DIY | Air Dry Clay (Easy Recipe!!)

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How to Make Air Dry Clay

Three Methods:

Making sculptures with clay is the perfect craft for a rainy day. You can make it with your kids, then watch them play with the non-toxic, inexpensive clay for hours. Air dry clay can even be painted after it's fully dry. Make it completely from scratch with baking soda and cornstarch or try the quick version using school glue. For adult craft projects, try cold porcelain clay, which you can use to create finer sculptures.


Making Clay from Scratch

  1. Gather your supplies.This recipe for air dry clay can be made with ingredients you probably already have around the house. Check your pantry and assemble the following supplies:
    • 2 cups baking soda
    • 1 cup cornstarch
    • 1 1/2 cups cold water
    • Food coloring (gel or liquid)
    • Old pot
    • Whisk
    • Bowl
  2. Add the baking soda and cornstarch to the pot.Use a spoon or a whisk to stir them together until the mixture is completely incorporated.
  3. Stir in the water.Whisk it until you no longer see any lumps, and the mixture is completely smooth.
  4. Stir in the food coloring.Add a few drops of food coloring to change the dough from white to red, blue, green, orange, or any other color you like. Just a few drops will turn the dough a pastel color. If you want a deeper color, add more food coloring until you're happy with the way it looks.
  5. Heat the dough over medium heat.Stir it constantly as it heats to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  6. Whisk the dough until it thickens.It will begin to bubble, then thicken and form a ball after about five minutes of whisking. When it's difficult to move the whisk through the dough, remove it from heat.
  7. Cool the dough.Transfer the hot dough to a bowl. Cover it with a wet dishcloth to keep the atmosphere in the bowl moist, and let it sit until the dough is completely cool.
  8. Knead the dough until it's smooth.As you knead, pay attention to the texture. If the dough seems sticky, add more cornstarch to help it thicken. If it's too thick, knead in a teaspoon of water.
  9. Mold and dry the dough.Make stars, fake food, dinosaurs, Christmas decorations or flowers. The sky's the limit! When you're finished, set your creations on a tray to dry.
    • This clay may take 24 to 48 hours to completely dry.
    • When it's dry, you can decorate the object with acrylic paint.

Making Clay with Glue

  1. Gather your supplies.This quick, no-cook recipe is a great go-to choice when you don't want to spend much time putting your clay together. All you need are the following supplies:
    • 2 cups cornstarch
    • 1 cup white school glue
    • Food coloring (gel or liquid)
    • Bowl
  2. Put the cornstarch in the bowl.2 cups is a good amount to start with. With this simple recipe, you can easily add more; you'll just need more glue as well.
  3. Add the glue slowly.Add small amounts of glue to the container while stirring. Keep adding glue until the mixture reaches a good consistency—it should end up being about two parts cornstarch, one part glue.
    • If it's too crumbly, add more glue.
    • If it's too sticky, add more cornstarch.
  4. Color your clay.Add food coloring to the bowl and knead it in with your hands. If you want the clay to have a richer hue, add more coloring until it looks the way you want it to.
    • If you want to make clay in several colors, separate the batch into two or more parts and color each one separately.
  5. Use the clay.You can use sandcastle molds and cookie cutters, or you can let your imagination run wild. Once you're satisfied with what you've made, set it in a cool, dry place to harden. In a few hours you can paint it and then voila! Your very own air dry clay creation.

Making Cold Porcelain Clay

  1. Gather your supplies.Cold porcelain clay is a great alternative to polymer air dry clay for craft projects like clay candle holders, jewelry and other small sculpted items. It's a delicate clay that shrinks up a bit as it dries. Here's what you'll need:
    • 1 cup cornstarch
    • 1 cup school grade white glue
    • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil
    • Plastic wrap
    • Microwave-safe bowl
    • Extra oil so the clay won't stick to your hands
  2. Place the ingredients in the microwave-safe bowl.Add the wet ingredients first: the glue, vinegar and canola oil. Then stir in the cornstarch until the mixture is completely smooth with no lumps. The texture will be gooey.
  3. Microwave on high for 15 seconds.Remove the bowl and stir the mixture, which will be hot and still gooey.
  4. Microwave on high for another 15 seconds.Remove the bowl and stir the mixture. The surface should now be slightly firm instead of gooey.
  5. Microwave on high for a third time.Give it 10 or 15 more seconds, then remove the bowl and check the mixture. The clay should have pulled together to form a sticky, lumpy ball.
    • If the clay still looks gooey, microwave it for another 15 seconds. The finished clay should still be sticky and pliable; if it seems dry, you've overcooked it.
  6. Knead the clay.After it has cooled for a few moments, oil your hands with cooking oil and knead the clay for about three minutes, until it is smooth and stretchy in texture. Form it into a ball, then pull it apart to test it. The dough is ready when it stretches and forms a peak when you pull off a piece. If it breaks into bits, it's overcooked.
  7. Wrap it in plastic wrap for storage.If you're not going to use it right away, store it in tightly-wrapped plastic wrap to keep the moisture content high.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    What can I use as a substitute for cornstarch?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can use flour but for 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, you would use 3 tablespoons of flour.
  • Question
    Are there other ways to color it?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, if you do not have food coloring you can use chalk pastels or even paint.
  • Question
    Can method 1 or 2 be stored before use?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, they can. Use an airtight container and store the clay in it. Keep in a cool, dry place for best results.
  • Question
    Is there an way to not use cornstarch?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    If cornstarch is not available, you can use cornflour or rice flour as a substitute.
  • Question
    Will it stick or color the pot?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    I used an old scratched pot so it stuck a little bit but can easily be washed off. As long as you use a moderate amount of food colouring it won't stain your pot.
  • Question
    Do you have to use food coloring?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You only need food coloring if you want your dough to be colored. If you don't, your dough will simply be an off-white or gray color, but it would not affect the consistency at all.
  • Question
    Is it water resistant? Will it melt or lose its shape in water?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It will not melt (as long as it's completely dried) if you use methods 2 or 3, but the color will fade if you immerse it.
  • Question
    Can I bake the clay, if so how long?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    This clay is specifically made so you do not have to bake it. You just have to let it air dry until it hardens.
  • Question
    Can you skip the food coloring and use paint after? Or do you need to use food coloring?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You could just make the recipe without adding food coloring and use paint after the clay dries.
  • Question
    Can I use tapioca flour instead of corn flour?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No, the corn flour cannot be replaced with tapioca flour.
Unanswered Questions
  • Can I add food coloring to the porcelain clay?
  • Can I use apple cider vinegar and what is the purpose of the vinegar?
  • Will the first option for making clay crack?
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  • Add food coloring to the water if you want the clay to be colored itself, not the dry ingredients!
  • Be patient while waiting for your creation to dry. The bigger you make it, the longer it will take.
  • Clean up as soon as you're done, so you don't have little dried bits of cornstarch and glue sticking to your kitchen counter.
  • When it dries and hardens, it might crack or break.
  • Keep in cool or dry place.
  • Keep in mind that cold porcelain clay creation shrink as they dry, so make your creation a little bigger than intended. This way, you can get your desired size.
  • All this can be messy, so make sure your working area is covered as well as your clothes.

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Quick Summary

To make air dry clay, whisk together baking soda, cornstarch, and water ina pot until the mixture is smooth. If you want colored clay, add a few drops of food coloring to the mixture. Next, heat the dough over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring it constantly so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Transfer the hot dough to a bowl and cover it with a wet dishcloth until the mixture has completely cooled, then knead the dough until it’s smooth. Make different shapes with the dough, then leave it on a tray for 24-48 hours until it’s dry.

Success Stories

Sofia Havsteen-F

May 1, 2019

"I made method one with a substitute of plain bleached white flour, and it worked really well. I needed the clayafter a plasticine-clay misunderstanding on eBay, and to make a ring coaster for a wedding nearby wedding. The bride and groom were super pleased, so it all worked out! "
Rated this article:

Krishnanshu Saini

May 26, 2019

"From my house, the market is very far away. Due to this, I can't go to the market, because I am only 10 years old.Now I have watched these two methods and I'll try to make this clay. Thanks you very much, guys."
Rated this article:

Jeane Tjallinks

Jul 14, 2019

"This was helpful to me because I live on a small island where everything is imported and if you can buy theoriginal product, most of the time it is not possible because it is very expensive. This is a great opportunity. Thanks!"

Sbulele Fihla

Mar 1, 2019

"This helped me a lot. I had to do a school project, and I got full marks. I will tell all my friends at school thatif they need anything made, just go on wikiHow. You are the best, I will always use wikiHow."

J. Farn

Sep 5, 2019

"I didn't have food coloring. I added dry powdered baking chocolate and it turned out the color of brownies. Afterthe impression is made, I plan to use tempera paint to accentuate the impression."

Emy Noddes

May 18, 2019

"What helped me the most in this article was the very specific instuctions and easy recipes. I've been looking forclay recipes everywhere and there were a lot of tricky ones!"

Hellen Ashmore

Jun 25, 2019

"This helped us, because it was an easy to make clay for our church Bible club. We need to make it for about 100children, so it's a good alternative to store bought. Thanks."

Audrey Herlache

Feb 20, 2019

"The food coloring is a really good thing because it helped me do it. I needed tan for a project at school, and ithelped to know I could put food coloring in the clay."


Aug 9, 2019

"Thanks so much for sharing this. How easy and convenient. Saved me not having to buy this. We used it on 2school projects that turned out great."

Defne Alptuna

Nov 13, 2019

"I loved the DIYs and clear directions that no matter what article I read, I understand everything fully! Bestwebsite ever!"

Hannah Matutina

Aug 16, 2019

"It's great to know I can make these without the extra penny. Thanks! I will be doing a science project for thisone."

Emy Noddes

May 18, 2019

"This helped me so much! Now I don't have to go to craft stores to buy expensive clay because I can make my own!"

Megan Humphreys

May 22, 2019

"Helped to have tutorials detailed so well and have all my queries addressed and answered in the Q&A section."
Rated this article:

Jazz Magnifico

Nov 13, 2019

"This is great. You don't have to buy some clay, instead you can make your own clay for your kids."

Samantha Edwards

Oct 6, 2019

"Thanks a lot! I am going to mold these into emojis, and then then stick a magnet on the back!"

Wendy Cramer

Aug 16, 2019

"I'm so excited to get these recipes! Thank you so much for sharing them."

Carmen Ramirez

Jun 23, 2019

"I was looking for this recipe for a while, I was very happy to find it."
Rated this article:


Dec 3, 2019

"Got to keep it moist while you are working it. Makes great ornaments!"

Melissa Martin

Jun 15, 2019

"This helped me with an easy way to make clay for a school project."

Elinor Richards

Jul 30, 2019

"Very helpful as I had all of the ingredients in my cupboard. "
Rated this article:


Oct 2, 2019

"Just generally being able to make clay at home was helpful."

Somy Alsa

Jul 14, 2019

"It's very helpful and fun, but is it safe for Children?"


Dec 16, 2019

"The alternative methods of making clay stood out."

Julia S.

Video: D.I.Y. Air-Dry Clay | How to Make Clay Without GLUE! {AMAZING TWO INGREDIENT RECIPE!}

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Date: 30.11.2018, 02:45 / Views: 92575