Useful Tips

DIY clay for modeling: a simple recipe for crafts


Modeling is a fascinating activity that is useful and interesting for both children and adults. Clay crafts are made by both professionals and amateurs. And for kids, modeling is simply necessary for the development of fine motor skills, which is closely related to the development of speech and intelligence. Clay clay is easy to make with your own hands, following our recommendations.

How to knead natural clay for DIY sculpting

Dry clay for crafts can be obtained in vivo or purchased in the store in the form of powder. If you have clean store powder, you can immediately start kneading clay dough. If the clay is street, it must be prepared:

  • Crush the lumps of clay and pour it into a container of water, a layer of water of 15-20 cm should remain on top and leave for a day. Then mix the liquid mixture and strain through a fine sieve. Leave the mixture for another 2 -3 days, then drain the excess water on top (or pump it out).
  • Then the mass is poured into a canvas bag and suspended to remove excess moisture. The process can take a long time. To accelerate the clay mass, you can put oppression to get a filter press. The finished mixture should stand in the air for a while.
  • You can store the mass in the boxes, after wrapping the dough with wet rags.
  • It is very important to determine the fat content of clay when choosing a material in vivo. If the clay is good, when it is moistened and pressed with a finger, a shiny mark remains, and if you mold a flagellum and roll it into a bagel, it will not burst and there will be no large cracks. Such clay is suitable for sculpting dishes and large items.

  • Prepare a place for work, dry clay, water and a container, a plate for kneading dough. It is advisable that it be at a level just below the lower back during work.
  • Knead the clay according to the test principle, gradually adding water to the powder. It will be more comfortable to work with warm water. Clay should be flexible, but should not stick to hands.
  • Another way of mixing is to fill in 2/3 of the dry clay with water and wait until it is completely absorbed. After the dough is slightly soaked, you can add the remaining gina in the form of powder, and begin revenge with your hands.
  • Ready dough of a suitable consistency needs to be beaten off. This can be done by carefully kneading the mass on the board, rolling the ball and vigorously throwing it on the board or using a mallet.
  • The sculptural clay is ready. Now you can start sculpting. And if you plan to sculpt later, the mass must be wrapped in a damp cloth and on top in a plastic bag. Store the prepared clay in the cold.

What is polymer clay and how to cook it with your own hands?

Polymer clay is an artificially created material that hardens at high temperatures. This clay is great for children's creativity, for sculpting a variety of small crafts and flowers. You can buy it in stores, but not everyone can afford it, but in small cities it is difficult to find it. A great alternative is to make such clay with your own hands.

Recipes for the preparation of polymer clay:

Mix starch with glue, add oil and lemon juice (can be replaced with a small amount of citric acid). Place the container on low heat and stir until a mass similar to mash is formed.

Then remove from heat and add some more oil. We spread the mass on the prepared surface, knead like a dough. Then wrap with cling film. After cooling, store in the refrigerator. Clay products according to this recipe will slightly decrease when dried, and dry for about a day.

How to make polymer clay from potato starch?

Potato starch is more common than corn starch, so a recipe with it is useful to many.

For work you will need:

  • 100 g of starch
  • 100g PVA glue
  • A teaspoon of hand cream or petroleum jelly
  • 2 teaspoons baby oil
  • Tanks for a water bath

We mix all the necessary ingredients and put the container in a water bath. Immediately begin to stir intensely. As soon as lumps appear, remove the mass from the stove. Immediately put the mass on the surface and continue to knead with hands.

We check the readiness of the clay by rolling a small ball. The ball should be smooth and without creases. Wrap the mass in a film and leave to ripen for 12 hours.

Glue affects the quality of homemade clay most of all, so lumps and expired shelf life are not allowed.

Polymer clay is often used for sculpting jewelry, for example, such:

You can add dyes to the clay and paint finished products.

Types of clay crafts

So, clay is natural, but artificial. Polymer clay is a very convenient material: it becomes solid only under the influence of high temperatures, and at room temperature it is a very soft material. It is perfect for making dishes and crafts: accessories, decor items, jewelry and many other products. They are made only of clay or combined with other decor items: beads, sequins.

Simple recipe

To create clay, we need PVA glue, a glass starch of corn, a tablespoon of petroleum jelly and silicone-free hand cream, two tbsp. l lemon juice, bowl, polyethylene film and spatula.

Mix the starch, petroleum jelly and glue until smooth. Add lemon juice and mix. Put the mixture in the microwave for thirty seconds, remove, mix and put in the microwave again for the same amount of time.

We spread glue over the area of ​​the working area. We put the resulting mass upstairs and begin to knead it. Then, we roll the resulting workpiece into a sausage, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator.

Second way

This recipe is more suitable for sculptural plastics, as the products are more durable and solid.

For the manufacture of such clay, we need Art. wood glue, 100 g of corn starch, Art. l stearic acid, glycerin and petroleum jelly, 13 g of citric acid and capacity. It is best to take one where the coating does not stick.

Combine all ingredients except starch. Then, put on a warm fire and stir. Add table starch slowly and mix thoroughly so that there are no lumps. After our mixture begins to stick from the edges of the sides, put it on the area of ​​the working area and knead, like dough. Then, let cool and put in the refrigerator, pre-wrapping with cling film. If you want to colorize, then you can do this with ordinary acrylic paints.

This way of creating clay is perfect for dishes.

Modeling lesson

The process of sculpting from homemade polymer clay can be seen on the example of sculpting flowers, namely roses.

For work, we need clay, made by ourselves, a stationery knife, pins, foil and toothpicks.

We paint our clay in the right shade and knead it. We make a sausage. Cut the clay into pieces. Press the piece with your finger, creating a rose petal. We make the core, wrapping the first "cake" in a roll. Next, attach each petal. We roll the rose between the fingers, thereby stretching it like a tail. With an office knife, we cut off the excess clay.

In the middle, gently make a hole with a toothpick, without piercing the product completely. This is necessary for sculpting jewelry, for example, earrings, then to insert the earring itself.

The first children's crafts - do it yourself from clay

If your kids have never held real clay in their hands, it's time to start - long weekends and warm days contribute to this. You can prepare and buy clay in the store, or you can dig up at the cottage - in any case, the child will receive unforgettable sensations from communicating with this amazing material. For some reason, small children who fall into the hands of something suitable for modeling are very often one of the first to create. bird's nest with eggs and bird. We’ll tell you how you can help a child with such a craft.

Nothing carries children so much as working with natural clay. In the art salon, wet, polymer, universal clay, model clay for baking at low temperatures is sold, and for natural clay, visit local pottery workshops or go to the construction market.

To start

Working with clay requires mind, bodily effort and soul. Clay reacts instantly. Some children immediately want to work with her and are ready to get down to business immediately. Others are not so enthusiastic, especially if the clay is cold. And others will prefer to stand aside.

Do not push on them, just enjoy the feeling of clay changing shape under your fingers. Children will join when they are ready for this.

There is nothing more pleasant than pushing your fingers into soft, supple clay. Initially, the tools will only interfere with this important sensory communication. Ask the child: “How can you change the surface of clay?” Here, such words as “pierce”, “pinch”, “stretch”, “stroke” and “hit” will be appropriate. Each part of the hand — fingers, knuckles, or fist — acts differently on clay. And you will have a great opportunity to replenish the vocabulary of children.

  • Let's squeeze the clay to make a tall figure.
  • Let's pull the clay, then protrusions or tubercles will form.
  • Let's try to pierce the clay in some places.
  • Can you make a hole?

Roll up balls and harnesses

One of my favorite ways to captivate children is to ask them to roll clay tows (“sausages”) of different lengths and sizes. Let them try to do this by closing their eyes. Thus, they engage the sense of touch, and the hands will understand where they need to move and with what force to press.

Try to roll harnesses and balls of different sizes and connect them. From random forms people, animals and other figures suddenly turn out.

You can use clay as a building material - along with sticks, stones, shells, beans, twigs and other inclusions - to build fortresses, shelters, fairy houses, bridges and the like.

Keep your notebook and camera ready

Italian teachers taught me to pay attention to the incredible ideas and comments that children often make. I always have a notebook ready to write them down, as well as phrases that seem unusual to me. Another useful tool is the camera. Use it to capture the created sculpture, or to capture the workflow.

Closing and storing clay

Clay from the table is best cleaned with a scraper or spatula, a kitchen spatula is also suitable. Roll the clay into a ball. In the bowl, make a small depression and pour water there. Close the recess and put the clay in a bag or put it in a sealed plastic container. When you take it out again, knead it first like a dough to make it soft.

If you want to keep some figure raw, to continue working, put it on a board or sheet of cardboard, cover it with a bag and seal it tightly. If the clay dries up, put a damp cloth on the figure in the bag.

Clay nest with bird and eggs (from 3 years)

You will need:

  • Clay
  • Bowl of water and rag
  • Oilcloth or plastic stand
  • Feathers (optional)
  1. Cut three pieces of clay the size of a lemon. Put two of them aside.
  2. Have your child roll a ball from one piece. Then, holding the clay in his hands, he must push the hole in the center with his thumbs. (You can show how this is done on your ball.)
  3. Still holding the thumbs inside, the child will shape the clay, squeezing the edges outward until the nest takes on the desired shape and size.
  4. Take the second piece of clay and divide it into three small pieces. Let the child roll each of them into a ball. Press them down a bit to get oblong eggs, or leave them in the shape of a ball. Put the eggs in the nest.
  5. Take the third piece of clay and ask the child to mold a bird from him (which he wants).
  6. If desired, add feathers to the bird - stick them into the clay in place of the tail and / or wings.
  7. Leave the nest and bird to air dry. Then you can put them on a shelf as a decoration or play a little with them. And do not forget to photograph the craft!

DIY polymer clay making (using potato starch)

The polymeric material is convenient to use, and it is not difficult to prepare it yourself from potato starch.


  1. PVA construction glue (about half a cup)
  2. Potato starch (a glass of two hundred grams)
  3. Lemon juice (one dessert spoon)
  4. Softening baby oil (about 50 ml.)

First you need to mix construction glue and starch in a pan or other utensils, gradually add juice and oil. Put the pan on a small fire and, warming up, mix until a mass similar in consistency with mashed potatoes is obtained. After this, the pan should be removed from the stove, add a little more oil, remove the finished mass and knead it. The polymer mass for crafts is ready, it must be wrapped in a film, allowed to cool. Remove the cooled mass to the refrigerator.

The recipe for polymer material is simple and accessible to everyone.


  1. The quality of PVA glue should be high. Poor quality construction will lead to the fact that the material will be unplastic.
  2. If the glue is thick, you should slightly reduce the amount of starch.

Gallery: clay modeling (25 photos)

Making clay dough with your own hands (from natural clay) and sculpting from it

Clay mined independently in a quarry requires special preparation. The recipe for clay kneading with your own hands is somewhat more complicated.

Making clay for modeling.

First you need to divide the common layer into small pieces and fill with water. The pouring water must be warm. The clay mass will swell, after which it must be laid out on a thick cloth. The fabric should completely absorb excess water. In the process of waiting, it is necessary from time to time to crush and turn the mass over with hands greased with cream. Particular attention should be paid to the absence of unnecessary impurities in the material (stones, too large sand, etc.).

After kneading, clay must be discarded.. Divide the clay dough into layers and hit them with your hand to remove air. If the mass is liquid, it will require additional drying time. Self-made clay is ready. It is stored in a cool place, wrapped in a damp cloth and bag.

From this test you can sculpt dishes, toys, whistles and other crafts. The product, made by yourself, must be dried and “baked” in the oven. Also, products can be painted and varnished.

Do-it-yourself kneading of clay for sculpting clay powder products

Knead clay in advance, about a week two before the expected day of sculpting. For a better work result, the material should be aged. To prepare the dough, clay powder is poured with warm water, mixed into a plastic mass. Wrap the clay dough in a bag or film, put in the refrigerator for storage.

Preparation of self-hardening white clay from soda and corn starch, modeling.

To make white clay you will need an almost complete pack of soda (food) and a cup of corn starch. Starch and soda are mixed in the pan, a little water is added, about half a cup, and all this is put on a small fire. The mass should be stirred all the time to avoid sticking to the bottom of the dishes. If desired, you can add a few drops of essential oil with a pleasant aroma, so the composition will be flavored. When the mass in the pan will look like mashed potatoes, it can be transferred to a plate, covered with a damp cloth and wait for cooling. After cooling, the material must be thoroughly wrinkled. For the convenience of work, hands can be greased with cream. To avoid solidification, it is necessary to store the clay in an airtight bag or film.

To make toys, clay is rolled into a layer from which figures can be cut out (for example, with cookie cutters). You can also sculpt cups, candlesticks, and decorative plates from the mass. The products themselves will dry, firing in the oven or oven is not required. Finished crafts can be polished, painted better with acrylic paints), varnished. It turns out an excellent sculptural composition.


It is possible that the first time clay for modeling will be imperfect. There is nothing wrong with this, since mastery will come with experience. Most importantly, do not despair and do not give up half the way. Over time, clay will turn out better and better, and the process of creating toys, crafts, and jewelry will bring true pleasure.