Salt Dough Handprints

I thought it was about time we did some salt-dough model making so I dug out the easy-peasy ingredients.

I drew a little visual recipe list so that it would be easier for C to understand what we were doing (she loved it!)

And we got busy measuring and stirring and mixing and mixing and mixing and mixing some more!

(Loving my proper American cups and wishing UK recipes were in cups too. So much easier!)

At one point she reached for the drawing and put it next to her bowl, as though needing to refer to it while a-mixing some more. This amused me no end, and also made me realise how quickly children catch on to the importance of print and that words (and pictures) tell us something useful. Love it.

As usual we had a fair bit of sensory exploration with hands and tongues. MMmmmmm.

A snapshot of curiosity mixed with wonder.

The verbal soundtrack was “ooooo nooooo, too sticky mummy!”

And she was actually right. It needed some more flour. So we added another half a cup.

She had a go at squishing and flattening her own dough while I rolled some more into a ball.
Then we rolled it out together with a rolling pin.

And she very obligingly squished her hand into it to make me a hand print as a little keepsake!


I did the same with baby Pop’s hand print too, then put then on grease-proof paper at 100 degrees C (roughly 200 or so F) for 2 hours.

They came out nice and dry and hard.

If I had been smart, I would have made a little hole in each one by pushing a straw through before they went in the oven. Then I could have threaded some ribbon or raffia through to hang them up with. Next time I’ll remember!
Next step is to varnish them, date them on the back and find a way to hang them up.  I have now painted them with pearlised acrylic paint and attached ribbon hangers on the back with UHU glue. It’s holding pretty tight at the moment!

Fun as this was, it wasn’t very creative for Cakes, so I found some beads and let her make some salt dough sculptures.
She made 3 beautiful sculptures and of course I couldn’t oven bake these because of the embellishments.

We left them for 2 days to dry out and they have air dried and become rock solid. Now I just need to find a place to display them!


  1. Anonymous says

    Great ideas, as usual, Anna! Going to have a go at that very soon, and still have the salad spinner art idea up my sleeve for the first week after half term for all my classes! Katy x

  2. says

    Visiting from Red Ted Art’s. Well, I don’t agree with you about the cups, I find dl much mor logical! :)
    But the handprint look beatiful and so easy to make. Thanks for sharing!

  3. says

    Adorable! Another one for our to do list!! Red Ted loves home made playdough, so he will love saltdough too, I am sure!

    Thanks for linking up again!!

    Kids Get Crafty

  4. says

    Thank you for a lovely post which has inspired me to make some handprints for Christmas presents for the grandparents.

    Did you colour the salt dough with food colouring or anything, as they look a little bit pink before you painted them?

  5. says

    Yes I added a big squirt of pink food colouring, but it still didn’t look very bright. I think painting and varnishing gives the best result really, but if you do want to colour them then I think you would need to add a lot! Hope your presents turn out well- what a lovely idea!

  6. says

    Love this idea! Your daughter looks like she is having a blast. It is adorable that she brought the recipe over for reference.

  7. Anonymous says

    You are very clever! I’ve just done the prints with my wee ones. I really like the prints for Christmas pressie ideas too. Might explore that one later this year!

  8. Lewis says

    These pics are lovely and me and my daughter are going to make a little something for mummy!! Does anyone know what a ‘cup’ is for English recipes?
    A dad.

  9. Lewis says

    Blinding! Best Christmas prezzy ever and it’s free and fun to make…

    I’ll let you know how they turn out!


  10. says

    Ah thanks so much Rachel! That’s really helpful of you! And I would have said something similar- before I had real cups (which you can buy in all supermarkets now btw) I just used a mug from the cupboard! As long as the ratios are remaining the same it works out fine. Such a lovely idea to make for their Mummy! She will LOVE it!

  11. Anonymous says

    I just discovered your website and I LOVE IT! You are amazing! I am and occupational therapy assistant and a mother of a 20 month old and a 4 month old so I will be stealing all of your wonderful ideas!

  12. Anonymous says

    You can also add cinnamon and nutmeg to the dough. My mother made ornaments with my siblings and I out of salt dough. By adding such warm spices it smelled of the holidays! Such a lovely memory to create. We painted them and varnished them and hang them on the tree still, 15 years later–they still smell like cinnamon.

  13. Anonymous says

    My 3yo and I just put our hand prints in the oven. With the extra dough, we rolled them out and made hearts with small holes to make necklaces with thin ribbon for her friends:-) great idea, Thx!

  14. Kirst_C says

    Lovely ideas, thank you for sharing. Where did you get the pearlised paint from? I’m going to have a go with my 3 and half month old- hoping he’ll open his hands for me!

  15. Anonymous says

    I just found your website. I’m doing this tomorrow with my kids. Did you make the hair wrap that your daughter is wearing? I would like to make my daughter one. It’s so cute.

  16. Anonymous says

    Hi there,

    Great idea, we are making them for xmas pressies too. Although when I took them out the oven they seemed hard but they are still soft in the middle. Would you suggest cooking them again? I have left them for 2 days but still a bit soft.

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    How big around is this suppose to be when it is all said and done? I want to make some with my grandchildren and son’t know how much to mix up.