Clay Play

Homemade Air Dry Clay from 3 Ingredients

This Air Dry Clay is just oh-so-easy to make because you need just three ingredients and a few minutes of your time!

air dry clay

If you have young kids, you’re probably an expert on clay, plastiline, play-doh and slime. And maybe you’ve already spent tons of money on them.

samotvrdnoucí hmotaWhen I was small, there was exactly one type of plastiline, later then one type of self-hardening clay. We usually mixed all the colors together pretty fast and it all ended up having this really ugly grey color.

Our kids have a much wider choice, there’s kinetic sand, so many air dry clays, intelligent plastiline, slimes…we even have a constant reminder of some of them in a form of that greasy stain on the sofa or the pinkish color of one of the upholstered chairs…

And let’s not forget the price. If your kid literally ruins the whole package in one afternoon, it’s not a cheap fun. Fortunately, you can make your own homemade air dry clay and it doesn’t cost much! You need just three ingredients, or four if you want other colors than just white.

Why is the homemade Air Dry Clay so great?

air dry clayI’ve already mentioned the price. Making a 300 g white batch costs me about 0.57 EUR/0.63 USD, a colored batch a bit more (but I don’t include the energy needed for the few minutes of cooking or the water for washing up).

Another great thing is that you don’t need to go shopping every time you need a new package. You can stock up on the ingredients and whip up a whole batch in minutes on request (“mommyyyyy, I want to play with clay!”).

Last but not least, the texture of the clay is just perfect. It’s soft yet solid enough for modelling. It’s really smooth when you roll it out and really easy to cut out shapes from.

And before we start with the tutorial, let me invite you to the Clay Play category, where you can find many more clay tutorials and inspiration.


(smaller batch)

  • 200 g/7 oz of baking soda
  • 100 g/3.5 oz of cornstarch
  • 150 ml/5 fl oz of water
  • food colorant in powder

Homemade Air Dry Clay Tutorial

Mix the starch and soda in a bowl, add water and mix well.

Pour the mixture onto a non-stick pan and heat whole stirring constantly. You can start at medium heat and once the mixture starts to solidify, turn it down. After a few minutes the mixture will become more solid and then you’ll be able to form a compact ball and it will stick to the pan less and less.

Switch off the stove, make a ball and let it cool down.

If you want to add the colorant, let the clay cool down enough so you can hold it in you hand, then make poke a small dimple in it with your finger, put the colorant in, close it and knead in your hands until the color distributes evenly.

For the 300g batch I’d use about 5 g of colorant but it really depends on the required intensity of the color.

air dry clay

What to make from this clay and how to store it

You can use it in the same way like you would any air dry clay – to make decoration, small figurine…just let it dry for one day and then you can even paint it. The clay isn’t suitable for jewelry or dishes.

Whatever you don’t use immediately just wrap it in some cling film and it will stay soft for a few days.



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