Create Amazing Diy Projects And See How To Make Clay At Home

Thinking about making some crafts but can’t run to the store to buy clay? Want to learn how to make it at home? There are many homemade clay recipes that are perfect for creating brilliant pieces and DIY modelling clay projects

Woman makes something using clay on a wooden table

Store-made clay is not only expensive but can be toxic as well since you never know what went into making it. Making clay at home is not only safe, but it is super-easy and fun as well. Like many DIY projects, such as making a doorstop, or making essential oils.  In this article, we will tell you how you can do it, using the ingredients that are in your pantry right now. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Tips to help you get started

A little help never hurts. Before you start making homemade clay, here are a few tips to make the process easier and less messy for you.

1. Use Wax Paper

Clay tends to stick to the surface of the workspace. We recommend that you cover the worktable with wax paper. This will not only protect the table itself but will also make it a lot easier to remove the residue as well.

2. Apply Lotion on Your Hands

Clay is sticky. When you are shaping it or mixing the ingredients together, it will stick to your hands. When you are working with clay, you should put lotion on your hands first to avoid the mess. 

3. Flip the Clay While Drying

When you air-dry clay, it takes a long time, almost 24 to 48 hours. How much time it takes depends on the environmental conditions. You need to flip the clay to ensure that all sides get sufficient exposure and dry thoroughly. 

4. Use Oven to Speed up the Drying Process

If you don’t have a lot of time and can’t wait for it to dry, you can use the oven to speed up the process. Turn your oven to the lowest setting and bake the clay for a couple of hours.

5. Keep the Clay in an Airtight Container

You can’t make a new batch of modelling clay every time you need it. Therefore, you can store the leftover pieces in airtight bags or containers that will help them keep their moisture. A Tupperware container work as well.

Children plays with homemade pink clay on the kitchen table

Making flour and salt clay

Things You Will Need

  • All-Purpose flour – 480g
  • Salt – 420g
  • Water – 350 mL
  • Wooden (or plastic) spoon
  • Food colouring
  • Gloves
  • Baking soda

DIY steps

  1. Take a large bowl and add flour and salt to it. With the help of a big wooden or plastic spoon, thoroughly mix the dry ingredients.
  2. Gradually add water and keep stirring as you pour. Blend the mixture with a mixer(or a stand one) really well before adding more water. As you add more water, it should keep getting harder to stir. The clay will start to come together by the time you add all of the water. 
  3. Take out the clay and place it on your kitchen counter, or any other flat surface. Push and pull it with your hands and work it into a nice consistency. Add a pinch of baking soda as well.
  4. If you want, you can add a couple of drops of food colouring to the salt dough as well. The food colouring might stain your fingers, so you can wear gloves to avoid that part.
  5. The clay is ready to use! Use cookie cutters to form shapes, create ornaments, use a paintbrush to draw shapes on it, and do whatever you like!
  6. After you create a model, let the salt dough air dry for almost 2 days to preserve it. Store the leftover clay in an airtight container or a plastic bag with a zipper. You can place it in the refrigerator for extra longevity.A girl prepares homemade clay

Making flour, salt, and cream of tartar clay

Things You Will Need

  • 4 cups water – 470 mL
  • 3 cups flour – 250 g
  • Salt – 230 g
  • Cream of tartar – 14 g
  • Vegetable oil – 30 mL
  • Food colouring
  • Wooden spoon
  • Non-stick pot
  • Vanilla extract

DIY steps

  1. Take a non-stick pot and add flour and salt. Mix them thoroughly before adding the cream of tartar. Stir the ingredients thoroughly before you move on.
  2. Pour out room temperature water into the non-stick pot along with the vegetable oil. Combine all the ingredients together.
  3. Now place the pot on the stove, keeping the flame on medium heat. Keep stirring continuously as you heat the ingredients.
  4. After some time, the ingredients will start to form a lump and will stick to your spoon. When this happens, turn off the heat and take the pan off the stove. Be careful, and don’t burn yourself.
  5. Remove the clay from the pot and place it on a baking sheet. Let it cool for a couple of minutes. 
  6. Once the clay cools down, you can use your hands to knead it and push out all the air bubbles, eliminate clumping, and improve the consistency. You can use a rolling pin to knead the modelling clay as well. Keep kneading until it becomes soft and pliable.
  7. Add 5 to 6 drops of food colouring. If you want the clay to smell good as well, you can add a few drops of vanilla extract to it.

Making cornstarch, salt, and water clay

Things You Will Need

  • 3 cup salt – 550 g
  • Water – 120 g
  • 2 cup cornstarch – 120 g
  • Food colouring
  • Vanilla extract
  • Wooden spoon

Steps

  1. Take a saucepan, and pour some water into it. Add the salt and stir it thoroughly. 
  2. Place the pan on a stove and heat it for four minutes, keeping the flame at medium heat. Keep stirring the mixture to keep it from burning.
  3. You can heat the mixture in the microwave as well. Warm it for 2 minutes, at 30 seconds intervals.
  4. Turn the heat off and add cornstarch to the mixture. Add cold water to it as well. Use a wooden spoon to mix everything together.
  5. Knead the clay till it reaches a smooth consistency. 
  6. You can add food colouring and vanilla extract if you want. 
  7. If the mixture starts to feel thick, you can heat it for 20 seconds again on the stove.
  8. After it cools down, you can use it to make as many craft projects as you want!Girl making a clay vase using pottery clay

Creating pottery clay

Things You Will Need

  • Bucket
  • An old piece of fabric
  • Strainer
  • Soil with clay

DIY steps

  1. Collect soil that has clay in it. Search for a spot near running water, and dig down until you see red, grey, or white clay. 
  2. Sift through the soil and clay you have collected and remove any sticks and debris that you find. 
  3. Add water to the soil until you get a muddy mixture. This will help you further remove dust and debris if any.
  4. Strain the water and then repeat the process until your clay is debris-free. 
  5. Let the bucket of clay sit overnight so that the moisture in it can dry out naturally. 
  6. Lay out a large piece of fabric and pour the clay mixture onto it. 
  7. Spread out the mixture evenly and let it air dry.
  8. Voila! Your no-cook clay is ready for sculpting!

How to harden clay

The best way to harden homemade clay is by air drying it. Keep it in a well-ventilated area and check every 4 to 6 hours to see if there are any signs of hardening, such as cracks or chips. 

The drying time will vary depending on the thickness of the modelling clay as well as the moisture levels. You can use an air dryer to fasten the drying time. Moreover, you can bake clay in the oven on the lowest temperature setting to harden it quickly. You can add drops of varnish, white glue, or a pinch of baking soda to help with the hardening process.

Handmade air dry clay bowl and soap dish

Making clay at home is a super-fun and easy DIY project. It will not only save you money since you won’t have to buy it from the store, but you will also end up with plenty of beautiful crafts that you can use to decorate your home or gift to your family and friends as keepsakes. If you or your little ones love playdough, then you should go through the great homemade clay tutorials we have listed above to get started. Maybe afterwards, consider making pottery dishwasher safe or creating your own playdough at home. Why not?

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