Homemade Salt Dough Tree Decorations (inc Tutorial)

I wanted to have a go at these last year but time ran away with me! It’s such a traditional craft that puts me in mind of the autumn harvest festivals at church when I was little. But I think salt dough lends itself to all sorts of things. (Loads more info here) It’s kind of like a store cupboard Fimo!

For the Salt Dough You’ll Need: 2 cups of Plain Flour, 1 cup of Table Salt, 1 cup Water (cool but not cold). Mixing bowl, rolling pin, cookie cutters,  palette knife, baking tray, greaseproof paper, cooling rack.
You can mix up any amount of dough you like as long as you stick to this ratio. 2 parts flour to 1 part each of salt and water.

Method: Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in a little of the water and mix. Keep adding the water a little at a time, (You may not need all of the water) & mix until it starts to form a dough. Then squeeze, knead & roll in your hands until it’s a smooth, pliable ball of dough.

Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll out the dough to about 50mm thickness. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters, or freehand if you’re a bit more skilled than I am. I left the surface of my shapes plain as I’m going to paint them. But I guess at this stage you could carefully etch patterns or designs into the surface.

Carefully lift your shapes, using a palette knife, onto a baking sheet covered in greaseproof paper. (A couple of my stars got stuck because I didn’t flour my work surface properly). Punch out holes for hanging ribbons. (I used a sturdy drinking straw for this)

Bake in the oven for an hour on a low heat (say 60C) turning them over half way through. Then turn them out onto a wire rack and leave until completely cool.  Leave for another 24 hrs before painting or varnishing, which hopefully we shall be doing this weekend….

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  1. A.J.A. December 17, 2010

    I can’t wait to see your finished ornaments! 🙂

  2. Marybeth December 18, 2010

    Fun! We made those the year my son was 4, and we still hang them on the tree every year!

  3. ms. elisabeth December 22, 2010

    so cute!
    i’ve never made these before, but i want to try.
    thanks for sharing!


  4. Allyie MFC August 23, 2013

    How do you get them to be smooth and the same thickness?

    Mine doesn’t seem to come out as smooth and perfect as yours… Maybe I need to knead it a bit more? And I’ve heard to use 2x CD cases on each side as you use a rolling pin.

    I also followed other instructions for salt dough and they were asking me to put the temperature higher than yours which actually turned them golden brown and bubbly!

    • Miss P August 24, 2013

      Hi Allyie,
      Kneading the dough get’s it smoother for sure. I gave my last lot a light sanding too which worked really well. I’ve defo found the “cooking” process needs to be slow and steady otherwise they catch and bubble like you describe. I recently did some in the microwave and they worked out really well. More info on my second attempt at these here:


      Good luck! Let me know how you get on!



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