Hi, are you looking for a homemade air dry clay recipe the kind that you can let dry naturally after you’ve finished molding it into something amazing? I wanted to try out this recipe too…..biggest difference in this one and the other is no baking necessary.
I got delayed a little in carrying it out, after I tried the cornstarch and baking soda method, because I was out of vegetable oil, one of the ingredients needed (I do have olive oil…..but I COOK with that! 😁)
Correction…My bad; I was able to locate the vegetable oil the other day in my pantry. So I’m going to get started.
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Mica Powder- Natural Color Dye Pigments
Homemade Air Dry Clay Recipe (No Cornstarch)
These are all of the ingredients for the first homemade air dry clay recipe. As you can see, the first few are easy to find household items you can probably find in your own pantry.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup water
- Food coloring or mica powder (which is a coloring agent; you can use it in all kinds of craft projects)
- Loose glitter-optional, something that can add a little glitz
A medium sized bowl, stirring spatula and some mixing spoons
You’ll probably need a small assortment of tools that you would normally use with your preferred store brand of clay to help you out.
Homemade Air Dry Clay Recipe With Cornstarch
There is more than one way to do air dry clay! I wanted to include a second recipe just in case. This one is inspired by an ingredient list I saw on Pinterest that is similar:
♥ 1 1/2 cup of cornstarch
♥ 1 cup of white school glue
♥ 1 tsp of lotion
♥ 1 tbsp white vinegar
♥ 1 tbsp baby oil
I had to pass on this one as I didn’t have white school glue (I haven’t used that stuff since I was a kid in school, lol…I have Mod Podge but not sure if that could be substituted?) but it is an interesting variation to try!
🍴Put on your chef’s hat; we’re going to be doing some kitchen legwork here 😁
Start by measuring and mixing the dry ingredients (salt, flour, etc.) first, then add the water incrementally….the mixture will be kind of crumbly. Now add the wet ingredients like the oil, and keep mixing; it’ll become more pliable.
It should be a doughy consistency, but workable. Keep adding water until you can feel it reaching a stage where it can be kneaded easily.
You can add color dye if you want; I decided not to for this one….if you don’t want to add one color to the whole batch for multiple projects, add a few drops to the piece you pinch off before working it.
Be prepared to use a fair amount of color to bring out a more robust shade. It may take a little trial and error to get the right shade of color.
Now comes the fun part….you can go from mixing it to kneading it. I felt like a chef in a pizzeria as I rolled it up into a ball and then flattened it down. If it feels a tad sticky, sprinkle a little extra flour on it and you should be fine.
Shaping Your Air Dry Clay
Now for the part of shaping it into whatever you want….I’m going with something non-elaborate until I know what this stuff can do. I ended up making some ornaments.
I took a rolling pin and flatten it down to about a fourth of an inch. (I did have to dust it a little bit with some flour to make it roll without sticking)
If you have something like cookie cutters lying around, you can use them to cut shapes into the rolled out clay slab. These are some playing card shaped cutters that are probably vintage. Wall hangings or Christmas ornaments are one good idea for this clay.
You could make snake coils (pretty easy for when you’re first working with it), pinch pots (another timeless classic) or rolling out a slab and letting your child make a hand imprint (that’d be a great idea -and make a special keepsake.) if you need some simple ideas to get started.
If you plan on hanging up your object, pierce the top with a wood skewer, paper clip end, etc. I pierced all of my ornaments before setting it aside to dry.
Letting It Dry
How long it will take to dry will depend on a few things, like how thick your finished pieces are; the thicker, the longer it may take. All you have to do is let it alone in a safe place (I put them in the cold oven for now so the cats won’t try to mess with them 😁)
It took my little cutouts about 2 days. Now even though this is air dry clay, you CAN expedite drying a little in the oven, but be sure to keep it at a low temp like 250F and a few minutes. I did this with my creations – I did have to mend a few hairline cracks (nothing major) beforehand.
I took a few pinches of the remaining clay and moistened it with water, and used this to spackle them.
Painting Your Clay Creations
If, like me, you didn’t dye the clay batch because you wanted to opt for painting your finished creations instead, will enjoy this part too. Here is what my clay shapes look like after painting them. I mixed some glitter into the paint (does it show?)
They were starting to look like sugar cookies LOL! so I had to get on with the painting. A few days later I sprayed them with lacquer sealant so they will be well preserved.
I like how they turned out; as far as what do I want to do with them next; I will probably string them together and turn them into wall art. I’m not sure yet.
Good luck! Hope you have fun with this awesome homemade air dry clay recipe!
Oooooooh man. I spent money on corn starch. I printed the recipe and instructions. Followed everything to a T. When drying to mold my dough into shapes it kept sticking to everything, so no flat shapes could be made, and anytime I d bend a piece the slightest bit, it would break in half like a cookie. Not pleased. Kiddo was disappointed and cried. I put three lumps out to dry but I have a feeling once they do, they ll just shatter as soon as I try to pick them up. I d love a better recipe cuz this sounds like such an awesome craft project, but unfortunately this one just didn t do it for me 🙁
Oh gosh….Sorry you had a bad experience! The best advice I can give is that sometimes you may have to make small adjustments to the ingredients. When the dough is sticky, you may have to add a little bit of flour, if it is dry you may have to add a little bit of oil. It does take a little experimentation to get the “right” consistency. Better luck next time.