Salt dough

Get creative with the kids this half term and make some special objects they can keep forever. Modelling clay can be expensive but this DIY version costs pence with the added bonus that the kids get to mix it up themselves.

making salt dough


1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water
1 tsp veg oil.

  • In a large bowl, mix up the flour and salt.
  • Add the water a little at a time whilst mixing. You won’t need it all! Stop when you have a soft dough. If the dough is too dry, add a little more water.
  • If it’s too wet, add a little more flour. You want something the consistency of Play-Doh.
  • Knead and mould the dough for a few minutes to ensure it’s nice and smooth.
  • Add the vegetable oil and work the dough some more. It’s now ready to use.

Make your shapes!

salt dough

Let your imagination run wild. You can roll out the dough and cut it with cookie cutters or mould it free form into little characters. How about pressing patterns into it? Or spelling your name? Or making beads for a necklace? You can even mix paint into it for different colours.

When you’re done, bake the shapes in the oven for 30 minutes at 100˚C. You can actually let them air dry but this gives them a head start if you want to get on and paint them.

Use whatever paint you have to hand to decorate your shapes. Nail varnish works really well.

Bear in mind that bigger shapes might still be soft inside. They can take weeks to dry properly, especially at this time of year. So handle with care until you’re sure they’re rock hard.

Painted salt dough shapes