Salt Dough Winter Spiral

a handcrafted reminder of how everything in nature is connected
salt dough winter spirals
© Depositphotos / LiliGraphie

The spiral motif is found in all cultures and is a common pattern in nature. Before making your own, look at examples that are of interest to your child such as world art, geometric designs, pinecones, seashells, their own fingerprints, or images of galaxies and whirlpools. This will serve as both inspiration and an extension activity to understand how everything in nature is connected.


  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c salt
  • 1 c water
  • Candle

Note: You may wish to double this recipe and divide into two balls of dough if you plan on making salt dough ornaments as well.


  1. Mix flour, salt, and water together in a bowl until a dough forms.
  2. Bring the dough together into a ball with your hands and turn out onto a floured surface. With two hands, roll the dough into a long cylindrical shape of your desired length and thickness.
  3. Coil the dough into an open spiral directly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Use the base of the candle to make indents that will be deep enough to hold it. The number of indents you make depends on how you intend to use your spiral (e.g. number of days and what objects you will use to mark them).
  5. To air dry, simply leave your spiral in a warm, dry place for several days. For a speedier option, place your spiral in the oven at the lowest setting for a few hours, checking and turning the baking sheet every 30 minutes.
  6. Once hardened, decorate your spiral as you wish. Having your children paint it or surround it with foraged bits from nature are wonderful choices.

There are so many other ways to create a spiral to suit your unique family, from outdoor spirals drawn in the snow or built of fallen logs, to indoor versions made of wooden blocks or fairy lights. Let the beauty of the season inspire your creativity!

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