How to Make Molding Clay That Hardens in 24 Hours

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Cold porcelain resembles traditional porcelain when dry and sealed.
Cold porcelain resembles traditional porcelain when dry and sealed. (Image: porcelain candlestick image by Lucy Cherniak from Fotolia.com)

One of the biggest problems with many homemade modeling clays is that they can take anywhere from two to seven days to dry. In today's instant gratification culture, this simply will not do. Once you have sculpted that perfect piece, you want to paint it, seal it, and show it off, not stare at it for the next week. The solution is to make cold porcelain, a cornstarch-based modeling clay, and start your drying in the oven to speed up the drying process. When dried this way, the clay will easily cure within 24 hours.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup polyvinyl acetate glue
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. baby oil, or pharmaceutical grade mineral oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Nonstick pot
  • Oven

Combine the glue, cornstarch, oil, and lemon juice.

Heat the combined ingredients over low heat in the nonstick pot, stirring constantly. Continue heating until the mixture begins to resemble dough and pulls away from the sides of the pot. In traditional cooking, this is referred to as "following the spoon."

Remove the pot from the heat and empty the dough onto a work surface.

When it has cooled enough to work with it comfortably, gently knead the dough. Stop kneading when the dough has reached the clay consistency you prefer to work with.

Allow the clay to cool completely.

Shape your clay project.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place your project onto a wire rack in the oven and immediately turn off the oven.

Close the oven door and allow the project to sit in the oven as it cools to room temperature.

Remove the project from the oven and allow it to continue drying at room temperature.

Tips & Warnings

  • This modeling clay is white. If you prefer colored modeling clay, you can add a few drops of acrylic paint to the ingredients prior to kneading.
  • The project should not be painted or sealed until is is completely dry.
  • If you skip putting your project into the oven, it will take up to two days to dry. This is still faster than many homemade modeling clays, but may be too long if you are pressed for time.

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