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 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.
Ingredients for Baking Soda Dough
- Baking soda
Baking Soda Dough Recipe
This is just the baking soda dough recipe. The ‘how-to’ to create the sea art is below the recipe card.
Baking Soda Dough Recipe
Recipe for baking soda dough.
- 2 cups baking soda
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake at 175F for 45 minutes to an hour. Baking will make the dough turn a slightly tan color.
- 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.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.
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
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
BAKING SODA DOUGH SEA ART SHAPING
- Roll out dough into 1/4″ thick sheet and use cookie cutters to cut shapes or free hand the 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.
- 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.
BAKING SODA DOUGH SEA ART BAKING
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.
ARM & HAMMER Pure Baking Soda 8 oz (Pack of 6)
Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint, 8 Ounce, Key West 8 Fl Oz
Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint in Assorted Colors (8 Ounce), 20403 White
Sturdy Stainless Steel Circle Round Cookie Cutters in Graduated Sizes Shape Molds for Pastries Doughs Doughnuts, 5 Pieces
Jsdoin 5 pc 2 Way Dotting Pen Tool Nail Art Tip Dot Paint Manicure kit
Paint Brushes Set 10 Pieces Professional Fine Tip Paint Brush Set
AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat Sheet, Set of 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?
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.
I’ve never tried it. It may help with the browning, but I’m not sure if it will prevent cracking. Worth a shot to try it.
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?
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
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!
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.
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!!
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 🙂
You can put food coloring in the dough. Gel makes it a bit more vibrant than regular liquid food coloring. Good luck!
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?
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.
How do you make the ones with sand on the outside?
Hi, Erlene. I saw some pictures of your baking soda dough art at Megan’s site. I cannot wait to try this.
What a great art project! I need to pick up some cornstarch but I love how easy this looks.
Thanks for linking up with us. This is such a great idea! Love all the different shapes/types you can make.
I love this idea!!! I hope to make some with my kids this summer!!!
Can you paint it?
Yes, I used regular acrylic paint and had no problems. I am using the baking soda sea art for decor again this year and they are fine.
How long do they last? The real starfish don’t last but a year or so and they disintegrate.
I still have the ones I made in this tutorial. I did crack the starfish picture when I was changing it, so they will break if dropped.Otherwise, keep in Ziplocks when not using and it should last years.
Making these for an under the sea party activity. How much does this recipe make? I need 30+
It depends on how big each project would be. I was able to make quite a bit, but for 30 you may need to triple the recipe.
Can you store any unused portions of the dough?
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.
I have stored it in a ziplock bag and in the fridge and it hold up well that way
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.
There isn’t a smell after these dry. I never thought of adding essential oils to these. Would you be doing it after the dough is baked or baking it in the dough? Would be curious how it comes out.
Thank you for sharing you beautiful and inspiring works of art. I am going to attempt some right now for beach wedding decor.
Good luck! I’ve put out my seashells again this year and love them. You could make them into ornaments for the guests to take home.
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!
Yes, coastal decor is really expensive, which is part of the reason I made this starfish. Thanks for coming over. Have fun making your own things.
Hi. I am going to make this for a craft for my daughters beach themed party. How many does this recie make? Thanks!
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.
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…
Yael, if the dough starts to get crumbly, just spritz with water and knead again. The dough is very forgiving. If it starts to crack when rolling, just dip your finger in some water and smooth out the crack.
I was wondering if you covered it with craft glue after it’s cooked if it would prevent it from cracking?
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.
Thanks for sharing we had a lot of fun with this and shared your link on my blog ~ Our Nontraditional family
Thanks so much for sharing this on your blog. I’m glad you had fun with this 🙂
Your so welcome. We had a lot of fun!
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?
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.
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!
I love this dough and hope you have fun making them.
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
I hope you give it another try. It takes a while for the dough to come together, but it’s my favorite dough to work with and very smooth.
I love this idea. Thanks for sharing with #throwbackthursdaylinkup!
Thanks Tanya for the lovely party.
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.
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?
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.
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.
I’m going to try the food coloring and make some ornaments for the holidays. I love the idea of making play food and I totally agree…so much better than salt dough.
Love this. Does anyone know how they will hold up over time? Will they last forever? If anyone knows, please e-mail me.
I don’t know if they will last forever, but I sprayed some ornaments I made from earlier this year with a clear acrylic spray and they seem fine. I’m sure they would last for several years if stored in a dry place.
This looks amazing and relatively simple to do. Will be pinning to do in the future. Thanks!
Hi Cindy. Thanks for pinning and I think it’s pretty easy 🙂
I’ve never heard of baking soda dough! What a great idea! I love your idea of putting it in a shadow box too! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Missy. You’ll love this dough. I’ll never go back to salt dough.
Hi Erlene 🙂 I just wanted to stop by and let you know that i had featured your post on my Facebook page and it has been a HUGE hit. So far there are over 3,000 shares on the post 🙂 Just wanted to say thanks for a fun tutorial! https://www.facebook.com/CraftsbyAmanda/photos/a.353593675216.349539.323548680216/10154478289520217/?type=1
Wow thank you so much for the share! It definitely brought a lot of traffic to the blog and it’s greatly appreciated. Headed over to your FB page now.
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!
Thanks so much Eva. It’s always exciting to be featured and I’ll definitely be stopping by. Thanks again!
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!
Hi Tiffany. Thank you for stopping by. We have a sea themed bathroom too. Love to see what you do with this idea.
This is so cool!! i love it
Come link up with me today!
Thanks for the visiting and the invite. I’ve linked up.
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. 3glol.net
Have a great week!
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
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. 🙂
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
We just love this project – it is adorable and being featured on this week’s Four Seasons party. Congrats!
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.
These don’t do that and they are so easy to work with. I love baking soda dough so much more than salt dough.
These are so fun! I have to try this! Pinning for later. Thanks so much for linking up last week at Creative Spark Link Party! Hope you stop by again today! http://bit.ly/1vvIGjo
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
Ohhh, Ahhhh! This is so pretty. And it sounds simple too! Thanks for linking up at My Favorite Things Saturdays!
Dropping by from Lou Lou Girls. Loved it, pinned it!!
These are great! You did a really great job with your sculpting. Thanks so much for sharing with us at The Makers!
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
How fun! This sound pretty easy, and I’m thinking it would be such a fun activity with my boys. Thank you for sharing at The Creative Exchange!
This looks amazing! My daughter will just be so very excited when she sees them!
What a clever idea. Never heard of baking soda dough before. Sounds like a great idea to do with my grand kids.
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
I’ve never seen this before, looks fun and a great thing to do with kids. Adding essential oils sounds nice too.
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)blogspot.com
Love!!!! I am pinning to make these very soon!
Mrs. Spriggs’ Kindergarten Pond Blogspot
This is so awesome, Erlene! It would be perfect decor in my Florida apartment : )
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. =)
What a great idea to make shapes to decorate your wedding with. Maybe you could even make them into ornaments for your guests to take home. Thanks for coming over.
SOOOO cute! I love the starfish Erlene! 🙂
Thanks Julia 🙂
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?
Yes, you can add color and essential oil scents. Go to the Argo website…I just found their site. Their recipe is slightly different, but they colored the dough with food color/Rit dye.
double AA! adorable awesome!!!
I’ll have to try this! We usually use salt dough, but this looks like it’s smoother. I love your creations–very cute! 🙂
It is a lot smoother and not as rough on the hands when playing with it. Hope you try it.
What a great craft idea Erlene! Thank you for sharing!
Thanks Amy. It was a fun project for myself and the girls.
Those turned out great, Erlene! What a good idea.
Thanks Gaye 🙂
Oh, this is Argo/Kingsford Play Clay! I never thought of leaving it white and make sea shells with it. Very pretty.
Never heard of Argo play clay, but I ran over to see it. They add in oil too…I wonder if it makes a difference? Will have to give it a try next time. Thanks for visiting.
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! 🙂
It is such a fun medium to work with and I’m so glad to now have it in my recipe bag. Thanks for stopping by.
This is so smart! They probably feel a lot like the real-life ones too with that bit of grittiness. Pinned!
It does feel somewhat rough when you add texture to them. Thanks for pinning.
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!
Awww…thanks. I’m glad that you like my posts 🙂 Thanks for always stopping by. I appreciate it.
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.
Thanks for stopping by. It only stays white if you air dry. It does turn slightly tan if you bake it.
Genius idea….I added this to StumbleUpon to do this craft later. Thanks so much for sharing it!
Thanks so much for visiting and stumbling.