How to Make Modeling Clay at Home

    by Jenny Harrington

    About the Author

    Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.


    Making your own modeling clay at home is much less expensive than purchasing clay. You have a greater choice of colors, especially if you are willing to experiment with blending and combining different hues. Supply homemade modeling clay to bored kids, use it in school projects or create your own art incorporating the homemade clay.

    Things You'll Need

    • 2 Saucepans
    • Cornstarch
    • Salt
    • Measuring cups
    • Food coloring

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    Combine 4 tablespoons cornstarch and 1/2 cup salt in a medium saucepan. Add paste food coloring a little at a time until the desired color is reached.

    Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a second saucepan. Pour the boiling water over the cornstarch mixture and stir together until the clay is smooth.

    Heat the clay over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add additional food coloring at this point if necessary.

    Remove the pan from the heat once the clay forms a ball. Dust your work surface with cornstarch and turn the modeling clay out of the pot and onto the work surface.

    Knead the clay until it is smooth and elastic. Store in an airtight container until you are ready to use it.

    • Add one or two drops of vegetable oil to the clay as you knead it. This prevents it from drying out.
    • Bake the clay in a 225 degree Fahrenheit oven for one hour to harden your models once they are complete.
    • Paste food coloring gives you a greater choice of colors than liquid food coloring, and it takes less paste to produce a bright color.

    Photo Credits