How to Make Modeling Clay

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Play dough is a favorite with kids and parents alike because the squishy, sensory fun fosters creativity as well as fine motor skills. You can take the activity to the next level by making homemade modeling clay. Once the kids' creations dry they can be kept and treasured, instead of thrown away.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Food coloring
To preserve modeling clay creations, just allow them to dry out.
To preserve modeling clay creations, just allow them to dry out. (Image: Stephanie Morgan)

Step 1

You likely already have all the ingredients for homemade modeling clay in your kitchen. All you need is water, flour, salt and food coloring. Please see the last slide for an itemized list of tools and materials.

Salt and flour are the two main ingredients for homemade modeling clay.
Salt and flour are the two main ingredients for homemade modeling clay. (Image: Stephanie Morgan)

Step 2

Mix the flour, salt and water in a bowl. Continue stirring until the mixture forms a ball.

Mix the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
Mix the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. (Image: Stephanie Morgan)

Step 3

Divide the dough into sections and add a few drops of food coloring. Knead the dough with your hands and continue to add food coloring, a few drops at a time, until the desired color is achieved.

Add food coloring to your dough.
Add food coloring to your dough. (Image: Stephanie Morgan)

Step 4

Use your hands to mold the various colors of dough into a three dimensional piece of art. Once your masterpiece is complete, leave it out to dry overnight.

Alternatively, you can place it on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and bake it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Check on your dough every 30 minutes. It will take two to four hours to bake, depending on the thickness of your project.

Let your art dry out overnight.
Let your art dry out overnight. (Image: Stephanie Morgan)

Step 5

The remaining dough can be stored in the refrigerator in air-tight containers.

Store left-over dough in the refrigerator.
Store left-over dough in the refrigerator. (Image: Stephanie Morgan)

Tips & Warnings

  • You can skip the food coloring and paint your art with craft paint once it has hardened.
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