Rubber Stamping and Salt Dough

salt dough patterns
Kate Pullen

Salt dough may be a great crafting medium for kids, but it is also a useful material for adults. Salt dough is a useful DIY alternative to air-dry clay. Use salt dough for making ornaments and decorations which can be decorated in a variety of ways. Use your rubber stamps to decorate the ornaments. Stamps can be used to impress a design into the surface of the dough or to stamp a design onto the baked dough or try a combination of the two techniques.


Salt dough is a traditional crafting medium, with Ancient Egyptians using a flour and salt dough for modeling. Today, salt dough presents a relatively low-cost and highly accessible craft material which is easy to create at home. Salt dough is made from flour and salt, with water added to make it into a dough. Once made, the dough is malleable and can be shaped in a variety of ways. Use it to model with or roll out sheets of salt dough to cut shapes from. Salt dough items can be left to dry naturally, in the same manner as air dry clay, or dried in an oven.

When dry, salt dough becomes tough and durable, but if left untreated it will absorb moisture and eventually go moldy. Therefore coating dry salt dough items will prolong their life.


Salt dough has to be one of the easiest recipes to remember. Typically, a salt dough recipe will be one cup salt, two cups flour and one cup of water. One of the delights of working with salt dough is that you can make batches that are as small or large as you require for a crafting project as long as you keep the proportions approximately the same. There are many things that you can add to the basic salt dough ingredients, such as vegetable oil to alter the texture, food coloring to add color to the dough or glitter to add some sparkle.

To make salt dough, simply mix all the ingredients together and then knead the dough for 10 or so minutes. The kneading is important as this will help to create a strong dough.

To dry the finished salt dough items, you have two options. Firstly, leave the shapes in a warm dry place to dry naturally, though be aware that this could take several days. The alternative is to put the dough items into an oven on a low heat to let them dry. It is important that the oven is not too hot as this may dry the dough too quickly and cause the surface to bubble or to crack. A temperature no higher than 200 F should work well.

Rubber Stamping Tips

Rubber stamps are ideal for use with salt dough. You can use your stamps to decorate the surface of a shape before drying, in the same way that you would decorate air-dry clay. Gently pressing a stamp into the surface of the dough will leave an impression of the design or use the stamps to decorate the dried dough. Any stamps are suitable for use with salt dough. Stamps that are deeply etched will give more definite impressions.

Here are some tips for using your rubber stamps with salt dough:

  • Don't press the stamp too heavily into the soft salt dough as this can cause the stamp to stick into the dough.
  • Use a fine salt to make the salt dough if you need a smooth surface or want a finely detailed image to show. Coarse salt can create a granular dough.
  • Clean your stamps well after use, particularly if you stamped onto an oily surface as this can contaminate your ink pads in the future.
  • Make sure you remove any dried pieces of dough as these may distort the stamped design in future projects