How to make clay out of saltwater & flour

Written by miranda brumbaugh
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How to make clay out of saltwater & flour
Use sharp tools to form textured designs in soft clay. (Getty creative)

Make homemade crafting clay with common ingredients from your pantry. With flour and saltwater, you can form a simple and inexpensive form of modelling clay. Mold the clay into bowls, picture frames, figurines or other works of art. Add embellishments such as jewels, feathers or hand prints into the clay before you dry your piece. This clay will dry without the use of a pottery kiln or oven into a solid, hard piece.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 360 ml (1.5 cups) flour
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) salt water
  • 3 drops liquid dishwashing soap
  • Medium-size mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Plastic airtight container with lid, or zip-top plastic bag
  • Food colouring gel
  • Glitter
  • Tempera paint and brushes
  • Polyurethane spray

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  1. 1

    Add 360 ml (1.5 cups) flour and 120 ml (1/2 cup) saltwater to the mixing bowl and stir constantly until the mixture is blended. Stir in three drops of liquid soap and mix well.

  2. 2

    Pick up the ball of clay and knead it with your hands for approximately three to four minutes, or until the mixture resembles the smooth feel of clay. Wet your hands as you knead if you notice the clay is crumbling or is resisting forming a solid ball.

  3. 3

    Add colour to the clay, if desired, by incorporating food colouring or glitter. Drop less than 3 ml (1/2 tsp) of food colouring gel onto the clay and knead until the clay becomes tinted. Add more gel for a bolder colour. Mix in a pinch of glitter and knead thoroughly to give your clay sparkle.

  4. 4

    Store any unused clay in an airtight container with a lid, or in a zip-top plastic bag. Keep the clay in your refrigerator. Leave finished clay pieces out in an open-air environment to let them dry for at least five days, depending on the size of the pieces, or bake your finished piece at 160 degrees C for 30 to 60 minutes for a faster drying process.

  5. 5

    Paint on the finished, dry clay using tempera paints. Let the piece dry for at least two days before spraying over the painted surface with polyurethane to seal the finish.

Tips and warnings

  • Add more flour to clay that has become sticky after being kept in the refrigerator.
  • Use plain water as glue when attaching pieces of wet clay together.
  • Do not eat the clay.

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