You’ve heard of salt dough right? Well, baking soda dough is sooooo much better because it’s so easy to make, easy to handle, and holds up well!

Baking Soda Dough Sea Art - baking soda dough recipe and steps to make a baking soda dough star fish.

Baking soda sea art? Yes, you heard me right…baking soda can be cooked into a dough to create fun sea art! I love this craft because it’s budget-friendly and baking soda dough is so easy to make. And if you add some cinnamon, you can create Gingerbread Ornaments for Christmas!

Baking Soda Dough


  • Baking soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Water

This is just the baking soda dough recipe. The ‘how-to’ to create the sea art is below the recipe card.

Baking Soda Dough Sea Art Image

Baking Soda Dough Recipe

Yield: 1 batch

Recipe for baking soda dough.


  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cup water


    1. Cooking baking soda dough Combine all the ingredients in a pot and heat on medium heat. Constantly stir the ingredients until the mixture begins to thicken and resemble mashed potatoes. It will take several minutes to thicken.
    2. When the mixture looks like mashed potatoes, scoop it out onto a Silpat mat or parchment paper to cool down. Cover it with a damp cloth.
    3. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, you can roll it out to approximately 1/4" thickness and use cookie cutters, stamps, shape by hand, or whatever method you want to use to decorate your cut-outs.
    4. Bake at 175F for 45 minutes to an hour. Baking will make the dough turn a slightly tan color.
    5. Let the dough cool and you're ready to decorate.


Through feedback, it's best to try to get the dough an even thickness. This will ensure the dough will dry out evenly when baked and will help prevent uneven discoloring of the dough.

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How to Create Baking Soda Dough Sea Art

When making shapes or any type of art with baking soda dough, try to keep the thickness of the dough at about 1/4″ or slightly thicker throughout the entire piece. Keeping it even will help the dough dry out evenly and will help prevent excessive cracking.

Baking Soda Dough Sea Art slider image

Baking Soda Dough Sea Art

How to use baking soda dough to make sea art. Recipe for baking soda dough above.


  • Baking soda dough (recipe above)
  • white acrylic paint
  • tropical blue paint or paint color of your choice
  • thick art paper to fit inside picture frame
  • silver nail polish
  • clear acrylic spray
  • newspaper or something to cover your table surface
  • E6000 glue or hot glue


  • Silicone mat or parchment paper
  • cookie cutters
  • paint brushes
  • round tip needle or nail dotting tool



  1. Roll out baking soda dough Roll out dough into 1/4″ thick sheet and use cookie cutters to cut shapes or free hand the shapes.
  2. Shaping dough into starfish shapes To make the starfish, take the 5 balls and use your thumb and pointer finger to shape and flatten into triangles. Next, take the triangles and combine them together. Make sure to pinch the edges on both the front and back into the shape of a starfish. It’s important to smooth out the edges where the pieces connect or cracks will form and the seams will show. Finally, add the starfish details! I used the round end of a pin and the end of my paint brushes to make decorations on my starfish.
  3. baking soda dough Sea Shapes Sand dollars were made using a circle cutter and decorated using the pinhead. In addition, I also used a butter knife to decorate the edges. The coral was made free hand.


  1. When it’s time to bake, place the shapes onto a Silpat or parchment paper and bake at 175°F for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Paint Starfish Place newspaper or some type of covering on the work surface. Now, get creative and start painting! I painted my starfish white and used silver nail polish to highlight it. Let the paint dry and seal with a clear acrylic spray. Stop here and use the shapes as is or continue on to make a mounting background.
  3. Mount Baking Soda Dough Starfish Optional - I wanted to mount my starfish on a sea colored background and painted an ombre blue background. I did this by starting with the darkest color on the bottom and added white paint as I painted towards the top. Once dry, glue the starfish on the background and place into a frame.


There may be some small cracking in the dough when baked. You can see a few cracks in my baked starfish, but nothing too major. The key is to try to keep the art piece at an even thickness throughout.

Update 2020: I’ve had a lot of questions about how this holds up. The only downside is that it will break if you drop it. That being said, it’s held up well and I haven’t had issues with it softening or turning weird colors. Just make sure the dough is completely dried before painting and sealing. 

Did you make this project?

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Baking Soda Sea Art 2

There you have it. A quick and easy project that is fun to do with the kids and can make beautiful summer decor for the home.

What will you make with baking soda dough?

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  1. I was wondering if instead of baking you could use a food dehydrater. If it would help with the browning and possibly help with any cracking issues.

  2. Hi, I tried this for the first time yesterday. Not very successful, I followed the recipe and baked as instructed. Mine did not turn a tan color but had tan spots. So I baked them a bit longer, they still did not turn and now have cracks and look super dry. I don’t know what happened, I was trying to use the dough for ornaments. Any suggestions?

    1. Every oven can vary slight in temperature or have uneven heat, so that could be an issue. Try rotating the baking sheet part way through baking. Also, make sure that the dough is not too thick. It should be about 1/4″ and not much thicker or it will take longer to bake and could result in fine cracks. I did have a few on some of my sea stars in the pics, but nothing major. This dough won’t give you a super smooth result like baked clay and there will be some texture, but much less than salt dough. HTH

  3. i made this awesome baking soda / cornstarch dough to make starfish for my granddaughter’s mermaid birthday party. She LOVED making starfish for her party! We airdried them outside in our hot Las Vegas sunshine and had a couple of casualties. when I picked up the starfish, a leg broke off of almost each one. Is there any way to glue them back together? I am trying Tacky Glue. Hope it works!

    Thanks for the fun idea!

    1. I’m glad everyone had fun. Sometimes if the pieces are too thin, they will be delicate. Mine were pretty thick and I baked it for a quicker dry time. The Tacky glue should work, but if it doesn’t, maybe clay glue that you bake. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for certain.

  4. So cute! I have always wanted to make Christmas tree decorations this way and just never did it! Pinning for later, thanks for sharing with us!!

  5. I am attempting to make 600 for our VBS this year. Making the dough was easy. Working now to slowly shape. Thinking about spray painting, but wondering how a small bit of food coloring might work right in the dough. Trying that toward the end of my first trial batch! Thank You for posting this! Although this is a lot of effort for 600, it’ll save our Church a lot of money 🙂

      1. Hi Lindsey, The amount of starfish will depend on how big each one is. I was able to make at least three starfish, 2 fake mini coral trees, three sand dollars, a few various seashell shapes and had some leftover dough. I would say a batch is good for about 5-7 people if the projects aren’t large, which I don’t recommend. It’s best to try to keep the thickness of the pieces uniform, which will help the peice dry evenly and prevent cracks.

  6. hi! I made it last friday and followed the recipe and let it air dry. But all of the starfish broke after sometime.. what to do?

    1. Hmm…not sure why it broke. I’ve only let small pieces air dry and do the bigger ones in the oven. Sometimes the bigger pieces start to brown if I bake it too long and will take it out before then and let it dry out for a few days. The pieces I made in the picture were larger, so I baked these.

          1. Making these for an under the sea party activity. How much does this recipe make? I need 30+

    1. I haven’t tried to store unused portions of dough, but I don’t see why you couldn’t. I would try storing it in a ziplock bag and wrapped in a wet paper towel + saran wrap. So long as the dough remains damp (you can spritz with more water) and you don’t store for longer than a few days it could work. If you try it, I would love to know how it worked out for you.

  7. Is there a smell after these dry? Looking for a project to share with my 5 y/o that I can add essential calming oils to for him, kind of like a pendent necklace.

  8. Thank you for sharing you beautiful and inspiring works of art. I am going to attempt some right now for beach wedding decor.

  9. What a great, low-cost, cool idea for gifts, home decor, or even just a fun project with the kids! I was recently pricing similar coastal decor and couldn’t believe how expensive, so this is the perfect alternative. So glad to have found your blog and tutorial via Pinterest. Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. Hi. I am going to make this for a craft for my daughters beach themed party. How many does this recie make? Thanks!

    1. It makes quite a bit of dough. I would say it’s enough to make at least 20 ornaments of average size. Also, if the kids are free-hand making the shapes, it would be best to try to keep it as thin as possible to cut down the bake time. If the dough starts to crack while shaping, just spray a fine mist of water or dip fingers in water to smooth over. Also, there may be small cracks after the ornaments have baked, but these can be painted over.

  11. My daughter loved it, but either I cooked too long or didn’t fully work for me. Couldn’t roll it out. Was able to mold, but it was very crumbly.
    I’ll try again another time…

        1. It didn’t crack for my after baking. The cracking can happen before and during baking when the dough starts to dry out. Before baking, I would just use my finger to smooth out any cracks. After baking, I just painted and sealed with clear spray sealant. If you drop these from a high distance, like I did, it will break.

  12. I tried this a few weeks ago with my godchildren – using cookie cutters- and we had a lot of breakage and cracking. What did we do wrong?

    1. It might be that it was rolled out too thin or baked too long. My pieces are fairly thick and I do have some cracks at times too. Sometimes it also depends on the oven. If the pieces are browning, turn your oven temperature down. These can also air dry for several days, depending on humidity.

  13. What a great idea! I love anything that has to do with the beach. I’ve heard of making Christmas ornaments with baking soda dough, but never these. I can’t wait to try them. Thanks for linking up to the #throwbackThursday Link up!

  14. I need to try the baking soda dough again. I tried it a couple years ago and it didn’t turn out very well for me. I love what you created!

    hi from #ThrowbackThursday

  15. Just one thing I’d like to say, my art teacher always said to add the colour to the white paint, not the other way around as you have said in this article. The reason for this is that it takes so much more white paint to add to the colour, than if you add the colour to the white paint. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to waste my expensive art stuff.

  16. What a fantastic idea, perfect for when we do our beach/summer theme at preschool! Question, can this dough be made the night before and used the next day?

    1. I don’t know if you can make it the night before since I’ve always used it right away. The dough does dry out quickly if you don’t leave a damp cloth over the unused portion. Maybe you could place it in an air tight container with a damp cloth over it to keep it from drying out. If you try it, let me know how it works.

  17. My aunt had this recipe back in the 60’s, she would make it up, and my cousins and I would make play food with it. A drop or two of food coloring added to a small amount of dough worked well. We made bacon, eggs, peas, etc. This recipe doesn’t crack like the salt dough does.

  18. Love this. Does anyone know how they will hold up over time? Will they last forever? If anyone knows, please e-mail me.

  19. This is an awesome project, thanks so much for sharing at Savoring Saturdays! I’ll be featuring your post when the party goes live at 7 pm on Friday. I hope you join us again!

  20. Hello, I found this post from the Sundays at Home Link Up, and I’m so glad I did. What a neat project! I had no idea this was possible. We have a beach themed bathroom, and this post gives me more decoration ideas!

  21. Thanks so much for linking up at Teach Me Tuesdays last week. Your link is very much appreciated! Hope to see you again, starts tonight @ 8pm CST.
    Have a great week!

  22. I need to this! Pinned. Thanks so much for being a part of our party! Please join us tonight at 7 pm. We love having YOU! loulougirls.blogspot(dot)com/
    Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  23. This is awesome, love the beachy theme so this is great. I just wanted to let you know that I will be featuring this post on Tuesday with a Twist link party this week, stop by for a peek. Have a blessed day. 🙂

  24. This is an awesome idea! Your starfish looks real! I absolutely love this idea! Pinning. 🙂 Thanks for sharing at Much Ado About Monday this week!

    ~Emily @ Huckleberry Love

  25. I love your tutorial. I have made salt dough ornaments in the past and they curled up when baking and I didn’t really love it as a medium. I definitely want to give this a try.

  26. These are so neat! I love the beach and all things beachy, this is a perfect use of the dough! Thanks for linking up to Snickerdoodle Sunday! Hope to see you again next week! – Kristina

  27. Erlene, I so love this. I love beach decor and have made a few things recently, but I never thought I could make my own star fish. This is great! I am pinning this.Thanks for sharing. — Sabine

  28. Great project! I’ve made a lot of stuff with baking soda dough and they last for years. I made a nativity set with and it’s still around. I made jewelry, letters, etc. The only thing is you can’t make intricate stuff. I’m looking for an easy recipe for that. Thanks for sharing! Patsy from Patsypat blogspot

  29. Those look really neat – we have cats so I think they’d eat or play with them, but I repinned it and will pass it on.

    From create w/joy linky – -linorstorecom(dot)

  30. I love the sea shapes! I’m still looking for a few decorations for our DIY outdoor Hawaiian wedding. These could be perfect! Visiting from the DIY Sunday Showcase. =)

  31. totally neat! Glad that person shared this recipe! love your little star fish 🙂 I will have to check the other comments, wondering if you can add color when making or cooling?

  32. I’ll have to try this! We usually use salt dough, but this looks like it’s smoother. I love your creations–very cute! 🙂

  33. You know I remember years ago we used this dough in Girl Scouts. I loved the way it feels so soft when it’s cured. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  34. This is so smart! They probably feel a lot like the real-life ones too with that bit of grittiness. Pinned!

  35. It always crack me up, Erlene, that I end up here through a linky, even when I don’t realize I am picking Pinterventures!! Ha. We must have some similar tastes because it has happened more than once! This looks like a lot of fun. I have never made baking soda dough, so a new adventure is in store for me! Have a wonderful day!

  36. I like this idea…. I have used the regular dough, but not this one…. I like that it is white and that it lasts…. I can think of all kinds of things to do with this.. … I will be remembering this. Thank you.