Homemade Gifts to Make and Give

‘Tis the season for giving! Make up a batch of this clay for homemade presents that family members will cherish. This pliable, smooth white clay air-dries and hardens over 24 hours—no need to bake.

Air-Dry Clay

Note: This makes about a pound of clay. The recipe can be doubled, if desired.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¾ cup cold water
  • Food coloring, non-toxic paints and markers

Directions:

  1. Place ingredients in a pan and whisk until smooth. Add food coloring if colored clay is desired. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Stir out any lumps and cook until it comes together and is the consistency of mashed potatoes.
  2. Pour dough onto a plate and let cool, covering it with a damp kitchen towel.
  3. Dust a work surface with cornstarch and knead the dough until pliable.
  4. Shape dough as desired and allow to air dry for 12 or more hours, until completely dry. Decorate using paints or markers.

Note: To prevent clay from drying, wrap tightly in plastic wrap at room temperature.

Gift Ideas

“Hand Holder” for rings or cufflinks: Roll out dough and use a toothpick to trace child’s hand. Shape into a curved palm shape that can hold items, then allow to dry. Decorate as desired.

Coil Pen Cup: Roll a ball of clay the size of a large marble, then flatten to form a disc. Roll pieces of clay between hands to form “ropes.” Coil ropes of clay on top of the disc, gently pressing each on the coil below, building a cylinder as tall as you wish to serve as holder for pens. Allow to dry completely, then decorate.

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