With the Kids

Summer Camp for Kids: Salt Dough Beads

Summer Camp guest post by Cathy of Nurture Store.

My daughter loves accessorising as much as she loves crafting and this project to make salt dough beads is the perfect combination of the two. The dough is super easy to make and you can decorate the beads to suit any outfit you like – and even make some extra sets to share with friends. We split the project in two and do the baking one day and the decorating the day after.

salt dough recipe bead bracelet

Begin by making your dough:

  • Combine 1 cup water, 2 cups flour and 2 cups salt and knead together – as easy as that!

You can find a free printable of this salt dough recipe, together with some other favourite recipes and a year’s worth of play ideas, in our Let’s Play Dough ebook.

salt dough recipe

Form your beads by making lots of small balls of dough and using a skewer, pencil or stick to make a hole in the centre of each bead, large enough for your thread to fit through. We make our holes quite large so it’s easy for the children to do their own threading.

Place the beads on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 2 – 3 hours in a cool oven (Gas 1/2, 120C, 250F). Once the beads have baked hard, leave them to completely cool.

how to make salt dough beads

Then it’s time to decorate. We find it easier to handle the beads if they’re threaded on a piece of yarn – it makes then easier to move around and a little less messy to paint. Paint them in your favourite colours and sprinkle on some glitter while the paint is still wet. Leave the beads to dry and then if you wish you can add an extra coat of clear varnish over the top.

make a salt dough bead necklace Thread the beads on to a length of pretty ribbon. Tie around your wrist to create a bracelet and make a matching necklace to complete your outfit. For lots more fun with dough, don’t forget to download your copy of our free ebook Let’s Play Dough.

salt dough beads necklace

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Cathy James writes the blog NurtureStore, which is packed full of creative play ideas. Visit NurtureStore for crafts, games and activities you can use with your children to have fun and mix in plenty of learning as you play. You can also follow NurtureStore on Facebook to receive a steady supply of ideas to help give your kids a great start in life.
Want more salt dough ideas? See these 30+ Salt Dough Projects!


  1. It’s funny that you should post this. I made this same dough from a recipe from another site last week. I painted them and set them outside so the cat’s wouldn’t sniff them while they were wet and get painty noses. It was so humid outside that they got all mushy and soggy! Just thought I’d pass on the heads up!

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