Good Old Fashioned Salt Dough

 I feel like a cheater for posting a project like this.

It’s not like I invented salt dough or anything special. I’m not even making anything that hasn’t been done a hundred times over, either. I’d feel more entitled to write a post on how to make a decent peanut butter sandwich.

However, even though salt dough has been popular since the dawn of time, it sure seems like every year I find someone who has never made it. Not when they were a kid, not with their own kids. They are living salt dough free. Let us show them the light!

Salt dough is oodles of fun for munchkins and adults alike. It’s cheap, easy, fun, and with the addition of water-proof varnish, it can last for years. Los of people I know (myself included) have salt dough ornaments and hand prints and figurines from when they were knee-high to a grasshopper.

You can do your research to find variations on the recipe, I will take mine directly from my Grandmother Pumpkin recipe.


  • One part Morton’s salt
  • One part warm water
  • Two parts white flour


  • Add one spoon full of oil to make it flexible and slow drying [like playdough]
  • Add one spoonful of lemon juice to make it durable and hard [like Xmas ornaments]


  • Mix together to form a ball.
  • Roll to .5” thickness and biscuit cut.*
  • Bake 250 for one hour or until hardened, or air dry 48 hours.

* Translation for Non-Southerners or Irish-People-Who-Bake-Too-Much: “biscuit cut” means use a jar or a glass or a empty tin can, or cookie cutter to cut the dough in circles. You can also use a simple butter knife and get creative.

salt dough + plastic knives = munchkin menorah

For colored dough, add food coloring, Kool-Aid, or paint into the water before adding it to the dry ingredients. Or you can paint your creations after they dry. If you want your ornaments to last, spray them with varnish, or, if you REALLY want to be sure they last, you can do like my third grade teacher and dip them in a quart of outdoor strength polyurethane. Those suckers will stand the test of time!


  1. says

    Are you kidding? No one ever shares how to make salt dough! I haven’t seen this stuff since I was a kid, although I had an ornament or two–now I know! Yay! I so want to make this stuff! Fun–thank you!

    xo Mary Jo

  2. says

    This is on our holidays to do list. It’s wonderful stuff.

  3. says

    Another hilariously cute menorah! Thanks for the recipe – I am one of those people who nevah evah did it. And your extra tips (lemon juice? Kool Aid? cool!) are so extra helpful. See? This is a very neccesary post.

    Wait – you can make sandwiches with peanut butter? Do tell!

  4. says

    I may have been introduced to salt dough as a child…but I have absolutely no memory of it! Thanks for the recipe…this will be sure to come in handy when the little one gets a bit older!

  5. says

    I’m at the edge of my seat waiting for the PB & J post as i know it is imminent… along with a story of course (nudge and wink).

  6. says

    um, I’ve never made salt dough. BUT today The Short Blond and I are making ornaments… if I’m not back by sundown, call Martha for reinforcements for me wouldya?

  7. says

    Thank you for mentioning the outdoor strength polyurethane. I’ve been trying to find a way to make stepping stones for outdoor use that will stand through rains so ill see if this works before making a ton. 🙂

  8. says

    Thank you for mentioning the outdoor strength polyurethane. I’ve been trying to find a way to make stepping stones that are rain proof. So ill try it and see how it goes. 🙂

  9. Madelaine says

    Absolutely flippin fabulous..!!. EXCATLY what I’ve been searching for..

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