How To Make Clay

Many fond childhood memories are linked to messy afternoons spent creating with clay. Often, it was a store-bought brand. But on those special occasions when home-made dough was made, it was a treat to be able to mould an object that you could later dry and paint to your heart's desire. If you've got a craving for some good ol' childhood fun, follow the easy recipe below and you'll have yourself some homemade sand clay that looks just like the real thing.

  1. Pour 1 cup of clean sand into a large cooking pot. Make sure it's an old one that can stand to be ruined in the name of good fun. (Now, this may seem a bit obvious to most, but you might want to sift the sand first. No chunks, please. And yes, it needs to be dry. Otherwise, it would be mud.)
  2. Add ½ cup cornstarch, ½ cup water and ½ cup alum. You can usually find alum at your local grocery store in the spice aisle. Stir to combine all ingredients.
  3. Place the pot of ingredients on the stove over medium heat.
  4. Stir, stir, stir. Stir constantly until the dough heats up and thickens. This will probably take about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Once you've got a ball of dough, remove the pot from the heat. You'll know it's cooked enough because it will look like cookie dough. Give it a few more stirs as it cools down. (As tempting as it may be for the little ones, remind them that it, in fact, isn't cookie dough. There are many edible recipes for clay, but this isn't one of them.)
  6. Place the dough on a hard, smooth surface. Be careful - it will still be hot! Spread it out to allow it to cool down further. A rolling pin will save your hands from this task.
  7. Once the clay has cooled enough to touch comfortably, it is ready for you to begin creating. Let your creations dry overnight or at a low heat in an oven, and add paint and other decorations of your choice once it cools.

Children of all ages will enjoy the fun that only homemade clay can bring. This recipe provides an authentic texture and look at an affordable price! Get creative by adding perfumes, food coloring or sparkles to your one-of-a-kind masterpiece before you being sculpting it and it'll surely add an extra element to your creations. And why not serve a purpose with the clay by making it into gifts? Kids will be excited to deliver hand-made gifts to friends and loved ones on any special day. Holiday ornaments, picture frames and even paper weights made out of homemade clay would make a great treat.  The possibilities are endless, so don't put that old pot too far away because you'll definitely be pulling it out again.


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