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Making Homemade Polymer Clay

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You can make an inexpensive version of polymer clay from everyday household ingredients. This is a page about making homemade polymer clay.


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Make your own "polymer clay' that is self-hardening over night. Take 1 tablespoon of white glue, add a few drops of acrylic paint or India ink for color, if desired. Mix in a tablespoon of corn starch and 3-5 drops of vegetable or mineral oil. Mix well. If it is not thick enough to model, add more corn starch until it is of the right consistency. Add a few drops of water if it's too crumbly.

If you do not add a colorant, it dries to a lovely translucent white, which can be painted later or left as is.

To speed setting and to prevent drooping, blow dry your modeled object for a few seconds to set the surface. Store leftover clay in an airtight container.

By Penny from Morris, NY

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

November 17, 2010

How do you make polymer clay?

By jason from Philippines


January 3, 20110 found this helpful

Here's a good recipe:

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December 27, 20120 found this helpful

You cannot make polymer clay you can just made cold porcelain or airdry clay if you are in the Philippines. You can't buy polymer clay because I was there before, but you can buy air dry clay from national books store "art attack". That's what I was using when I was there.


Polymer clay and cold porcelain are not the same. Cold porcelain is air dry polymer clay you need to bake it to became hard you can buy stuff for polymer clay and air dry clay tools from Daiso or Saizen in St Francis there is daiso, but I go to Saizen is located in Robinson Galeria. You can buy polymer clay there and tools too.

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March 11, 20170 found this helpful

You can make real polymer clay which is a plastisol and requires baking to use much like Sculpy and other brands. In my easy process it is made with plastisol inks and is a lot of fun. The post is on my free and open source website. Enjoy and comment and always share ideas!

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February 10, 20190 found this helpful

you can make cold porcelain clay here in the states also, i have made it

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July 2, 2018

What would cause homemade polymer clay that has air dried to crumble when putting a bracelet?


July 2, 20180 found this helpful

It could be:

  • Brand of the polymer clay you're using
  • Temperature of baking the clay
  • Advertisement

  • Or other commonly mistakes (8 more reference of link below)

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July 3, 20180 found this helpful

It could be that your recipe needs tweaking.

This is a neat site that has a lot of valuable info on homemade polymer clay:

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July 3, 20180 found this helpful

According to this article you can save this clay by putting in some clay softener.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

November 17, 2010

What is the recipe for homemade polymer clay?

By Sarah from Calauan, Philippines

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October 5, 2010

I am looking for a recipe for polymer clay.

By corrie from South Africa


Homemade Polymer Clay

I doubt that you can make genuine polymer clay at home. Why not just buy it, it is certainly cheap enough and available from many sources on line. (03/13/2010)


By DeBushe

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March 3, 2010

I read the recipe for making my own polymer clay and I'm excited to try it. However, when I mix the cornstarch and glue, will I be free to work and condition it? Does it need to be baked? And will it stay soft like the Sculptey clay (for later use) or will it dry out?

Leighann from Richmond, VA


Homemade Polymer Clay

I used my brain and found out how to make the clay less sticky. I added cornstarch and it worked. Woo hoo.

By I love it

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October 26, 2008

Polymer clay can be expensive, but it's so easy to make, and you can color it with food coloring. The best food coloring is the paste colors that cake decorators use. They last forever.

The recipe is:

One Part Cornstarch To One Part White Glue (like Elmer's Glue).

If you want it thinner, just add water. Form it into your favorite form and let it dry at least overnight. If you want to make beads, leave a toothpick in it while it dries.

I'm a Raggedy Ann buff so I make round flat forms to make Raggedy Ann pins and magnets. I do the faces with fine tip permanent markers. I just need red and black for that. The forms can be sprayed with sealer that comes in a spray can meant for clay type crafts. It can be colored with food coloring too. The best food coloring is the paste type that's used for cake decorating, and it lasts forever. How easy is this, Ha!

By Ardis B

Editor's Note: This is polymer-like recipe, that requires no baking. It is self hardening.

Homemade Polymer Clay

Here is my recipe for a good air-dried clay. I use it a lot. Don't make ornaments too thin as if it is less than 3/8 to 1/4" thick it is fragile.


Self Hardening Clay
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon alum
1 1/2 cups salt
1 1/2 cups water
Mix flour, alum and salt together in a bowl. Add water gradually to form a ball. Knead (pound, roll & pull) the clay, adding water until it no longer falls apart. Store in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. Allow the clay to come to room temp for easy use. Let your finished project dry at room temp for 2 days. It will become very hard and can be painted.
Stanlie (06/15/2005)

By Stanlie E. Wykoff

Homemade Polymer Clay

There were several questions on my version of polymer clay. I know this will help you.

First of all, no baking, just let dry for a day or two. If it's too thin, add more corn starch; too thick, add more elmers glue. You can store it in a plastic bag, but I wouldn't refrigerate it, it would be too cold to handle. ARDIS (07/08/2005)

By Ardis Barnes

Homemade Polymer Clay

This may be a good homemade clay, but it isn't polymer clay. Polymer is plastic. (09/04/2005)

By Kim K.

Homemade Polymer Clay

Anyone have any suggestions on making clay shingles for a large wooden doll house? Would they crack too easily? Can they be glued to wood? Would any colors bleed when wet? I have visions of rolling out 3/8" thick sheets, then pizza-cutting each one.. OR molding my own "Spanish tiles" over two pencils? Is this idealistic?

Editor's Note: I haven't made this homemade polymer clay so can't speak to how that would work or if it would bleed but it seems as though it would work well with Sculpy or other polymer clay. Great idea by the way! (07/26/2006)

Homemade Polymer Clay

I tried the recipe as well and it got stuck to me. How can I make it less sticky? I measured it out and did equal parts of each so I guess I didn't understand. Could you please tell me how you make it less sticky?,

Editor's Note: If it is too sticky, add more corn starch. If too thick, add more glue. (10/21/2006)

By Anna Lyman

Homemade Polymer Clay

1. All Glue based clays should not be baked. They are air dry only.

2. The thickness of the glue will affect the type of clay you end up with. A fine thin glue will give you a look of porcelain.

3. You can add acrylic paint for the colour at the time you mix your clay.

4. Your options for colour are endless.

5. Projects will shrink. Keep this in mind

6. The clay will keep for months if wrapped tightly in the fridge.

7. Projects will last for years if kept dry.

8. Seal with Minwax water based varnish.(Gloss, Satin or matt) and they will survive forever.

9. OK. The glue is the polymer.

10. The cornstarch is the filler. Could be bread or flour or a mix of fine grain substances. Salt, baking soda etc. (03/06/2007)

By Maggie

Homemade Polymer Clay

i tried the recipe for poly clay using glue? it helps if you measure the glue first in a small bowl before adding in 1 1/2 TBS of cornstarch.. mix it with a spoon until everything sticks to the glue. You can form a ball from it afterward. Made several cute projects with that recipe already.. (03/13/2007)

By sheene

RE: Homemade Polymer Clay

Homemade Polymer Clay

You can avoid stickiness by adding a little bit of sunflower oil to it (09/28/2007)

By Juliet

Homemade Polymer Clay

I made this yesterday and my 14 yr old made the most adorable snowman with it, it looks just like polymer clay figures. She even blushed its cheeks and feet.

It was not difficult to make at all, I simply used my brain and if it was sticky added more cornstarch. I didn't even make a measurement, I simply added a bunch of cornstarch to a bowl and added glue then added more of each till I got the consistency I wanted.

I have tried salt dough, I have tried salt dough with cornstarch and vaseline added, none of them are as good as cornstarch and glue. it holds its shape, it dries well, it does not crack.

the other recipes I have tried do not hold 3-d shapes well and when you add a head to a body the whole thing sinks down and squashes.

My daughter coloured the cornstarch glue mixture with food colouring and it worked well. (11/26/2007)

By This is great stuff!

Homemade Polymer Clay

Here is a pic of the snowman she made. It was difficult to take a pic of it because of the white clay and flash, so I set it on my red fleece. See how cute it is.

You have to realize, my daughter got very frustrated trying to make things out of salt dough, so i was REALLY impressed with this snowman she made. she used glass beads for his eyes. (11/27/2007)

By This is great stuff!

RE: Homemade Polymer Clay

Homemade Polymer Clay

I noticed a lot of people having problems with the recipe given here. Don't give up too fast! This type of clay is usually called Cold Porcelain Clay. It can provide some very astonishing results especially with floral sculpting. Usually recipes for this type of clay require more ingredients and you need to cook the dough. Do a search for Cold Porcelain Clay in your search engine. Also do a search in Google Images. You will be surprised what can be done with this clay.
Have Fun. (01/20/2008)

By Paul

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