20 October 2011

Homemade Baking Clay - With a Halloween Twist! (And a Tutorial)

Usually when we make our homemade baking clay, we paint it afterward. This time around, I decided to break up the batch and colour it, like we do our playdough. Now I'm not sure why we've never tried that before! Not that Kaia doesn't enjoy painting her creations, but she had far more fun playing with, and making her clay things this way.

For the sake of making things easy, I'm including the recipe and directions for the clay in this post, too. Easy is nice. Like this clay recipe. It is ridiculously quick and easy to throw together.

Baking Clay

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

If your clay is crumbly, add small portions at a time of water and / or oil until it is smooth and holds together well. If your clay gets sticky, or thin and gloopy, just add a little more flour until it stiffens up and doesn't glob all over your fingers. Make things! You can use it uncoloured, or do as we did this time around and divide the clay up and add food colouring, kneading it into the clay. If you do not fancy having rainbow coloured hands for awhile, wear gloves. I go for rainbow coloured hands.

When you are all done, line a cookie sheet with tinfoil, and bake your creations at 250° Fahrenheit for several hours. Check on them periodically to make sure they don't burn, especially if you have smaller things. Tiny things, like the candy corn, (there is a short tutorial on how to make those at the end of this post,) may only need an hour or so.

We wanted to make Halloween decorations, so we coloured the largest portions of our clay orange, green, black, yellow, and white. The white is simply uncoloured, and black... well, that was a bit of a project. I'm sure there is black food colouring out there, but I couldn't find any at the few stores I checked. First I tried some black cake decorating gel. The clay turned slightly grey, and quite a lot sticky and nasty. I added more flour to ungross it, and then tried dabbing in some watercolour paint. It got darker grey, but we weren't getting anywhere fast. I got impatient. I got out my bottle of india ink.

While this worked really well, I am still shocked. I am only going to recommend using it with extreme caution, despite the total lack of disaster we experienced. I remember it not coming out of anything. I expected to have pitch black palms for days, but it washed completely off my hands in seconds. I expected it to stain our skin and the counter tops when we played with the clay, but, again, it did not. Not at all. We had no problems whatsoever. However, if you decide to use it, be careful. It's sneaky stuff. Possibly it was only trying to lure me into recommending it to you so that it could strike at even more unsuspecting clay makers. You never know.

Kaia made a "globlin", as she calls them, a witch, some ghosts and pumpkins, and then, good natured as she is, she made them some balls to play with, and a black globlin cake with a red cherry on top to eat. She had more fun with the coloured clay than she ever has with our clay before, although she occasionally forgot that it wasn't playdough and smashed her creations before I could remind her that we got to keep them. She worked late into the night, until I finally had to pack it up on her despite her protests. (It will keep for quite awhile in an airtight container, e.g, jars, tupperwares, ziplock bags.) She was back at it again the next morning, the second breakfast was over.

At 15 months, Katalin was amused with the clay alone for a much shorter time than her sister. She squished it a bit, then tried eating it. While it is, technically, entirely edible, it is crazy salty and apparently more disgusting tasting than anything else at all. Okay, that may or may not be true, but it is the only thing that I have ever seen the kid immediately spit out after shoving in her mouth. She looked quite grossed out, so at the very least, it must taste worse than candles, crayons, sticks, rocks, mail, dirt, toilet paper, sand, chalk, paint, and aloe plants. To list a few. Anyway, she did have fun for awhile cutting it up with a (safe) knife, but I suspect she was mostly pleased with the amount of mess she was capable of making that way. Eventually, I pulled over some of our little pumpkins, and stuck a couple pieces of clay to it. That was a hit. She spent the rest of the evening decorating the pumpkins with clay.

I'm not sure what determines which is a globlin and which is a ghost, but the one on the left here is a globlin, and the other two are ghosts.

Here is Kaia's globlin cake, play balls, pumpkins, and also what she declared was a pumpkin patch.

This is a globlin and a witch.

I hope you have fun with your clay, and if you'd like to make some candy corn of your own, this is how I made mine. Roll out orange, yellow, and white clay in separate tubes, approximately the same size.

Gently squish them together.

Then cut it into triangles, and smooth the corners and edges with your fingers.

I'm going to put a coat of Mod Podge over them to make them shiny, but I think they're cute as is, too.


  1. That is brilliant!
    We are having a Halloween party next week and I am definitely going to make up some of this to have as a craft activity.
    Loving the 'globlins' too. Sweet.

  2. Yay! I made this clay with a larger group of kids a handful of times when we used to run a home daycare. I love that it is a craft that easily stretches through different ages, it was popular with everyone we did it with, ages 1 - 12. I hope you have a great party!

  3. Your homemade baked clay creations and Halloween display look great! I love the candy corn idea! Such a fun day of creativity- I will need to write this recipe down for future use. Thanks for sharing! ~April

  4. Thanks! I put them all together for the picture, but I have been having fun tucking them here and there throughout the house. :)


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