Are you tired of going to the craft store to buy expensive polymer clay? Now you can make your own clay instead of your polymer clay, with simple household ingredients. Homemade clay hardens easily when left in the open air, so it doesn't need to be heated in the oven to harden. While homemade clay is not the same as store-bought polymer clay, it can do well to form many objects if prepared and used properly.
Method 1 of 4: Making Clay with Glue and Corn Starch
Step 1. Use this recipe for homemade clay
These clays have properties that are most similar to polymer clays, but there is a possibility of shrinkage (polymer clays do not shrink). This clay can shrink up to 30% of its weight, not its size. Be aware of this when working on a project using it.
You may need to make the piece slightly larger, so that when it shrinks, the clay will be the right size
Step 2. Pour cup of glue and 1 cup of cornstarch into a nonstick saucepan
During this stage, the pot should be placed on the counter or if it is on the stove, make sure the fire is not on. Stir well until completely mixed.
PVA wood glue works best for this recipe, although white glue, which is commonly used by children, also works well. The glue that children use can produce clay that is slightly weaker than clay made with wood glue
Step 3. Add 2 tablespoons of mineral oil and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of lemon juice to the glue and cornstarch mixture
Stir well until thoroughly mixed. If you can't get pure mineral oil, you can use petroleum oil (not petroleum jelly) or baby oil instead.
If you prefer, at this point you can add food coloring or acrylic paint to the mixture to give it some color. Be careful not to add too much paint, otherwise the texture may change. If you want a bright color, you can simply paint over your work once it's finished
Step 4. Transfer the pan to the stove
Bring to a boil over low heat/fire. As you heat the pan, stir constantly to keep the liquid mixture moving. Don't let the mixture sit still, as doing so can change the quality of the texture of the clay.
Step 5. Keep stirring the mixture until it resembles mashed potatoes
Once the density is similar to that of mashed potatoes, it's time to remove the pan from the heat/heat and place it on a cool/flat surface.
Consider placing a chop or a towel underneath to protect your table
Step 6. Add a small drop of mineral oil to the soft clay
The oil will coat and grease your hands as you knead them so the clay doesn't stick to your hands.
Step 7. Transfer the clay to the table to work and knead it
You should do this while the clay is still as hot as possible, as long as your hands can withstand the temperature.
You can also use rubber gloves or work gloves to protect your hands
Step 8. Knead the dough until it is soft
The density should look like pizza that was well kneaded and thoroughly mixed together. Roll it into a ball when you're done.
Step 9. Store the finished clay in a sealed cooler bag that can be stored in the refrigerator
To keep the clay fresh and prevent it from hardening, remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag and storing it.
If the clay is still warm, place it in the bag but leave the bag slightly open. Once completely cooled, you can seal and store it
Step 10. Use your dough to make something
Now that you've made the dough, you can use it to shape whatever you want. When working with clay, it helps to use a hand cream to soften the clay more easily.
- Allow your work to dry for at least 24 hours or so, if it isn't already dry.
- Color it with the paint of your choice. Tempura paint is fine but other types of paint will work just as well.
- You'll need to paint even the areas that you want to keep white because the clay can start to look clear if you don't paint.
Method 2 of 4: Making Clay from Glue and Glycerol
Step 1. Use this recipe for homemade polymer clay that won't crack
This recipe has a higher glue ratio, which makes it much stickier but also prevents it from cracking. The addition of glycerol will also reduce cracking in the finish.
- This recipe also dries much faster, taking only about 30 minutes.
- However, after following this recipe, you will need to wait at least overnight and preferably a week until you can use the dough. That way, the dough won't be so sticky.
Step 2. Put on an old dress or apron
This will keep your clothes clean and tidy throughout the process.
Step 3. Combine water and glue in a nonstick saucepan and simmer for two minutes
Mix cup of water with 2 cups of PVA glue (wood glue) in a nonstick saucepan. Simmer for two minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.
You can use the white glue that kids use but wood glue works best for this recipe because it's stronger
Step 4. Mix the cornstarch with cup of water in a mixing bowl and then pour it into the batter
Place the cornstarch and water in a bowl and then pour it into the pot of boiling glue and water. Mix the ingredients well.
- Cover the dough with plastic while allowing it to cool.
- If you are using food coloring, add a drop or two and adjust as needed. Or you can paint the clay after it dries.
Step 5. Sprinkle cornstarch on a suitable working surface
Transfer the dough and knead well. Continue kneading and adding more cornstarch until the dough is not too sticky.
Step 6. Stop kneading when the clay is soft and pliable
You need to knead the gluten contained in the corn starch until it forms a pliable dough. Now the clay is ready to use.
Step 7. Store the clay in a vacuum bag to prevent it from drying out
Place the dough in a vacuum bag to prevent it from drying out until you use it.
Method 3 of 4: Making Indestructible Clay
Step 1. Use this recipe to make very strong clay
This recipe also uses other ingredients but will produce clay that is so strong that it can be dropped from a meter high and will not break.
Step 2. Combine all ingredients except the cornstarch in a non-stick saucepan over low heat
Combine 1 cup of PVA glue, tablespoon of stearin (stearic acid), 1 tablespoons of glycerol, 1 tablespoons of Vaseline and tablespoon of citric acid in a nonstick saucepan and place over low heat. Stir completely.
Set the heat as low as possible to heat the pan
Step 3. Add corn starch little by little and keep stirring
Add cup of cornstarch to the mixture, stirring constantly. Adding the cornstarch a little at a time will prevent lumps from forming. Keep mixing the clay until you can remove it from the pot.
The dough will get stickier and then heavier and harder to mix, but you'll need to keep stirring until you can remove it from the pan
Step 4. Knead the clay for about 20 minutes
Place the clay on a table with nonstick paper (baked paper). The dough will feel hot, slightly sticky and a bit thick. Knead the clay for about 20 minutes until there are no lumps and the clay is soft and no longer sticky.
Allow the clay to cool a bit if it still feels hot after you've finished kneading it
Step 5. Store the clay in a sealed plastic bag
Store the clay in a sealed plastic bag to prevent it from hardening before use. Make sure you blow out all the air before sealing it. Use clay to make whatever you want and color it with acrylic paint.
Method 4 of 4: Making Francesa Pasta
Step 1. Use this method for traditional Latin American-style recipes
This recipe is very popular in Latin America and can make useful clay. Many recipes call for 10% formaldehyde or formalin but this has been replaced in this recipe by white vinegar to make it safer and less toxic.
Step 2. Combine corn starch, water and glue in a Teflon-lined saucepan
First, mix 1 cup cornstarch and cup water in a Teflon-lined saucepan set over low heat until completely dissolved. Once the corn starch has dissolved, add and mix 1 cup of glue.
Step 3. Add glycerol, cold cream and vinegar to a saucepan and mix
Add 1.5 tablespoons (22 ml) of glycerol, 1.5 tablespoons of cold cream containing lanolin and 1.5 (22 ml) tablespoons of white vinegar to the saucepan. Continue cooking on low heat while continuing to stir until a dough forms and starts to come off the sides of the pan.
- Be careful not to burn or the dough will harden.
- Glycerol is a common ingredient for baking that can be found in the grilling section of supermarkets.
- Look for cold creams with lanolin in the cosmetics section of the store.
Step 4. Knead the dough by applying lotion to your hands
Allow the dough to cool by covering it with a damp cloth. Once you can work the dough, knead it until it's like a soft loam. Now the clay is ready to be shaped however you like.
- Allow your work to air dry for at least three days.
- Oil paints and acrylic paints can be used to paint your work after it has been allowed to dry.
Step 5. Store in a plastic bag
Put it in a plastic bag and store it in a cool, dark place.
- Store air-dry clay in a container or bag when not in use, as it will dry and harden when exposed to air, albeit slowly.
- Make clay to store in case you need it for a children's project. Non-toxic and easy-to-work clay is suitable for children's hands.
- Wait at least three days for the clay to dry completely before painting it. Some air-dried clays may dry out faster, especially if they are not too thick. The drying process can be accelerated in a dry and warm place, or even in front of a fan; oven drying can speed up the process and cause cracking.
- Cornstarch clay is sometimes called "cold porcelain." Some versions can be purchased at the store, but some are made at home. Another great recipe for cold porcelain using a microwave oven: