Making Dough

I am always on the search for better clay recipes. For our history projects this past week we needed clay a couple times so I tried a few different versions. Here are some of my favorite new and old recipes.

Play Dough

This is the recipe I have used for years. I got it from one of my frequently referenced books during my preschool teaching days.

2 cups water
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
t tsp cream of tartar
2 T oil
food coloring

Mix the flour, cream of tartar and salt in a saucepan. Mix the water, oil and food coloring together then add it to the pot. Turn the heat on to medium and stir. Stir continuously until a ball forms that pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and turn out on to a plate/board/counter. It will be hot, but as soon as you can knead it until it is nice and smooth. This stays soft forever! Store in an air tight container.

Salt Ceramic

2 cups salt
1 1/2 cups of water
1 cup cornstarch

Mix all the ingredients into a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the mixture forms a ball. Turn out and knead until smooth.

This one is grainy, like salt, but it dries rock hard and is very pretty. Sort of sparkly. I've used in the in past for ornaments and we used it last week for our cuneiform tablets.

Air-Dry Modeling Clay:

1 cups cornstarch
1 1/2 cup water
2 cups baking soda

Mix the cornstarch and baking soda together in a saucepan. Slowly add water while stirring. Heat over medium-low heat. Cook and stir until thick and forms a ball. Remove from heat and knead until smooth.

This one is really smooth. We used it for our sumerian seals and out Mohenjo-Daro house last week and I really liked the texture of it. It dries really hard and smooth too.


  1. Thanks for posting these. We'll try them out some time.

  2. I've made the playdough but not the other two recipes. They look like a great addition to doing some craft projects. Thanks for posting them! I can't wait to try them.

  3. Great blog, love your ideas. Thanks for sharing.
    I've got a question, here in Switzerland they don't sell (or at least I don't know of) creme of Tartar. Do you know if I can replace this by baking powder?