How to Make Paper Clay for Easy, Kid-Friendly Crafts

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Summer is a great time to get crafty with the kids. Even if they aren't off at summer camp, that doesn't mean you can't set up your own arts and crafts mini-camp at home. Molding with paper clay is a super easy craft for kids of any age. This fun project is a great way to go "green" by using recycled scraps of construction paper.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 cups construction paper scraps
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • Strainer or colander
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Cookie cutters or molds
  • Pour 4 cups of water into a mixing bowl.

  • Tear up old pieces of construction paper into small pieces until you have two cups' worth. Put the pieces into the bowl of water to soak. Soak the construction paper for at least 15 minutes to soften the paper and make it easier on your blender's blades.

  • Pour the water and paper into the blender and blend for about 20 seconds, or until the mixture looks like colored oatmeal. Empty the paper pulp into a strainer or colander set over a second mixing bowl.

  • Squeeze the water from the construction paper pulp mixture with your hands, letting it drain into the bowl. Don't throw away the drained water; you'll need some of it later.

  • Put 1/2 cup of flour into the mixing bowl you used to soak the paper. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved blender water. Stir well, until the mixture has the consistency of glue.

  • Add the squeezed construction paper pulp to the flour mixture. Use a spoon or your hands (always more fun) to mix until there is no trace of the flour mixture. You now have a nice ball of paper clay.

  • Make fun shapes with the paper clay by pressing it into molds or cookie cutters. Rather than trying to cut your clay with the cookie cutter, put the cookie cutter on the table and push the paper clay into it.

  • Let the shapes air-dry. Depending on how thick you've made your shapes, they could take a couple hours or overnight to dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you blend too many different colors of scrap construction paper together, your paper clay will be brown, gray or black. Just remember that the basic color rules apply; for example, blue and yellow paper makes green clay, and red and blue paper turns purple.
  • Let your kids paint their dried paper clay figures. Protect their creations by spraying them with a clear acrylic sealant.

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References

  • Photo Credit Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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