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Play Clay

Make creations and let dry for long term keeping.  OR, store soft play clay in plastic bags or containers to stay moist and be used over and over again!

Quick Facts

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cool Time: 30 minutes
Fun Time: Hours!
Dry Time: Overnight
Yield: 2 pounds


  • 1 cup Argo® Corn Starch
  • 1 pound (2 cups) baking soda
  • 1-1/4 cups cold water
  • 1 tablespoon Mazola® Corn Oil
  • 1 tablespoon food coloring OR 1 to 2 teaspoons paste food color


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  1. Combine corn starch and baking soda in a medium saucepan.  Add water,oil and food coloring; stir until smooth.

    Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture reaches the consistency of SLIGHTLY dry mashed potatoes.  (Mixture will come to a boil, then start to thicken, first in lumps and then in a thick mass; it should hold its shape).  If Play Clay is overcooked, crafts may crack.

    Turn out onto plate and cover with damp cloth; cool.

    When cool enough to handle, turn Play Clay onto work surface dusted with corn starch; knead until smooth and pliable.  If not using immediately, store completely cooled clay in tightly closed plastic bag or container.

    Shape Play Clay as desired by molding into shapes, balls or ropes with hands.  Or, roll flat with a rolling pin or press with hands, making pieces of moderate thickness.  (Items less than 1/4-inch thick tend to be fragile; very thick pieces often dry unevenly and may crack).  Press or etch designs into soft Play Clay.  Plan to glue small  pieces together (including heads to bodies) rather than press Play Clay shapes together.

    Air-dry Play Clay overnight on wire racks, turning occasionally for faster and more even drying.  To oven dry: preheat oven to 350°F, then turn oven OFF.  Place undecorated items on a wire rack on a cookie sheet.  Place in oven until oven is cold.  Repeat as necessary.

    Decorate with water color, acrylic paints, markers, colored glue, glitter glue or crayons.  Let dry completely.  If desired coat decorated items with clear acrylic to seal.

    Store unshaped Play Clay in an airtight container or heavy plastic bag in a cool place up to 2 weeks.  Knead stored clay until smooth before using.

    Microwave Method:  Stir corn starch and baking soda in 2-1/2 quart microwave-safe bowl.  Add water, oil and food coloring and stir until smooth.  Microwave at HIGH (100%) uncovered, 2 minutes; stir.  Microwave 3 to 4 minutes longer, stirring after each minute until mixture reaches consistency of SLIGHTLY mashed potatoes.  Complete using directions above.