice and flat | Source
Rolling the salt clay dough
Rolling the salt clay dough | Source
A childs hand-print made out of salt dough clay
A childs hand-print made out of salt dough clay | Source

Tips for Working With the Dough

Some tips and tricks when using salt clay dough:

  • Powder your fingers with flour when working with the dough. It helps prevent the salt clay dough from sticking to your fingers and makes it easier to work with.
  • If you find that your crafts still feel doughy after baking them, harden them in the oven for 5-10 minutes on 350 but be careful not to burn them. Check every few minutes to make sure you are not over-cooking them (better overcooked than under-cooked though)
  • You can air-dry your salt craft but it may take several days, depending on the thickness of the craft.
  • It's important to make sure your dough crafts are totally dry before painting them. If they are not dry, it's possible that they may start to fall apart over the years because of trapped moisture. I bought some dough ornaments many years ago that I opened one year to find them breaking apart. I don't think they were totally baked, dry and cured before painted.

A Santa ornament made from a childs hand-print, Made from the easy to make salt clay dough recipe, just flour, warm water and salt.
A Santa ornament made from a childs hand-print, Made from the easy to make salt clay dough recipe, just flour, warm water and salt. | Source

More Fun With Dough!

A recent craft I made with my Sunday School class was a hand-print of each child's hand, which was later painted and made into Christmas holiday ornaments. If you would like a step-by-step instruction on how to make this adorable memory keepsake, please read here for the entire article on How to Make a Santa Claus Ornament out of Salt Dough Clay.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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    • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

      Dorsi Diaz 

      5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      jlongrc) Thanks jl!

    • jlongrc profile image

      Jacob Long 

      5 years ago from Memphis, TN

      Very cool idea, nice hub!

    • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

      Dorsi Diaz 

      5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      @mpropp) Your welcome m. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

      @random) Funny thing random, this was the first time I'd used the dough myself and could not believe I hadn't made it sooner! So easy!

      @Virginia) Thanks Virginia. Maybe you can make a hub of those prints when you come up with some new ideas. Thanks for coming by.

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 

      5 years ago from United States

      I love making salt dough ornaments. Great easy recipe and I adore the cute santa ornament. Now you've got me thinking about other ways to use a kids hand for an ornament. I need to get out the dough and have my kids make some this year. I have found that mine did not last forever, but they used to be stored in our attic where the heat could get 140 degrees. Now we have cooler storage, so maybe I could get them to last longer. Terrific Hub with lots of great pictures and clear directions!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks for the great recipe and tips! Salt dough is so versatile. I can't believe that I haven't tried it yet myself.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      5 years ago from Minnesota

      This sounds like an inexpensive and fun activity to do with your kids or classroom. The possibilities are really quite endless. I am definitely going to be trying this. Thanks!

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