Salt Dough Autumn Leaves

We have a vase with branches on the dresser in our hall, that I like to decorate for the different seasons. At Easter we had little eggs hanging in it, and over the summer our clothes peg dragon flies that we crafted. But it was time for a change for the Autumn, before the Christmas baubles come out in December, so we made some quick and easy Autumn leaves out of salt dough.

Salt Dough Autumn Leaves

Usually we do plain white salt dough when we make decorations, and paint it afterwards, but this time I had the idea to colour the dough itself. Which meant I could skip the part where I have to chase everyone for days to get the painting finished, haha. Here’s how to make your own. We added some cinnamon, which smelled amazing while it was all in the oven though the smell quickly disappeared once they were done. So you could save yourselves the cinnamon, but it does also give the colours a more muted, natural look than just using the food colouring on it’s own which looked very bright. It’s up to you. Personally, I loved that the whole house smelled so good while we were making these.

Salt Dough Autumn Leaves

Salt Dough Autumn LeavesSAFETY TIP: These look quite yummy, so be careful little children don’t put them in their mouth. It’s not dangerous though, as all the ingredients are edible, it’s  just mostly salt – they will realise soon enough that it tastes disgusting!


  • 1/2 cup plain flour (+ some extra for rolling out the dough)
  • 1/4 cup fine salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • a few drops of food colouring
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

You will also need some leaf shaped cookie cutters, a rolling pin, some baking trays, some grease proof paper, and a wooden skewer. Optionally, you can also varnish them with some clear varnish, and you’ll need some thread to hang them up.

Salt Dough Autumn Leaves

Salt Dough Autumn Leaves


  • Mix the flour, salt, and cinnamon (if using) in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the water with the food colouring and the oil. We made three batches of salt dough, and used red, orange and yellow food colouring.
  • Mix the wet ingredients in to the dry ingredients and knead them together until you have a smooth dough.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 100C (fan oven not recommended).
  • Sprinkle some flour on your work top, and roll out salt your dough to about 0.5cm thick.
  • Cut our your leaf shapes and poke a little hole through the top of each with the end of your skewer, then place them on a lined baking tray.
  • ‘Bake’ the salt dough in the oven for around 3 hours. You are not actually baking them, you are drying them out. I turned them over after an hour to make sure they dried out evenly. If they still feel soft in the middle, then just put them back in the oven for a bit longer.
  • Once the leaves have cooled down completely, you can varnish them if you like but that is optional.
  • Finally, tie a loop of thread through the holes you made, and your Autumn leaves are ready to hang up. If you don’t have a vase with branches, you could also string them up along a length of ribbon as a garland.

Salt Dough Autumn Leaves

Salt Dough Autumn Leaves

11 Comments on Salt Dough Autumn Leaves

  1. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love)
    20 October 2020 at 2:52 pm (1 month ago)

    What a brilliant idea for an autumn decoration. I’d not thought of colouring the salt dough beforehand – much easier than having to paint each leaf. Might have to give this a try ourselves.

  2. Sabina Green
    20 October 2020 at 6:13 pm (1 month ago)

    These look great Jenni. We are starting to add some decorations and my kids would really enjoy making these.

  3. Everything Enchanting
    20 October 2020 at 9:23 pm (1 month ago)

    Such a lovely DIY! The salt dough autumn leaves look really pretty I would love to give this DIY a try someday soon

    • Helen
      21 October 2020 at 3:52 am (1 month ago)

      I love these! What an effective yet simple craft activity and they look so beautiful too :)

  4. Playdays and Runways
    20 October 2020 at 9:27 pm (1 month ago)

    Oh this is such a lovely activity that I may do with the boys during half term

  5. Lyndsey OHalloran
    20 October 2020 at 9:37 pm (1 month ago)

    What a lovely thing to do in autumn!The tree looks adorable

  6. Laura
    21 October 2020 at 10:47 am (1 month ago)

    That’s a lovely idea. I need to get a vase and twigs to do the same.

  7. Rebecca Smith
    21 October 2020 at 12:50 pm (1 month ago)

    What a lovely and brilliant way to decorate for Autumn – it looks so good and is a great activity too!

  8. Melanie williams
    22 October 2020 at 11:23 am (1 month ago)

    This is a very clever craft. It looks so nice and makes me thing autumn all the way xxx

  9. Natasha Mairs
    22 October 2020 at 11:55 am (1 month ago)

    These look amazing!! i haven’t made salt dough in years, but this would be great to do with the kids. love the autumn tree!

  10. Laura Schwormstedt
    24 October 2020 at 6:13 pm (1 month ago)

    Ooh this is such a gorgeous idea and craft and thanks for sharing as I have been wondering what to do with the kids in all this rain forecast for half term

    Laura x


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