How to make spooky salt dough Halloween decorations with your toddler

Are you ready for Halloween? These salt dough ornaments are the perfect decoration. They are made even more special by the fact that they will last for years to come! Babies and toddlers love sensory play. Squashing, squishing, rolling and cutting dough is a brilliant sensory play option. So grab your aprons and let’s get crafty! Keep reading for instructions on how to make spooky salt dough Halloween decorations with your toddler.

What is salt dough?

Salt dough is very similar to playdough but it has a much higher concentration of salt. This allows the dough to harden and to be kept for a long time. Salt dough can be moulded, cut, pressed and shaped into anything you like! Then you can bake it and decorate it.

What ingredients do I need?

Salt dough is made using flour, salt and water. Easy! If you need a recipe, the BBC Good Food website has a straight forward, easy to follow option. But basically, you need to mix the three ingredients together to form a dough. Then get ready to play!

How to make Halloween Salt Dough Ornaments

We used all of our dough making handprints, animals, shapes and characters. You will need some basic equipment to make the decorations:


  • Large mixing bowl
  • Spatula
  • Scales
  • Rolling pin
  • Halloween Cookie Cutters
  • Knife
  • Baking tray
  • Paint for Decorating 
  • Glue for Sealing

How to make a Halloween Handprint:

Roll your dough out to the required thickness. Keep it quite thick as you need to press your baby or toddler’s hand deep into the dough to get a good likeness.

Hold your child’s hand out flat with their fingers as wide as you can get them. Press their hand gently but try to get it quite deep into the dough. Try to remove the hand carefully by going straight back up again. If you don’t get a great shape the first time, roll the dough out again and have another try. You could also try wiggling their hand around once it’s in the dough to get a deeper impression.

Top tip:

Encourage toddlers to do the ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ hand actions and asking them to FREEZE their hand in the wide pose. Practice a few times, then do it on the salt dough.

Cut around the hand print safely

Once you have a hand print you are happy with, cut around it with a knife. Make sure you do this somewhere safely out of reach of your baby or toddler. 

To turn your Halloween hand print into a spooky salt dough ornament, use a straw to poke a hole in the top so your toddler can thread string through it later.

Bake your salt dough

Bake your salt dough according to the recipe in order to dry it out. This takes a few hours on a very low temperature. Once our hand print was baked and dried, we painted it black and orange for Halloween. Then we let the paint dry and did a final coat of PVA glue to seal it. When it was finally ready, we threaded ribbon through the hole and hung it up!

Roll. Shape. Bake. Repeat.

It’s really easy to repeat this process with other shapes and colours. We used these fab Halloween cookie cutters from Amazon to make ghosts, cats, bats and pumpkins. If you buy the cutters, remember to put them to work and make some Halloween Cinnamon Biscuits too.

Child's hand using Halloween cutters to cut biscuits from cinnamon dough

What will you make?

So there you go, a super simple guide to making Salt Dough Halloween Decorations with your toddler. If you have questions or would love to show off your own makes, tag me @craftytoddlercompany on Facebook and Instagram. And remember to join our Crafty Toddler Community too. Happy Halloween!

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