Thursday, May 24, 2012

Homemade Clay

With summer soon approaching and kids being out of school, it won't be long before we will all be hearing "I'm bored!" Here is a fun, easy project for all ages to get involved in making, playing or both...unless you're a teenager, they just won't admit they are having fun!  I know there are lots of recipes for clay and play dough, I think I have tried most of them. This is one of my favorites for clay. This is a super soft dough, easy to clean up, and little hands can squeeze and mold it. It will harden if you leave it out or it can be dried in the oven.  We just keep ours in a bag in the cupboard, or the fridge if it's warm. It will last a few weeks in an airtight bag or container.
This recipe was adapted from argocornstarch.com. It makes about 2 pounds (about 6, small fist, sized balls) but can easily be halved.
Here's what you need:
  • 1 c cornstarch
  • 2 c baking soda
  • 1 1/4 c cold water
  • 1 T oil 
  • food coloring is optional
In medium saucepan stir cornstarch and soda. Add water and oil all at once and stir until smooth. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until it's the consistency of slightly dry mashed potatoes.  It will come to a boil and start to thicken, it will be lumpy at first and then hold it's shape. Turn out onto a heat proof surface like a cutting board and cover with a damp cloth until cool enough to handle. Then knead on a surface covered with cornstarch until it's soft and pliable.  You can leave it white if you want to make projects and paint them or you can knead in a few drops of food coloring.  My son made a handle for a small pitcher that had been broken, it took about a day to air dry. If you want to dry it in the oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and then turn off. Place undecorated items on a rack on a cookie sheet and place them in the oven until it's cold. Have fun!

~Simply Angie


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