I’ve come up with some terribly unsuccessful menorah making projects as a teacher. There were the self-hardening clay menorahs that crumbled almost instantly, and the Model Magic menorahs that caught on fire, to name but a few. This year I tried out salt dough. They were easy to make and they look very festive. Admittedly, the verdict is still out on whether, or how, they will self-destruct. (Who by fire, who by water…?)

I mixed a standard salt dough – one part salt to two parts flour plus enough water to hold it all together. The kindergarteners (including my daughter, Zoe) rolled them into a log, added a ball to raise the shamash, and put nine candles in to make the holes. I put them in a 200 degree oven for about two hours, but when they didn’t seem dry enough, I left them in a 100 degree oven overnight.
The next day the children painted them with acrylic paint


and for a little seasonal bling added sequins with a hot glue gun. (Ok, actually I did that part, but they picked the sequins and showed me where they wanted them to go.) 
We lit ours tonight and it neither crumbled nor caught on fire. 
menorah with bling
However, the dough has become very damp and sticky on the bottom. (Who by water?) I don’t know why, and don’t know what problems that might cause down the road. So I’m not recommending salt dough menorahs. Yet. But stay tuned.
PS, doesn’t our kitchen look nice, blue CHANUKAH lights and all?
More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

As a public school child in the 70’s, my Valentine’s Day often ended in tears. I remember digging into my optimistically large brown paper bag in first grade to find only three envelopes, even though my mother had insisted I fill out mass-produced cards for every child in my class. “No one likes me!” I […]

One of the greatest privileges of being a kindergarten teacher in a Jewish day school is having the opportunity to teach children to recite the four questions. Unlike almost anything else I teach them about Jewish ritual, this is “real work.” The candles will get blessed, kiddush will be recited, and birkat hamazon chanted with […]

I’m not exaggerating. The bane of my Passover existence has been pareve baking. I cook a lot more meat during the holiday than I do the rest of the year, which means a lot more pareve desserts. Which has, up until now, usually meant margarine made from disgusting ingredients such as cottonseed oil. Last year, […]

I’m not a haggadah junkie. I know many Jews whose shelves are overflowing with numerous versions of the Haggadah – from the traditional Maxwell House to the not-so-traditional Santa Cruz – and whose seders are an amalgam of commentaries, poems, and (alas) responsive readings, from these dog-eared, post- it covered books. Maybe it’s because my […]