How To Make Air Dry Clay At Home – 3 Easy Recipes

You can do so much with air dry clay and the great thing is you can make air dry clay at home easily. 

Making your clay at home is so much fun and it’s easier than you would think.

The one thing I love about making my own air dry clay at home is you know exactly what ingredients are used to make it.

There are lots and lots of DIY air dry clay recipes available online. 

To help you decide which one to try, I have tested many of them and below you will find the 3 recipes that I liked the best.

  1. Baking Soda Clay
  2. Glue & Cornstarch Clay (my favorite)
  3. Flour Clay (great to make with kids)

For each recipe I will cover:

  • Ingredients
  • Equipment
  • Steps
  • How to store
  • Pros & Cons
  • My personal verdict.

Storing your air dry clay is key otherwise you risk it drying out and becoming impossible to work with.

Air Dry Clay Recipe: Baking Soda Clay


  1. Baking soda (2 cups)
  2. Cornstarch (1 cup)
  3. Water (1.5 cups)
  4. Food coloring (optional)


  1. Measuring cups
  2. Non-stick pan
  3. Spatula


  • Using a nonstick pan stir baking soda/cornstarch and food coloring with water over low heat.
  • Using a spatula keep stirring continuously until the water evaporates and it has a consistency of fluffy mash potato.
  • When ready, the dough will start to pull away from the pan.
  • Take it off the stove and place it on a plate to cool down, cover with some damp paper towel so it does not dry out.

How To Store?

Traditionally shop brought clay just needs to be covered with some saran wrap and placed in a Ziploc bag or an airtight container, however, this method doesn’t work well for this type of homemade clay as it loses moisture very easily.


  1. Cover it with some wet wipes or a lightly damp cloth.
  2. Place it into a Ziploc bag or an airtight container, make sure you take out as much air as possible when you zip it.
  3. Store it at room temperature.

Pros & Cons


  • Only 3 basic ingredients are needed.
  • You can use paints and color markers on it.
  • When it dries it has a nice white finished texture.


  • Needs to be dried slowly otherwise it will start to produce cracks.
  • It is not suitable for finely detailed projects.
  • It can become fragile when it dries.


This clay was easy to work with and only took about 5 minutes to cook on the stove, which was impressive.

The main issue I had with this clay was that it didn’t work well with my projects that needed finer details.  It worked well for my basic projects such as plates and small simple jewelry pieces.

This said I did like this recipe because it only required basic ingredients that you would already have in the kitchen.  It doesn’t take long to make, and using it was very easy and fun.

Air Dry Clay Recipe: Glue & Cornstarch Clay


  1. White glue (1 cup)
  2. Cornstarch (1 cup)
  3. White vinegar (1 tablespoon)
  4. Vegetable oil (1 tablespoon)
  5. Food coloring (optional)


  • Measuring cups
  • Non-stick pan
  • Spatula


  • Using a nonstick pan stir all the ingredients over low heat.
  • Using a spatula keep stirring continuously until you start to see little lumps, when this happens take it off the stove.
  • Let it cool down a little.
  • Knead into a smooth dough. This dough is very sticky so use plenty of cornstarch to dust.

How To Store?

  1. Wrap it well using saran wrap.
  2. Place it in a Ziploc bag or an airtight container, make sure you take out any air in the bag when you zip the bag. 
  3. Store the Ziploc bag at room temperature.

Pros & Cons


  • It has a nice silky finish and when dried it does not crack.
  • Can be used for intricate design projects.
  • Same texture as play-doh, it can be stretched and shaped easily.


  • You need a stove to cook it.
  • It dries very quickly when you are working with it, forcing you to work faster when shaping it.
  • When dried it is not completely white, it’s more of a creamy white.


I have to admit I found this recipe to be better than I expected for a DIY clay. 

It takes some practice and adjustments to get it perfect, but it’s the closest recipe to a store-bought air dry clay that I have come across.

It has a nice smooth finish to it because of the oil used in this recipe and the white vinegar is used as a preservative.

At first, I found this clay very sticky and hard to work with, so I recommend using plenty of cornstarch to dust the clay when you work with it.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had using this clay.  When it hardened it was the strongest amongst these 3 recipes. 

For this reason, I would say this was my favorite recipe for a DIY air dry clay.

When you first start to cook this recipe over the stove it seems very waterly but not to worry after you cook it for a few minutes it becomes more like the clay you purchase from your local craft store.

This said don’t overcook it or the clay dough will become too hard to work with.


  1. Rub some oil on your hands before you knead the dough as it can be very sticky.
  2. Don’t knead directly onto your kitchen counter, use a baking sheet or a silicone mat to knead on.
  3. Use plenty of cornstarch when kneading.
  4. You will know that the dough is ready when your stretch it and it produces a teardrop shape.

For more tips check out my article 11 Tips For Using Air Dry Clay For Beginners & 10 Mistakes To Avoid When Using Air Dry Clay.

Air Dry Clay Recipe: Flour


  1. Flour (2 cups)
  2. Salt (3/4 cups)
  3. Water (3/4 cups)


  1. Measuring cups
  2. Large bowl


  • Pour the water into a large bowl.
  • Add the flour/salt and food coloring and knead until you get a smooth dough.

How To Store?

  1. Wrap it well using saran wrap.
  2. Place it in a Ziploc bag/airtight container, make sure you take out any air in the bag. 
  3. Store the lock bag at room temperature.

Pros & Cons


  • Doesn’t need to be cooked on a stove.
  • It only requires 3 basic ingredients.
  • Safe for kids to make.


  • It can produce cracks when it dries
  • Can be stretched but has its limits before it breaks.


I love how simple and easy this clay is to make at home.

I found this clay to be very easy to work with.  It remained soft long enough for me to mold it into the shape I wanted, and if I wasn’t happy with the shape, I had enough time to reshape it before it started to dry.

Stretching it did have a limit before it tore but overall it was very user-friendly.

The more I worked with this clay the easier it became to shape and roll, which is great because most projects require the clay to be rolled before you cut it into the shape you need for your design.

The one thing I loved about this recipe was that it doesn’t need to be cooked over a stove which means it is a great recipe to go with when you have kids helping you.

The only real issue I found with this recipe was that when it dried it wasn’t the strongest.  It did harden but broke under very little pressure.

Using a sealer gave it more strength.

Final Thoughts

If you have never made air dry clay at home then I highly recommend it.

It’s fun, it’s easy and it saves you some money in the process.

So if you ever run out of clay now you know that you can easily make some at home with these 3 simple recipes.

  1. Baking Soda Clay
  2. Glue & Cornstarch Clay
  3. Flour Clay

Without a doubt, my favorite homemade clay is number 2 (Glue & Cornstarch Clay).  It’s very similar to the air dry clay you buy at the craft store.

It’s easy to work with and it doesn’t take long to make.

However, if you have kids helping you make your clay then I would recommend number 3 (Flour Clay) as it doesn’t need to be cooked on the stove.

I hope you have found this article fun and helpful and it has inspired you to make your own air dry clay at home.

If you have any tips or advice please share them in the comments.

Let’s learn and share together.

Happy Crafting!

Zac & Terri Signature

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