Salt dough is a really versatile craft material, providing endless opportunities for those rainy days indoors. Perfect for creating Christmas Tree ornaments and decorations. Although the biggest problem I’ve always had has been the long drying time, especially if you’re using the air dry method or oven drying a large batch. Our microwave version addresses this, making it ideal for quick Christmas tree ornaments. So here you go and quick and easy salt dough recipe ideal for kids Christmas Crafts.
Why Crafting with Salt Dough is a Win for Kids and Parents
Salt dough is a wonderful crafting material to use with kids and for adult to make some delightful Christmas decorations and ornaments as well as crafts throughout the year.
Using this microwave salt dough recipe means that you have instant crafting with just 3 ingredients from your kitchen, salt, flour and water. No need to buy additional materials like air drying clay.
This recipe is non-toxic to humans – but please be aware that it is extremely toxic to pets so keep you furry friends away from the craft area when kids are getting creative.
It’s also got a great educational benefit – little kids will develop their fine motor skills as they knead and roll out the dough and older kids can work on maths as they weigh and measure the ingredients to make this salt dough themselves.
Quick Microwave Salt Dough Recipe
This version diverges from the conventional oven dry and air dry salt dough recipe, enabling you to craft salt dough ornaments in 3 to 4 minutes, ready to decorate with acrylic paints and glitter.
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Salt Dough Ingredients
There are only 3 ingredients to salt dough, flour and salt and then warm water added to create the dough.
- Flour: Use Plain (All-Purpose) Flour to avoid any unintended puffiness in your ornaments. Self Raising Flour
- Table Salt: The fine consistency of regular table salt is ideal.
- Warm Water: Just warm enough to touch.
The ratio is 1 cup of all purpose flour/plain flour to 1/2 cup of salt and 1/2 cup of water based on my kitchen which is at sea level. You may find depending on the type of flour and your altitude, humidity that you may need a to add a little more moisture to the mixture. However, be aware that this is a slightly drier salt dough than you maybe used to as it is to be dried in the microwave.
Tips on making Salt Dough in the microwave
Although this method of drying salt dough reduces the time from days for air drying or hours for oven dried salt dough down to minutes it is really important that you follow the instructions below carefully.
You need to ensure that you check regularly during the short drying period that the ornaments are drying. You can not put it on full for 3 minutes and leave it this will result in lots of black smoke and burnt ornaments.
An important note is that the thinner you roll out the decorations the shorter the drying time will be in the microwave.
How to Microwave Salt Dough
1. Preparing the Dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine your ingredients and stir to achieve a doughy texture.
2. Shaping: Use rolling pins and cookie cutters to fashion the dough into desired shapes. If they’re meant for Christmas tree decorations, remember to make a hole with a straw for ribbon or twine to go through so they hang on a tree.
3. Microwaving: Lay the shaped dough on parchment paper on a microwave safe baking sheet or plate and microwave in 10-second intervals. This method ensures balanced drying without overcooking.
4. Decorating & Sealing: Post-cooling, get creative with acrylic paints and glitter. To protect your creations, seal them with mod podge or a suitable spray sealer.
Recommended Sealers for Salt Dough
We have included affiliate links to some of the products and resources as an associate we may earn from qualifying purchases.
I’m often asked what sealers I recommend for salt dough so here are 3 that I know are good and work based on my own experience and that of the readers of Rainy Day Mum. If you don’t have any of these handy a really quick method is to use some white school glue (PVA) as a varnish. It will work and protect the ornaments or decorations your kids make.
Love Christmas Crafts check out our guide on How to Dry Orange Slices in the microwave for some more decorations for your home.
Why Don’t We Go Full Power and Microwave Dry the Ornaments for 3 minutes?
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.
- The thickness of our ornaments will be different as well.
By microwaving for 10 seconds and checking means that you can avoid over-cooking and you will get smooth decorations like below ready to paint.
If, after 3 minutes, they are still a little wet then just put them back in for 10-second increments until they’re done.
Salt Dough Craft Ideas
Beyond just Christmas crafts, salt dough offers myriad possibilities. From decorative ornaments to other festive crafts, your imagination is the limit.
Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments to Make with This Recipe
- Christmas Star Salt Dough Garland
- Gingerbread Men Salt Dough Ornaments
- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Salt Dough Ornaments
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!
Microwave Salt Dough Recipe for Crafty Fun
- Large bowl
- Rolling Pin
- Cookie Cutters (for making Christmas Ornaments)
- Microwavable flat plate
- Twine or Ribbon
- Parchment Paper
- In a large bowl mix the 3 ingredients together with a spoon and then your hand.
- Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
- Roll out or form into the shapes you want and cut with a cookie cutter. Don't forget to use a straw to create a hole for ribbon or twine if needed.
- On a piece of parchment 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 and sealing
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.