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Make a Salt Dough Snowman Family

7 January 2011 145,226 views 34 Comments

by heather

If you’ve never made salt dough you are missing out on lots of fun; that goes for kids and adults alike! The beauty of salt dough is that you don’t have to make a great big batch, simply follow the ratio of 1 part salt, 2 parts flour and 1 part water. If you want to make a big batch use 1 cup of salt, 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of water. You’ll have plenty of dough to make a slew of ornaments, pins, magnets or bowl fillers. If you just want to make a few items, use tablespoons instead of cups! There’s no measurement rule.

For this salt dough snowman family, I’ve given some suggested measurements, but again it’s really up to you!

Salt Dough Snowman Family
by Amanda Formaro of Crafts by Amanda

You will need

  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • acrylic paint in black, white, pink, green, orange, and red
  • paintbrush
  • two orange toothpicks
  • 6 small twigs
  • felt scraps
  • 2 mini pom poms
  • 1 small gold glitter pom pom
  • pink and gold ribbon

What you do

Preheat oven to 250 F. Mix together, salt, flour, and water until a dough is formed. Knead the dough on a floured surface until the mixture is elastic and smooth. If dough is too sticky, sprinkle with flour, continue to do so until stickiness is gone. Just be careful not to add too much flour, this will dry out the dough and will cause it to crack before you get a chance to bake it.

Salt dough is not edible, however it won't hurt you or your kids, it just won't taste very good!

Roll dough in your hands to form different sized balls. Make three snowmen from the balls, then line them up on the cookie sheet. Make sure they are touching each other so that they will be one piece after baking.

Break or cut orange toothpicks in half. Insert toothpick halves, point size out, into the each snowman head for the nose. Insert twigs for arms into each snowman. Be sure to both of these steps BEFORE baking.

Bake for approximately 2 - 2.5 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. For best results, allow to cool and dry overnight, or for at least 4 hours.

Paint snowmen with white paint. Use the wrong end of the paint brush to dot on colored buttons (I used green on one, red on another, and orange on the third).

Use a smaller paintbrush to repeat this method for adding eyes and mouths with black paint. Alternatively, you can use a black Sharpie marker if you prefer.

Embellish your snow family by fashioning scarves and hats out of scrap pieces of felt and adding a pom pom to the top of the hat. Add on ribbon and make ear muffs out of a small piece of gold ribbon and tiny pom poms. Use photo as a guide. Let dry completely and display.

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  • Amanda said:

    Thank you for letting me guest post Heather, I am honored! :)

  • Reta said:

    This will be a great thing to do with my 4 year old daughter. She’s dying to make a snowman but there isn’t enough snow yet where we live.

  • Paulina J! said:

    This is such a cute idea and yes, I am one of those that has been missing out on all this fun. I had a couple of questions:

    1) Will the snowmen be hard once done?
    2) Do they spoil or last indefinitely?

    Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  • Local Fun for Kids Mom said:

    Love These! You should add them to my ‘Fun for Kids Friday’ Blog Hop. http://www.localfunforkids.com/home/2011/1/6/fun-for-kids-friday-blog-hop.html

  • Fatcat said:

    These are absolutely adorable!!!

  • heather (author) said:

    @Amanda, thanks for guest-posting! Glad to have you!

  • Weezy said:

    @Paulina J!

    Yep once cooked the snowmen will be rock solid!

    And if you look after them a little they’ll last indefinitely, I’d recommend when finished decorating varnishing them with craft glue or a varnish. Once you don’t leave them in the rain but instead inside and dry they’ll keep for years and years! :)

  • urban craft said:

    Where you do find all this cool stuff??? Hmmm, what to make with salt dough. The possibilities are endless. Will come up with something soon.

  • pam said:

    Heather! These are beyond cute! I have already placed them at the very top of the list I have started for holiday projects next year to share with Antonio and Sophia! If I can wait that looooooooonng to play. These are adorable! ADORABLE!

  • Amanda said:

    @Paulina – yes they will be hard when done and will last indefinitely – I have actually had this exact snow family for 4 years now :)

  • Rachel said:

    Those are super cute! I came by to say congratulations on your mention in Sunset magazine! I came across it when I was reading last night- yay!

  • jenny said:

    I used to do a lot of salt dough. To decrease your baking time, things like the balls-you can start with a ball of foil and simply cover it with a layer of dough. Makes it lighter too. And you can recycle relatively clean aluminum foil. Lots of things can be formed over a simple foil armature.

  • Sophia said:

    Thanks for another wonderful idea! I’ve been needing some neat craft ideas for our weekly art lesson (homeschooling), and this is just the thing for this week. :)

  • Eva said:

    Aww so cute! These make good decorations as well as cute little gifts!

  • sidney said:

    Dough can be rolled out & cut into shapes with cookie cutters to make stars, gingerbread men, trees, etc., & painted when they’re baked. Make a hole in them before baking for hanging.

  • Verna said:

    I rolled the dough in short lengths and shaped letters out of them. After they dried, I painted the letters and glued them to wood (any kind) and hung on my children’s bedroom door with their name. Also made name plates for my nephews.

  • Jane Marks said:

    When you said they all had to touch, did you mean all three snowmen?

    Can you do indiviual snowmen as well?

    If wanting to make ornaments (the Jesse Tree), can they be molded
    free handed into different shapes?

    Would they need to be baked? if so,how long, if they are not
    going to be solid like the snowmen, but made into a rainbow,
    dove, cross, etc.( not exactly flat, either)

    Would like to see if this would work for the project.

  • Jeanne said:

    my snowmen keep going flat before I can even get them into the oven. I have tried several times and with several different sizes with the dough. Is there something that I am missing?

  • Naomi Edwards said:

    My snowmen came out tan instead of white. Can I just paint them? I’m sure that is the answer but I’m just checking.

  • Naomi said:

    My snowmen came out tan. Did I bake them too long? It said 2-2 1/2 hours so I did the full time.

  • heather (author) said:

    @Naomi, yes, you can paint them!

  • Kate said:

    I seemed to have the same problem as Jeanne, my snowman went a bit flat,but still came out relatively cute. Is there something to do to rectify the situation?

  • denise said:

    i loved making the snowmen!!!! thank u for sharing! the snowmen turned out great but,the center is still alittle doughy….what happened?

  • Kelli said:

    Can we use coarse kosher salt? Would that work?

  • heather (author) said:

    @kelli, you could use kosher salt, but just be aware that it will make a rougher texture of salt dough.

  • Cathie Takata said:

    Couple of questions – do we bake them vertically or horizontally? And about how tall do yours stand when cooked? I LOVE them and hope to start them in a few days.Thanks!

  • Vicki said:

    I have tried making these 3 times and I can’t seem to get my snowmen to stand up straight. I measure accurately. Anyone know why they fall over or each layer sinks down into the lower one? I’m not making them very big either. Thanks in advance for any help!

  • PL Schram said:

    I have made several of these ( individual snowmen) and have found that pushing a toothpick down the middle of each snowman will help to keep them from leaning. After they have been in the oven for a few minutes keep checking on them and reach in and straighten them if necessary. I also lowered the oven temp. to 200 degrees and kept an eye on them. I was having a problem with them splitting at 250 degrees.

  • heather (author) said:

    @PL — Thank you so much for the input!!

  • PL Schram said:

    My last batch turned out almost perfect… I wish there was some way to post pics. of them on here …every time that I am putting their little scarves and hats on them, I feel like they are my little children !!! I made some of the hats out of felt with pom poms on top and some with a top hat made out of a plastic cap from a 1 liter bottle of pop (painted black) and then glued onto a round pice of black felt….love, love, love these little guys ! ??

  • PL Schram said:

    Another cute idea would be to make a little vest out of felt …I will work on trying to come up with a pattern and post on whether it turned out or not…like I said , they are like my little children !??

  • lesioa arnold said:

    how do I bake them can u bake them standing up or laying down?