Salt Dough Recipe – Handprints & Footprints

I’m sure you have seen activities using a salt dough recipe. Pinterest is full of them. For Sienna’s first birthday we joined in the fun and made our own handprint craft.


When Cameron and Melia were little (3 years & 6 weeks), we came across a vendor at a craft show. She was selling hand and foot print plaques. On the spot she would take the imprint. Then a couple of weeks later, she would deliver a beautifully fired and painted piece of art. I was in love! They have always hung on the kids bedroom walls. I can’t tell you how many times through the years they compared their hands to the size they were at that time.

When Sienna was born, I knew I wanted one for her. I’ve never seen another vendor like her. However, I have seen many people DIY them with salt dough. So for her first birthday, we gave it a shot.

Salt Dough Pinterest

Salt Dough Recipe

The process itself is very simple! Mix 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of flour, and 1/2 cup of water in a bowl. I added a little more water at the end. You want the mixed consistency to feel like playdough. Just roll it out or mold it with your hands into the shape you want. Press your hand/foot into the dough, and you are done. I wanted to add their name and the year so I used a sharp knife to write it on. Then in order to hang it on the wall, you will need holes. I used a skewer to get the size I wanted.

You will need to slowly bake them. Set the oven to 200 degrees. Bake it for 3 hours. Mine were still a little moist and doughy on the bottom so I flipped them over and cooked them another hour. It will all depend on how thick yours are when you are done. Let them cool completely and you can paint them using acrylic paint. As a final step, you can protect them with varnish.

I have a tendency to be a bit of a control freak. However, I completely threw caution to the wind. As much as it pained me, I let Melia completely paint her own (and then glitter the crap out of it after I took pictures). It was messy, outside of the lines, and so her! While I cringe looking at her final product, deep down I love it. I know someday we will look back on it and giggle.

Salt Dough Melia

These are such a great way to capture little memories. Not only doing the project, but looking back and remembering just how little they were. Have you done any salt dough projects before?

salt dough recipe

18 Comments on “Salt Dough Recipe – Handprints & Footprints”

    1. I am not sure they would set up in the way they need to. Baking them allows them time to set permanently.

  1. Hi! Thank you for sharing! It’s awesome, I just would like to clarify if it is 200 Degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit? Thank you!

    1. I would recommend using a silpat baking mat or parchment paper. Don’t use wax paper, it could melt or catch on fire. It is not heat resistant.

  2. We made ours and are letting them air dry. We will then paint them and they will be ready for hanging – I plan to seal them with a clear polyurethane spray paint .

  3. We all have our kids or grandkids hand print. But, this year, we grandparents, are making a hand print for our grandkids! LOL

  4. Thank you for sharing on your loss and also this cute hand/foot project. I plan on having a craft day with my twin grandsons(they are 3 yrs old) so they can make these for Mother’s Day!

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