Science, Tech, Math › Science Modeling Clay Recipes Share Flipboard Email Print CactuSoup/E+/Getty Images Science Chemistry Activities for Kids Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated January 12, 2019 There are several ways you can make homemade clay for modeling and arts and crafts projects. The recipes below will help you make refrigerator clay, a clay that hardens when you bake it, one that you can coat for a glossy finish, and one that molds and stays pliable much like store-bought modeling clay. Homemade Modeling Clay Recipe 1 This basic clay is essentially bare-bones cooking dough, which is easy to make with ingredients in your kitchen. It is sufficient for basic modeling projects, but you'll want to throw it out before it starts growing bacteria. All you need to make it is: 2 1/2 cups flour1 cup salt1 cup waterFood coloring (optional) Mix the clay ingredients together.Store the modeling clay in the refrigerator in a sealed plastic baggie or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. Homemade Modeling Clay Recipe 2 This homemade clay uses oil and cream of tartar for thickening, producing a clay that's firmer than the one above. It's perfect for simple modeling projects, and it only requires a few ingredients: 1 cup salt2 cups flour4 tablespoons cream of tartar4 tablespoons vegetable oil2 cups waterFood coloring (optional) Stir together the dry ingredients. Mix in the oil. Mix in the water and food coloring.Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the clay thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pot.Cool the clay before use. Store the clay in a sealed container or plastic bag. Homemade Modeling Clay Recipe 3 This recipe produces a modeling clay similar to the two above, but it uses cornstarch and baking soda rather than flour and salt: 1 cup cornstarch2 cups baking soda1 1/2 cups cold waterFood coloring (optional) Mix the ingredients together over low heat until a dough is formed.Cover the clay with a damp cloth and allow it to cool before use.Seal completed clay products with shellac. Homemade Modeling Clay Recipe 4 This recipe produces a clay with a smooth consistency similar to that of store-bought Play-Doh for kids. Air-dry products made with this clay. 3 1/2 cups flour1/2 cup of salt1 tablespoon cream of tartar2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil2 cups waterFood coloring (optional)Vanilla extract for scent (optional) Bring the water to a boil. Stir in the oil, food coloring, and vanilla extract. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and cream of tartar) in a bowl.Add the hot liquid to the dry ingredients a little bit at a time, stirring until you produce a pliable clay.The clay may be stored indefinitely in a sealed container at room temperature. Homemade Modeling Clay Recipe 5 This recipe can be used to make clay for ornaments, jewelry, or small sculptures. The clay hardens after baking. Pieces may be painted and sealed if desired. 4 cups flour1 cup of salt1 1/2 cups water Mix the ingredients together to form the clay.Store the clay in a sealed container until it is needed.Bake the finished pieces on a non-stick cookie sheet at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately one hour or until the clay is slightly brown around the edges. Cool the baked clay items on a wire rack before handling them or painting them.