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Salt Dough Alternative | DIY Art Dough Recipe

A sheet pan with shaped dough ornaments on it.
DIY Art Dough for Ornaments

We are big fans of salt dough in our family. You can find my favorite recipe for salt dough in my free collection of winter art projects for kids and some fun ways to use it including our salt dough snakes over on Instagram.

A child painting a shaped piece of clay with watercolor paint.
This dough makes a great surface for watercolor paints.

This winter we discovered a new recipe for homemade art dough that makes a great alternative to salt dough - for those times when you want to try something new or are just low on salt dough supplies. This smooth, watercolor friendly dough recipe was shared by one of our Artsagram favorites, Andrea Nelson Art and we really enjoyed whipping it up for our DIY holiday ornaments this year.

Recipe for a salt dough alternative.


What you need:

1/2 cup corn starch

1 cup baking soda

3/4 cup warm water

What to do:

Stir the ingredients together in a pan and cook over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes. A thick dough will form similar in consistency to mashed potatoes.

Once the dough is formed, allow it to cool and then roll, shape and bake your creations for at least 1 hour at 175 degrees Fahrenheit, flipping several times.

After your designs are dry and cooled down, paint them with watercolor or acrylic paints or color them with markers.


If you are making ornaments, don't forget to poke a hole for you to place your ribbon or twine.

Allow your baked items to dry completely before you paint them with watercolor. The wet paint will soften the dough again if it isn't completey dry.


A child cutting a shapes from dough with a cookie cutter
Use cute cookie cutter shapes with rolled out dough

A tray of painted clay ornaments made by children
Painted ornaments with watercolor and glitter watercolor paints

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