Salt dough is a fabulous, quick and easy clay-type material to make at home or in the classroom with kids, but one of the big drawbacks is the time that it takes to dry especially if you dry in the oven or air dry the clay.
If you’re working with a time limit like a class schedule or with impatient toddlers and preschoolers then that wait time can be unbearable.
With a slight adaption to the typical salt dough recipe, you can dry it in the microwave which means instead of hours to create your salt dough decorations or some dinosaur fossil they can be done within a matter of minutes.
Follow these instructions carefully and in 3 – 4 minutes you will have the solid salt dough ready to decorate as you wish.
When I first published this quickest ever salt dough recipe (November 2012) our microwave was 10 years old. We’ve since replaced the microwave, and I’ve adapted this recipe so that it works in our new “FAST” microwave. Instead of taking 3 minutes, some of the decorations we’ve made this year have taken all of 90 seconds to bake and be ready to decorate.
Salt Dough Recipe Ingredients
- Salt – The best type of salt to use is table salt.
- Flour – this must be PLAIN or ALL-PURPOSE (self-raising flour will NOT WORK!)
Click on the link below to go straight to the printable recipe or read our tips for making salt dough with kids!Jump to Salt Dough Recipe
How to make the salt dough
- Add the ingredients, mix together.
- Then knead well.
- Roll out and create the shapes you want.
Once you have made the shapes you want then you need to dry them so you can paint them. Traditionally the salt dough recipe for the oven and air drying which takes about 3 hours at a low heat so they don’t burn. But instead, you can swap your oven for the microwave and zap them!
How to Microwave Salt Dough
When you zap the salt dough in the microwave take it 10 seconds at a time.
Because each microwave is different and even your salt dough will be slightly different than mine. Water softness, as well as the brands of salt and flour that we use, can make a difference. Also, the thickness of our ornaments will be different. Microwaving for 10 seconds and checking means that you can avoid over-cooking, which can cause the salt dough to bubble or smoke to fill your kitchen!
If, after 3 minutes, they are still a little wet then just put them back in for 10-second increments until they’re done.
Let them cool, and then paint.
Check out our Salt Dough FAQ’s if you want to know how best to store and even how to make white salt dough with the kids!
Full Salt Dough Recipe to Use with Kids
Microwave Salt Dough Recipe
- Rolling Pin
- Cookie Cutters (for making Christmas Ornaments)
- Microwavable flat plate
- 1 cup Plain Flour All-Purpose
- 1/2 cup Table Salt
- 1/2 cup Water
- In a bowl mix the 3 ingredients together.
- Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
- Roll out or form into the shapes you want.
- On a piece of kitchen paper place in the microwave.
- Microwave in 10 second bursts checking regularly. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO IT IN SHORT BURST OTHERWISE IT WILL BURN!!!
- Once dry remove and allow to cool before painting.