Thursday, May 3, 2012

DIY: Oven Bake Clay

We have made play dough a few different ways, but never before made clay, although they turned out to be similar in terms of ingredients. The main difference is that the clay is a bit drier. The recipe we used came from this website.

  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1 Cup salt
  • 1 Cup hot water
  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil (This was optional for a smoother texture, so we used it.) 
  • food coloring (optional)
  1. Combine flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add hot water and oil if desired.
  3. Allow clay to cool before kneading. (If desired, add food coloring.)
  4. Knead until pliable.
  5. Have fun making clay creations.
  6. If you want your sculptures to be permanent, bake clay or allow to air dry. (You can also paint your sculptures after they are dry.)

After we made our clay, we divided it into 4 parts and added a different neon food coloring to each. Mia and I made beads by rolling out "snakes" and then cutting them with a knife, punching out a hole with a plastic straw, and then re-shaping as needed. We also used a rolling pin to flatten the clay, cut out shapes (I stuck with a circle cookie cutter; Mia did more free-hand cutting), and pressing rubber stamps into them for decoration. We used the straws again to punch holes so that we can hang the finished clay pieces as ornaments or tags. I put the leftover clay in a plastic container and put it in the refrigerator. We played with it the following day and it still seemed to be a good consistency, so I think it will keep for awhile if you don't want to bake it and just keep it for modeling clay.

{Before kneading food coloring into the clay}
{After kneading in food coloring}

{After Baking}
{Before Baking}

I put our clay pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet and then baked them for 50 minutes at 250 degrees since this was the suggested way for the clay to not get a "golden-brown" look, and I figured we didn't want to dull our neon colors. I am not sure if this would have mattered or not since the colors are noticeably less vibrant now that the clay has been baked. The clay came out dry on top but not fully hardened on the underside. I left them to air dry for a day or so before flipping them over. They have been air drying for another day and a half, and are still not completely dry. The website said they would take about 5 days to dry, which is quite awhile for little ones to wait. Plus, I am supposed to be rotating the pieces twice a day, and I haven't been doing this, because, really, who has time for that? I think it is safe to say that the clay will eventually be hard, but I wonder if I could have put it back in the oven for a longer amount of time and sped up the process? I hope the beads are ready for Mia to string before she has given up on them entirely.


  1. can u use corn flour?

    1. Hi there! I have never personally used corn flour/corn starch for this recipe. However, I have another recipe posted recently for an air-dry clay, which did call for corn starch, and it came out successfully. I would suggest that you try it and see what happens. It is inexpensive enough to experiment with, but that's the best I can say having never tried it myself. Good luck, and if you do try the recipe with corn starch, please let me know the results.

  2. how much does it make???

    1. It makes a good size ball of dough. I have never measured it, but based on the dry ingredients, I would say around 3 cups. If you are planning to use it with a large group, a classroom of students, say, you will want to make multiple batches, but a single batch makes plenty for a couple of kids to play with at home.

  3. 250 degrees celsius/ centigrade or 250 degrees fahrenheit?

    1. Hi Zoe, thanks for stopping by. My oven measures temps in Fahrenheit. Not sure what yours is like, but I hope that helps.