Modeling Clay Recipes Using Home Ingredients

Modeling clay
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There are several ways you can make homemade clay for modeling, science, and arts and crafts projects. These recipes make refrigerator clay, which is 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. You already have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen.

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 flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • Food coloring (optional)
  1. Mix the clay ingredients together.
  2. 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 salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • Food coloring (optional)
  1. Stir together the dry ingredients. Mix in the oil. Mix in the water and food coloring.
  2. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the clay thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pot.
  3. 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 cornstarch
  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • Food coloring (optional)
  1. Mix the ingredients together and cook them on the stove over low heat until a dough is formed.
  2. Cover the clay with a damp cloth and allow it to cool before use.
  3. If you decide to paint or seal your project, first let it dry completely. 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 flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Vanilla extract for scent (optional)
  1. 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.
  2. Add the hot liquid to the dry ingredients a little bit at a time, stirring until you produce a pliable clay.
  3. 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 flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  1. Mix the ingredients together to form the clay.
  2. Store the clay in a sealed container until it is needed.
  3. Bake the finished pieces on a non-stick cookie sheet at 350 degrees F 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.

Storing and Sealing

Because the recipes contain salt or baking soda, the clay resists mold or bacterial growth. So, you can store sealed bags of clay at room temperature quite well. However, refrigerating sealed clay extends its life.

You can dry clay items in the open air or place clay in a warm oven (200 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit) for half an hour. Don't go crazy with the heat because flour or cornstarch darkens if heated for too long or too high a temperature. The clay is fairly porous, so you'll save paint (if desired) if you seal your project before coloring it. The other advantage of sealing the clay is that it helps the items resist moisture and breakage. If you don't seal items, store them in a dry location.

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Modeling Clay Recipes Using Home Ingredients." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2023, April 5). Modeling Clay Recipes Using Home Ingredients. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Modeling Clay Recipes Using Home Ingredients." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 8, 2023).