How to Make Air Dry Clay With Cornstarch & Baking Soda

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I was very happy to do this challenge when Sprouts asked if I would go to my pantry and come up with a craft that people could do with simple pantry items- a recipe making air dry clay! I am a Mom of 3 and just like all you out there, I am trying to come up with things to do around the house to keep us all occupied while we are all quarantined and school is out.

Crafting with the kids has been a lot of fun but I do have bad timing, because I just cleared out my office to make it a guest bedroom and gave away so many craft supplies. But thankfully, I usually stock up when Sprouts has a sale and have some basic pantry supplies. And, cornstarch and baking soda can make air dry clay! So simple to make at home and the kids love making it as well. Here is a recipe for you to make air clay that you can shape, paint and use for whatever your heart desires- make them into magnets, wall hangings, ornaments…

air dry clay craft ingredients

How to Make Cornstarch & Baking Soda Air Dry Clay 

Materials: Cookie Cutters 

Recipe by: Laurel Stavros

Overall time: Ready to roll out and make shapes in 15-20 minutes

Prep time: 5 minutes to gather ingredients & creating the shapes- up to you!

Cook time: 5-7 minutes- Overall time with air drying 24 hours

Servings: 10- 20 shapes depending upon size you like

1 cup Cornstarch
2 cups Baking Soda
1.5 cups of Water
(we actually made a bit too much, the girls were over it after making ten or so, next time I would cut recipe in half)

1) Mix cornstarch and baking soda together, put on medium heat and add water.

2) Stir constantly while it is on stovetop, it will get stuck to pan too much if you are not stirring and mix together to get out lumps.  Takes about 5-7 minutes to get that doughy look and feel

3) Let cool

air dry clay craft

4) Roll out the dough and make your shapes!
air dry clay craft with pantry items

We do not have any cookie cutters since I do not know how to bake (the girls go to their aunt’s for every holiday and bake with her, so they are not deprived) so we got creative with what we had in the house and looked around for shapes. A simple coffee mug and a salt cellar worked! We used the mug to make a circle and cut it in half to create a rainbow shape. The square was used for Colette’s robot. Once you apply thee shape to the dough, carefully lift up and place on parchment paper. If the shape does not move easily, you can roll the dough but add a bit of corn starch so the shape can lift up easier.

air dry clay craft with pantry items

5) Air dry overnight.

You can air dry overnight or you can bake them to the speed up the process, however with quarantine, I wanted to make it a two day project, lol. We did the first part all together, making the dough, rolling it out, creating the shapes. And the next day was paint day!

air dry clay craft

Painting time was probably the girl’s favorite part and I love seeing what they come up because I usually stick with the same color combinations over and over.

Colette did all the polka dot rainbows, so creative, and she used a pencil to make the eyes on the robot before we air dried it. Kalia tried for a pretzel.

I did a bit more typical of me and made wall hangings with my rainbows.

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  1. Great tutorial! I ‘ll keep this for me as my kids are not little any more. Two questions: when dry, is it quite strong or brittle? And how do you seal it? In the last picture, it looks like porcelain, so I guess you put something on it. Thanks!

    • Hi Tina! If you roll it out too thin it will be brittle, but a decent thickness rolled out and it will be strong! Although my husband literally just sat on the rainbow and broke it, so avoid sitting on it lol.

  2. Tracy King says:

    This is awesome, thank you for sharing!

  3. mawy says:

    love how the different material cohesive together. also I laught aloud with the inside comment of not depraving your kids, because that’s kind of a need-to-know right(?) it’s something everyone wish could do, baking is mood

  4. Kenna says:

    You can learn to bake. If you can do this, you can make cupcakes or cookies. I cook and bake and I will try this as a Christmas project.

  5. Megan says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. Would air dry clay be suitable for making light pendants or lamp shades. Thanks

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