How to Make Your Own Modeling Clay

Updated March 23, 2017

Making your own modelling clay is almost as fun as creating things out of it. Whether you are a kid, have kids, or just a kid-at-heart, this great non-toxic modelling clay recipe uses ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Get your flour, water and get ready to make the dough.

Measure out the salt using the measuring cup and pour into a large bowl.

Measure out 1 cup of warm water and add to the salt in the bowl. Mix well using the mixing spoon.

Measure out the flour. Begin adding the flour into the bowl. Add small amounts at a time and mix it well.

Dump the now-thick mixture onto the clean cutting board. Knead the clay well, making sure all ingredients are well-mixed. If the mixture is sticky, add some extra flour. If it feels too concentrated, you can thin it with some more water.

Divide dough into sections for colouring. Add food colouring to achieve desired colouring, knead the colouring well to blend it into the clay. Repeat for all desired colours.

Use your new modelling clay to create anything you can imagine. This clay will air-dry if left out overnight.


If refrigerate and stored in an airtight container, this clay should last about 2 – 3 weeks. If you are making a large or thick model from the clay, it may not completely dry overnight. Putting it in the oven, on very low heat, 93.3 degrees C or less, for a few minutes should help it dry quickly If using oven method, stand by oven and check model every 2 – 3 minutes. If cracks appear in your model as it dries, you can smooth them out with a bit of water. For the brightest colours, paint the model with acrylic paints after it has completely dried.


Even though this recipe is made of kitchen ingredients and is non-toxic in small amounts, it’s not intended to be eaten. Supervise children playing with it and keep away from pets. Food colouring and paint can permanent stain clothing or furniture. Be sure and wear old clothes and cover all surfaces with newspaper or plastic.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring cup
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Mixing spoon
  • Large bowl
  • Clean cutting board
  • Food colouring
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About the Author

A writer and professional lab assistant based in Seattle, Kate Bruscke has been writing professionally about health care and technology since 1998. Her freelance clients include "The Seattle Times,", Reading Local: Seattle, Nordstrom and MSN/Microsoft. Bruscke holds a Master of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.