Homemade Non-Bake Clay

by Katharine Godbey
Homemade non-bake clay is fun and simple to make for all ages.

Homemade non-bake clay is fun and simple to make for all ages.

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Clay is has been a popular craft and art medium for centuries. Not all clay is the traditional clay-based type though. For example, homemade non-bake clay is made using common household ingredients. The ingredients change the make up of the clay from very smooth and delicate to a more textured and stronger type. What makes non-bake alike is their ability to be air-dried. They do not need any curing in an oven as some homemade or clay-based clays require.

Salt Dough Clay

Salt dough clay is non-bake clay made of 2 parts salt and 1 part flour. Enough water is added until the ingredients turn into dough. Kneading the dough helps blend the ingredients. The salt gives the clay a slightly rough texture. This is convenient and economical non-bake clay for children's crafts or children's art lessons because it requires only a few low-cost ingredients and does not need cooking to create or baking to cure. It is fairly sturdy and can be painted with water-based paints after drying.

Fine Craft Clay

Fine craft clay is smoother clay made by combining 2 parts baking soda and 1 part cornstarch with 1 1/2 parts water. The ingredients must be cooked over medium heat and stirred constantly until the mixture becomes very thick. After cooling on a cookie sheet under a damp cloth, it is ready for use. Fine craft clay is able to be hand-shaped, cut with cookie cutters or pressed through a cookie press because it is less dense and smoother than salt dough clay. Fragrance oil or flavored extracts may be added during the cooking process to create scented clay.

Cold Porcelain Clay

Porcelain clay is sometimes called jewelry clay because it often used to make beads, shaped flower pieces and jewelry charms. This is the most delicate and smooth type of these non-bake clays, but it allows the artist to shape it into thinner and more delicate types of object than other clays will allow. It is made by combining 6 oz. basic white glue with 4 oz. water, 1 tsp. cold cream and 1 tsp. glycerin. After these ingredients are mixed until smooth over medium heat, 8 oz. cornstarch is gradually added while being stirred. The clay is removed from the heat once it has formed into a ball. It can be colored with food coloring during mixing, with a dab of oil paint during crafting or by painted after it is dry.

Modeling Clay

Modeling clay is able to be kept for several months if stored in an airtight container. Combine 2 cups of flour with 1 1/3 cups of salt and 4 tsp. of cream of tarter. Stir 2 cups of boiling water and 4 tsp. of vegetable oil until they're mixed completely. Food coloring works well to color modeling clay, especially if added a few drops at a time until the clay's colors becomes the desired intensity. This makes suitable and budget-friendly clay to use with children too. They can reuse the modeling clay or set out their creations to dry.

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