How to Preserve Salt Dough Ornaments

One of the most enjoyable part of my childhood was making salt dough ornaments during the holidays. Whether we were making tags for dressing up presents or making gifts for family members, these trinkets meant the most. However, the best way to preserve salt dough ornaments is by sealing them.

If you’ve never made salt dough, head over to my perfect salt dough recipe and make your own!

This recipe is guaranteed to make the most durable and whitest salt dough. Perfect for any project you can create!

Why Should You Preserve Salt Dough

Salt dough is susceptible to moisture, meaning it will pull any moisture from the surrounding air. This causes your projects to turn soggy or even crumble. 

Despite if you bake your projects or let them air dry, I highly recommend you taking the extra steps to preserve salt dough almost immediately after it is completely dry.


Sealing your salt dough ornaments prevents them from becoming moldy and or cracking/crumbling. Any environment can cause salt dough to mold, even when extra precautions are taken.

Once sealed, they are guaranteed to last a lifetime. This way, you can continue to enjoy your families memories, year after year.


How to Preserve Salt Dough

There are a few ways to make sure your salt dough ornaments stand the test of time. 

The first way I recommend is to use this spray sealant. I highly recommend using a few coats of this quick dry, acrylic based spray sealant. Spraying sealants are my favorite because it provides a quick and even method of application.

The next sealant I recommend is this paint on outdoor sealant. Unlike the previous product, this acrylic based sealant comes in a variety of finishes from gloss to matte. It’s also rated for outdoor use, or high moisture areas.

What NOT to Use to Seal Your Salt Dough

Personally, I would avoid using a polyacrylic or polyurethane sealant for salt dough ornaments.

Over time, polyacrylic and even polyurethane will turn yellow-ish on lighter color projects. So if you want your ornaments to be bright white, or neutral colored, then avoid these types of sealers.

If you want more information on the difference between these two types of sealants, Saws on Skates has a wonderful in depth article.

Also, if you have used alcohol inks, watercolors, or acrylic paint on salt dough, I highly recommend a light spray sealant as your first coat. This helps seal the color, and prevents bleeding or smearing. You can then apply a second and/or third coat of sealant as desired.

How to Properly Store Salt Dough

Lastly, I wouldn’t be helping you preserve your lovely salt dough ornaments without telling you the best way to store them.


The best way to store your salt dough ornaments in a sturdy and well sealed box, between sheets of wax/parchment paper. I do not recommend paper towels because they absorb moisture and cause cause warping and or molding of your ornaments. 

Additionally, make sure you store them in a dry, cool location. A closet or in the basement would be ideal. 

Attics can fluctuate in temperature and are often warm in the summer months, so avoid those locations if possible. 


Additionally, be mindful of storage near water conditioners, hot water tanks, and/or HVAC units. These units can put off moisture, which can negatively effect your salt dough ornaments.

I hope this post helps you care for your salt dough ornaments and protect your keepsakes forever.

Happy creating!




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