When I was growing up, my mother would make Victorian salt clay for me and my brother to play with (like play dough). And about 12 years ago I made some icicles for our family Christmas tree. Surprisingly, most of the original icicles survived 12 years, 4 moves, and much handling. They do have to stay in an air-tight container (I wrap mine in tissue paper, seal in a freezer bag, and placed in a box container).
Victorian Salt Icicle Recipe
2 cups salt
2/3 cups water
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
paper clips or ornament hooks
1. Mix the 2 cups salt and 2/3 cups water together in a sauce pan. Stir constantly over low heat for about 4 minutes (do not boil). Remove from heat.
2. Quickly mix 1 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water together in a bowl, and add this combination to the heated mixture, stirring quickly. If the resulting mixture is not a thick paste, place it back on low heat and stir for a minute until the mixture is dough-like.
3. Knead the salt clay dough on a flat surface until it is as smooth and pliable as bread dough. If you don't want to form it immediately, store the dough in plastic or foil and keep in an airtight container.
4. Form the icicles by rolling small bits of dough between your hands to make long, thin and pointed icicle shapes. Stick a paper clip or ornament hook into the icicle top while the dough is still soft.
5. Let the icicles dry for 2 days at room temerature. Or, to dry quickly, preheat the oven to 350° F, turn the oven off and place the icicles in the oven on a wire rack. Leave them inside until the oven has cooled off.
Victorian Salt Clay can also be rolled like cookie dough and cut with a cookie cutter.