5-Minute Crafts
5-Minute Crafts

How to Make Salt Dough for Sculpting

Salt dough is one of the most flexible and safest materials you can use for sculpting. It keeps its shape really well, it’s easy to paint, and it doesn’t stick to your hands. Making it is simple and it’s easy to store. You can use it make sculptures with your entire family!

5-Minute Crafts is going to tell you how to make salt dough at home and what you can make with it.


  • 300 grams of flour
  • 300 grams of salt
  • 200 ml of cold water

Kitchen utensils

  • deep bowl
  • fork
  • plastic wrap
  • strainer for flour

How to make

1. Put the salt into a deep bowl and add some water. There should be enough water for the salt to dissolve.

2. Stir the salty water and start straining flour into it. Keep stirring.

3. Keep stirring the dough until you have a pretty thick consistency. If it breaks down when you pick it up, add more water, and if it sticks to your hands, add more flour.

Important: Don’t add too much water. Flour from different manufacturers can be a different texture, so the flour you have might require a bit more or a bit less water.

4. Wrap the dough in film and leave it in the fridge for 2-2.5 hours.

What you can make

  • Hedgehog

  1. Roll the dough into a small ball and stretch it a little on one side.

2. Use manicure scissors to make small cuts on the back of the future hedgehog moving from one side to the other and back.

3. Use black pepper to make the eyes and nose.

4. Dry the sculpture, paint it, and cover it with varnish.

  • Mouse
  1. Make 3 balls: a big one and 2 smaller ones. Stretch the big one from one side making the body of the mouse.

2. The smaller balls should be placed on the stretched end of the big one. Make sure they are fixed well on the top: they will end up being the ears.

Important: If parts of the dough don’t stick together well, wet your fingers with a little bit of water. It will make the process much easier. You can also wet small parts when sticking them to bigger ones.

3. In the center of the ears, make small dips with a match or a toothpick.

4. Make a tail and stick it to the back of the body of the mouse.

5. Use pepper to make eyes and nose. You can also make whiskers using toothpicks.

6. Once the mouse is ready, dry it and paint it.

  • Snail
  1. Make a long spherical shape and make a spiral with it.

2. Make another small sphere-like shape and put the spiral on top of it.

3. Make 2 small balls and pierce them with 2 halves of a toothpick. Stick the balls to the toothpick halves and stick them into the head of the snail.

4. Dry the snail and paint it.

  • Tree
  1. Roll out some dough to about 3 mm thick and cut in into small rectangles.

2. Make ovals using the rectangles. They will eventually be the leaves.

3. In the middle of each oval, make a small vertical dip (you can use a toothpick or a match).

4. Make the trunk of the tree. To do that, roll a thick spherical shape, flatten it a bit and make a few cuts with a sharp knife. To make the process easier, you can separate the top of the sausage into 2 pieces and cut each of them into several more.

5. With the blunt edge of the knife, make small lines on the trunk of the future tree to show the relief on the bark.

6. Make a small ball and flatten it. Stick it to the end of one of the branches.

7. Going in circles, stick the oval leaves to the outside of the base. Use matches or toothpicks to help you.

8. Once the first round of leaves is done, keep adding the leaves in circles.

9. Create more branches and more leaves.

10. Once it’s done, bake it in the oven and paint.

How to dry salt dough

There are 2 ways to dry salt dough:

  • Oven
    Place the sculptures on baking paper and put them into the oven for 20-40 minutes. The bigger your sculptures are, the more time they need to dry.
    Important: After baking, don’t take the figures out right away. Let them cool down in the oven. Otherwise, they might crack.
  • At room temperature
    Put the sculptures on thin paper and let them rest for 1-2 days. Don’t leave them near radiators to ensure that they dry evenly without cracking.

How to paint salt dough sculptures

You can paint salt dough sculptures after you dry them — using gouache and acrylic paints. And you can also mix gouache right into the dough and make colored sculptures right away. They won’t be as bright, but you also won’t have to spend as much time painting them.

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