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Homemade Modeling Clay That Hardens

Updated February 21, 2017

Any modelling clay that hardens provides a sculpting artist with the opportunity to save his or her creations in a permanent form when they're finished. Since most hardening clays are water based, creating your own is as simple as combining a a fibrous, organic material with water in the right configuration and ratio. Use this basic formula to create your own air-hardening clays made from either flour or recycled paper, and create long-lasting works of art with minimal cost.

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  1. With a fork, mix together 2 parts flour and 1 part salt. Break up or remove any lumps.

  2. Add a couple drops of food colouring to 1 part water. Stir with a spoon until the food colouring is evenly distributed.

  3. Stir the water into the clay gradually, mixing it in with a fork as you pour. Finish mixing the clay with your hands until it is a dough.

  4. Store clay in an airtight container or wrap unfinished works with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When you want the clay to harden, let it air-dry for up to 24 hours.

  5. Add 4 tablespoons of wheat paste and a pinch of salt to 2 cups of water, whisking and adding gradually. Stir until the mixture starts to look more glutinous than pasty. Remove from heat and let cool.

  6. Tear paper into the smallest pieces you can.

  7. Soak the paper pieces in water for one hour.

  8. Pull the soaked paper from the water, shaking off as much excess liquid as you can. Place the paper in a blender and process on high speed until the paper is blended into a dough.

  9. Place the paper solution in a bowl. Combine with two tablespoons of the wheat paste solution. Mix with your hands into a mouldable clay dough; this clay will air-dry in 24 hours.

  10. Warning

    Paper can be hard on blender blades and contribute to dulling them. If possible, use an old blender or avoid making this recipe too many times in a good blender.

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Things You'll Need

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Food colouring
  • Mixing bowl
  • Old newspaper
  • Scissors
  • Blender

About the Author

Lauren Vork has been a writer for 20 years, writing both fiction and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in "The Lovelorn" online magazine and thecvstore.net. Vork holds a bachelor's degree in music performance from St. Olaf College.

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