11 October 2010

Homemade Baking "Clay"

Homemade baking clay is simple to make, creates little mess, and wipes right up. It's an absorbing and satisfying project for all ages, and can be done again and again without ever being the same. Here's the recipe we use for ours that has proven easy to work with and quite sturdy after it is baked. Even wee ones can participate in every step of the process.

Baking Clay

Mix together:
1 C salt
1/2 C water
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Add: 2 C flour
Work together well. 

 Shape! We had a bunch of kids working at once and I found it best to have them each work right on a piece of tinfoil so that their creations could be moved easily to the baking tray without disturbing them. The clay does not stick to the tinfoil when it is baked and lifts right off.

Bake at 250° Fahrenheit for several hours. Check on it periodically to make sure it doesn't burn, especially if you have smaller things.

Have fun painting! I did these three. Kaia wanted food, (leaves,) and water for each of them. She's played with them quite a lot.

Here are the ones Kaia and her friends made. There are two green manta rays made by a 6 year old boy, a tiny turtle made by a 4 year old boy, and the very colourful turtle is Kaia's, who just turned 2. The larger blue and yellow turtle was made by a 5 year old boy, and the green and pink one was done by a 9 year old girl. I added eyes and toenails to a couple of the turtles at the artists' request. I tried to tell them they could make anything at all, and they did play with the clay for a long time before settling on these, but most wanted to make turtles after watching me make them. What'd'ya do?

This craft worked fabulously for doing with a wide range of ages. They had a lot of play time, experimenting and experiencing the clay, before we finished the shapes and baked them. Everyone was excited to paint their creations.

(As a side note, even after baked and completely painted, we discovered that this clay does not hold up to water well. Like, at all. So watch that. We lost one leaf to Kaia washing it, it totally disintegrated. If you need to clean your creations, you can wipe them with a lightly damp cloth and dry them without harm, just don't stick them under the faucet. :) )

Learn how to make your own turtles here!


  1. found your recipe on google... and totally doing it tonight. Great blog! :)

  2. This looks like fun! I made Christmas ornaments as a kid with something similar. What type of paint did you use?

  3. Yes, also curious what kind of paint you used!

  4. So sorry about taking so long to get back to you, I have not been finding the time to blog lately!

    We used acrylic indoor / outdoor paint, such as Deco Art's Patio Paint, although we have an assortment of brands. (You can find them at many craft stores and hardware stores.)

    It adheres well, hasn't chipped at all, (it is now years later,) and is "waterproof", so I think it helps preserve the clay against humidity changes, to an extent. (Although it does not actually provide a waterproof seal.) It gives you the ability to wipe them clean, and I like the shiny, even finish.

    It doesn't come out of fabric well, though, so take some precautionary measures with kids there. We put craft aprons on the kids and had no problems, even though we were working with a group and with different ages, but a paint shirt would not be a bad idea. :)

    I haven't had any problems wiping it off countertops while it is still wet, and it has scraped off very easily with my nail, (when we have missed a spot and it dried,) without any staining, but you may want to put something down to work on. It is non-toxic, but it is not kid-specific-ultra-washable paint. :)

  5. I found this recipe on a different site and it said to only bake for an hour... its been two so I thought I did something wrong but I'm glad I found this post and it says several hours I'll keep checking it through out the day! Thanks!

  6. Not sure if I'm doing something wrong but I've made this a couple of times now and it always seems it takes almost 1 cup of water for it to pull together. Otherwise it's a good recipe. Seems like the addition of the oil helps to make a smoother finish compared to other recipes I've tried.

  7. My daughter and I just did these as a snow day project and ours also took over a cup of water to pull together. Of course, it is 5 degrees here today. They're in the oven now. Looking forward to painting them.

  8. I am going to make one of these for a snow globe, I hope it works!!!


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