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Modeling Clay Recipes

Make Homemade Modeling Clay

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You can vary the properties of homemade modeling clay by changing the ingredients.

You can vary the properties of homemade modeling clay by changing the ingredients or their proportions. It's a fun way to learn materials science!

Gary S Chapman, Getty Images
There are several ways you can make homemade clay for modeling, making ornaments, and for other projects and crafts. Here are several clay recipes, including a refrigerator clay, a clay you bake to harden, one you coat for a glossy finish, and one that works up and stays pliable much like store-bought modeling clay.

Homemade Modeling Clay Recipe #1

  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • food 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

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • food coloring (optional)
Mix and stir the ingredients together over low heat. Cook the mixture until it has thickened. Remove the clay from heat and allow it to cool before using it.

Homemade Modeling Clay Recipe #3

  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • food 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 clay in a sealed container or plastic bag.

Homemade Modeling Clay Recipe #4

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1-1/2 cups cold water
  • food coloring (optional)
Mix and heat 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 #5

This clay recipe produces a clay with a smooth consistency similar to that of store-bought playdough 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)
  • few drops of vanilla extract for scent (optional)
Bring the water to a boil. Stir in the oil, food coloring, and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt, cream of tartar) in a bowl. Mix the hot liquid into the dry ingredients a little at a time to produce a pliable clay. The clay may be stored indefinitely in a sealed container at room temperature.

Homemade Modeling Clay Recipe #6

This clay recipe can be used to make ornaments, jewelry, or other hardened sculptures. Bake this clay to harden it. Pieces may be painted and sealed, if desired.
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1-1/2 cups water
Work 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°F for approximately one hour or until they are slightly brown around the edges. Cool the baked clay items on a wire rack before using them or painting them.

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