How to Make Homemade Clay – 10 Clever Recipes


Our mission at Tiny Fry is to give parents the best possible advice and support and we often partner with companies that aim to do the same. Some links in this post may be from our partners. For more information, check out our affiliate disclosure.

If you're wondering how to make homemade clay, then you've come to the right spot.

Below we share 10 different but equally awesome recipes for making it at home. All you need are a few basic ingredients and you're good to go—it's super easy. 

Depending on what you want to craft, you might prefer porcelain clay over salt dough clay. Or maybe you want to try making clay out of bread!

We've also included a list of our top 10 accessories for your clay session, so you can add a pop of color with paint, jazz your creation up with a touch of glitter, or mold it into something cool, like a giraffe!

Read on for all the details on making homemade clay!

How to make salt dough clay

Instructables has a great tutorial on how to make salt dough clay. 

It's a very simple process with just a few steps, and all you need are three basic ingredients: flour, salt and water.

After you use the dough to make your creation, you can bake it in the oven for anywhere from 1 to 4 hours, depending on the size, at 200 degrees, or you can mush it back into a ball and store it in a Tupperware container. 

How to make no-bake clay

Head on over to Wiki How if learning how to make no-bake clay is more your bag. In fact, they offer not 1 but 2 different ways to make this kind of homemade clay. 

For the first recipe, all you need are three ingredients just about everyone has in their kitchen: baking soda, cornstarch and water.

After you mix the first two ingredients, you add the water while stirring over medium heat. The whole process takes about 5 minutes. 

When you have the right consistency, take out your clay, let it cool, knead it and you're good to go.

In the second recipe, you mix cornstarch, salt and flour together and gradually add warm water until the mixture starts to get hard and you have your clay.

How to make non-toxic oven clay

Christina over at The Hippy Homemaker has a great recipe for making dollhouse accessories, Christmas ornaments, beads, and, well, anything else you can come up with!

To make her non-toxic biodegradable oven clay, you need 4 ingredients: water, vegetable oil, salt and flour. First you mix the salt and the flour, then you add the oil and then the water until you have the consistency of clay you want. 

You have to bake your masterpiece when you're done with it, at 250 degrees for about an hour.

You can step up your game by adding food coloring to the mix, or by painting your creation with water-based acrylics

How to make air dry polymer clay

Heidi over at Happiness is Homemade shows us how to make homemade polymer clay with a very easy recipe.

She uses Elmer's School Glue, cornstarch, baby oil and lemon juice. How's that for some interesting ingredients!

All you have to do is mix them in a pan over low heat, stirring all the while. After 10 minutes you should have a mashed potatoes-type of material. Take it out of the pan and knead it for a few minutes and, voila! You're clay is ready.

You should note, though, that there are several things to take into consideration when working with a clay made with cornstarch. The Artful Crafter has an excellent list of tips which you can check out here.

How to make oven-bake clay

Jimmy over at PolymerKlay shares his recipe for oven-bake clay, and you'll definitely want to try this one. 

You will need to mix flour and salt together first, and then you add some vegetable oil. Stir that baby up, and then add water. Mix it all together until it has a dough-like consistency.

Jimmy gives some excellent tips about adding food coloring and decorating your creations, so be sure to check out his video for inspiration.

How to make porcelain clay with glue

Here's a recipe for some very interesting clay indeed. It's cold porcelain, and not only is it very easy to mold, you can fix any mistakes you make by adding some moisture, and you can create some very intricate and delicate designs.

This clay uses the same ingredients as the polymer clay above, but in varying quantities, and the preparation process is totally different.

After mixing the ingredients, you alternate between putting the bowl in the microwave and stirring it 8 times, and you have to store it for 24 hours before you can knead it. 

The result is a very interesting clay you can use to make incredibly-detailed creations.

How to make cold porcelain clay without glue

If you want all the advantages of a cold porcelain clay but don't have any glue lying around (or you just prefer to make it without the glue), then this recipe is for you.

You will need cold water, corn flour and pure baking soda. All you have to do is mix them together over low heat for about 10 minutes until it's ready—super easy!

How to make baking soda clay

This is a really neat compound for both kids and adult artisans

You will need corn starch, baking soda and cold water, which you mix over low heat while stirring constantly. When it looks like mashed potatoes, it's ready! Let it cool and you're ready to roll.

You can let your sculpture either air dry or you can pop it in the oven to speed up the process.

How to make bread clay

Here's a fun recipe for bread clay—yep, you read that right! You can make clay out of that Wonder Bread you have in your kitchen.

First you remove the crust from the bread, and then you tear it into small pieces. Then you add Elmer's glue and dishwashing liquid, and mix. It will come together like Play Doh, and once that happens, you're good to start sculpting.

Let your work of art air dry for 24 hours, and then decorate it!

How to make the best homemade clay ever

The experts over at Clay It Now proclaim this to be the best homemade clay around, and we might go so far as to agree with them, but you will have to see for yourself. 

You'll need to mix and knead together plain flour, Elmer's glue, cornstarch or corn flour, Vaseline, olive oil and vinegar. And... there you have it. Your clay is served.

Helpful tools for your clay art projects

If you're in the market for some cool tools, accessories and inspiration, we've put together a list of our Top 10... but only proceed if you and your little artist are ready to take your clay creations to the next level.

1. Add a pop of color to your clay creations with this acrylic paint set by Crayola.

2. If you want to step it up with some more sophisticated paints, this acrylic paint is the real deal. It's artist quality while still being perfect for kids and beginners.

3. Now you've made your clay... but what are you going to sculpt? This book will provide you with plenty of inspiration—101 ideas to be exact.

4. So your little one is an animal-lover, is (s)he? Learn how to create everything from a giraffe to a crab with this book on modeling clay animals.

5. If you're looking to add some fine details to your artwork, this plastic tool set is just what you need.

6. Maybe you want a more complete set of tools. This kit has tools, models and molds, which you can pick up according to your kiddo's interests—from animals and flowers to dinosaurs, letters and numbers. 

7. Dough cutter fans, you're in luck! Here's a set of 26 molds, and it's got bears, chickens, butterflies, trains, airplanes, carrots... a mixed bag!

8. Cookie cutters will also work perfectly, if you want to make some cool shapes with your homemade clay. This set has 101 pieces. You're gonna have to make a lot of clay...

9. Jazz up your art with some awesome glitter. This 24-pack will give you plenty of colors and sparkle. 

10. Here comes some more glitter but in a different format. These glitter glue pens will add a new dimension to your art project in terms of aesthetic and texture.

Want to hear about the best discounts on baby products, toys, craft materials and all things kid-related? Join our Facebook group for promo codes and secret sales!

FUN, delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to the Tiny Fry newsletter and get awesome ideas for spending QT with the little people who make your world go round.