I never knew you could do this-make homemade clay out of paper and/or cardboard! Did you? But I’ve got a backlog of egg cartons I need to find a use for, and then this lovely “Instructable” comes along. I will always prefer my own clay from a specialty retailer but every now and then I get the itch to try new things.
After all, I have attempted homemade clay recipes before, just for fun, more than necessity… So here I go. This one is also a kind of clay that needs no baking either.
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I’m following her instructions as best I can. This is a young lady from Russia who does lots of other crafty things.
Get some of those cardboard egg cartons, and tear them up (with the exception of the lids-there’s writing on them that will probably show up later.) then soak them overnight.
I think you could also use those tubes from toilet paper/paper towel rolls if you prefer or that’s what you can find.
I put them in water sometime around 2 o clock in the afternoon, so that would be around 8-10 hours that they should pre-soak. I guess by 9-10ish they will be “ready”?
Next thing to do is pour off the water and squeeze out the cardboard pieces. Here’s the end result. It looks yuck-tastic. Am I right?
I know that’s not a real word, but you get the idea…
In the meantime, heat 200 ml of cold water, 4 tablespoons of flour, and then 200 ml of hot water, on the stovetop. I believe 200 ml is equivalent to three-fourths of a cup. Stir it for awhile. When it reaches the boiling point stir for about 5 minutes.
At that point turn off the stove and let it cool.
Just between you and me, I added a little cornstarch to the mixture. Cornstarch, a natural thickening agent, is a good homemade clay ingredient, and figured, a little couldn’t hurt, so I added a couple of teaspoons.
Now, for the blending part. You now want to break it up even further. The instructable says to blend them. She is clearly using an immersion blender to do the job. You may be familiar with these already, especially if you’ve made soap or something similar.
I, unfortunately don’t own one of these. I do have a traditional blender, but the torque is kind of limited. I’ll get ice cubes or fruit pieces that are semi-chopped after all is said and done.
The one thing I think would do better, is my Magic Bullet tool. Have you heard of these? This is a culinary device very similar to a blender. Well, the torque is so much better. I thought, this might be the thing so I put some of the cardboard pieces in. I added some water so the blend wouldn’t be dry.
This is a great tool. You press down on the compartment for about 20 seconds, it’s not like something that takes a lot of legwork. In fact, you’re encouraged- the way this tool works, is you use the Magic Bullet by pressing on the compartment with short bursts, do NOT go beyond 20-25 seconds. It worked pretty well, as you can see.
After I pulverized all the cardboard pieces I then added my combination of flour and water.
It looks-ick. I know what you’re probably thinking…”That’s supposed to be clay? Really?” I think this is a result of too much water, due to what I added at the blending stage since I didn’t want the Magic Bullet to “run dry”.
I think in a few days I’ll let it set. and hopefully some of this excess water will evaporate and then I can give you an update on how well it works! Bye for now!
OK…next day…It’s still kind of overly moist. I wish I had a cheesecloth or something that would help sieve out some of that excess moisture. So I ended up using a strainer and then, experimenting with the “kneading” a little, I could see the fibers pull apart easily- a little too much to actually bind together to produce anything.
So I went through my stuff to see if I had any more flour left, thankfully I had about a half a cup, but I think I needed more. It did help – a little – I also added a little cornstarch and baking soda. If you were dealing with culinary matters, the way you counter dough that is too moist is to add some flour.
There’s only so many powdered base materials that can work for this – flour, cornstarch, baking soda…what else?
I also wanted to give it a little color. I pinched off about a cupful and added some red food coloring, it did take a little more than a few drops, though. I also added a little dye to another clay recipe from awhile back and it took a lot of color to show up, too, so it must be the combo of dry/wet materials that limits the potency. Overall, it’s got a crude, unfinished look to it-kind of reminds me of sub-flooring material but at least I managed to get it to a consistency that workable.
Just like all recipes like this, before you discover for yourself what can be done with it, always do something very unambitious with it for starters, like rolling out a slab and do something simple, I shaped my ball into a heart -can’t go wrong there, then pushed some bling into it for fun.
The food coloring gave it a little of a pink tint. Now we’ll see how it goes, how long it takes to dry and all. Would I attempt this again? I’m not sure. I think I like the other approaches I took better! Of course, like anything…YMMV.
Enjoy and let me know how it goes for you!