This easy, sticky craft project can be immensely satisfying for all ages. It’s a great way to make personal gifts (putting together custom pet-shaped ornaments can be a sweet idea) and a wonderful excuse to get your hands dirty. I remember loving this as a child, and the semi-nautical scent of the salt dough itself brings back happy memories.
Here’s my mom’s old recipe card for our version of the dough, though I’ve seen it elsewhere with a higher salt-to-flour ratio. I’ve also seen people recommend adding a bit of vegetable oil to add smoothness, but apparently, this can inhibit the drying of the finished pieces. You might just want to play it by ear.
Candy canes are a great low-stress ornament to pursue. They are quick and easy, and if you color one ball of dough with food coloring beforehand, they do not require painting after they are cooked. Here’s a quick visual how-to demonstration:
I was able to make six candy canes and one small French bulldog from one cup of flour and a half of a cup of salt. The hooks (made from bent and cut paper clips) can be easily inserted into the finished pieces right before they go into the oven.