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Microwave Salt Dough Recipe for Fun & Easy Crafts

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.

Pinterest image for a Microwave Salt Dough Recipe showing the dough and rolling out the dough. The text on the image reads Microwave Salt Dough, Quick and Easy Perfect for Kids Crafts.

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.

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

Microwave Salt Dough Recipe for creating Christmas Decorations and Tree Ornaments. Saves time and can take as little as 3 minutes.
Salt Dough Star created by a toddler using this quick and easy dough recipe for the microwave

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.

 child setting the microwave for 10 seconds to dry salt dough for Christmas ornaments.

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.

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.

Pinterest Image of salt dough decorations hanging on a Christmas tree. The text on the image reads Quick & Easy Microwave Salt Dough Recipe for Crafts.

Why Don’t We Go Full Power and Microwave Dry the Ornaments for 3 minutes?

simple salt dough ornaments on a plate created by toddlers. The text on the image reads Quickest Ever Salt Dough Recipe.

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.

Check out our favourite salt dough variations – with this fantastic White Salt Dough Recipe perfect for using stamps and making some delightful tags for gifts this Christmas.

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.

It should be noted though we don’t recommend this recipe for keepsakes handprint or footprint ornaments, it’s excellent for swift Christmas tree decorations and crafts with kids.

Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments to Make with This Recipe

simple salt dough star banner made with Christmas scented salt dough
scented and coloured gingerbread men salt dough ornaments for Christmas crafts and Ornaments
cute rudolph the red nosed reindeer coloured and scented salt dough decorations that kids can make.

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!

Pinterest image for the Quickest Ever Salt Dough Recipe showing kneading the dough and then a simple kid made ornament on the Christmas Tree.
Salt dough ornaments created by kids hanging in a Christmas Tree. The text below the image reads Quick and Easy Microwave Salt Dough Recipe.

Microwave Salt Dough Recipe for Crafty Fun

Cerys Parker
Discover swift and fun salt dough crafting with our microwave recipe. Perfect for kids' ornaments and crafts.
3.82 from 134 votes
Prep Time 1 minute
Time to Microwave 3 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes


  • Large bowl
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cookie Cutters (for making Christmas Ornaments)
  • Microwavable flat plate
  • Microwave
  • Straw
  • 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


This is not an edible recipe, but for crafts. Please also be aware that this is toxic to pets so keep your furry friends well away from the crafting area as you make these decorations.
Keyword Christmas Crafts, Christmas Decorations, Christmas Ornaments, Microwave Salt Dough, Salt Dough, salt dough recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. 3 boys mummy says:

    Love this! Made decorations for our Christmas tree and made salt dough handprints to hang on the tree. All my boys loved it, the 2 14year olds and the 2year old. Great activity for them all to do together, thanks!

  2. Tried this just now and it’s great, so fast and easy. My toddler really enjoyed it. Thank you!

  3. This is awesome thanks for sharing, this is a huge help in the past we’ve always either moulded or painted as I can never keeps the boys attention long enough to do both. Who knew you could microwave it! Off to pin. Thanks.

  4. I’m very happy to know I can put it in the MW to have it dry quicker. Thanks!

3.82 from 134 votes (131 ratings without comment)

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