Skip to Content

How To Make Air Dry Clay: Recipe + DIY

How To Make Air Dry Clay: Recipe + DIY

Homemade air dry clay?! Yep, it exists. It’s probably one of the best ideas I’ve found on Pinterest so far.

During my many Pinterest browses I’ve encountered a variety of hacks so far. But clay was sure to be – for me anyways – one of those things you just had to go out to buy.

Oh, was I wrong.

Inspired by the back to school season that’s upon us, I got this idea for some cute DIY clay toppers to decorate plain pencils.

Now, my craft collection has been growing steadily during the past few years. But clay is not something I readily have in my stash.

So on a whim I decided to search for homemade clay recipes. And with great success it turned out. Turns out there are several recipes to make your own clay out there!

All of the salt dough recipes had to be baked in the oven. And since my crayons would be wrapped around a pencil, that didn’t seem like a good idea to me. So I decided to go with an air dry clay recipe instead.

Reasons why I love homemade air dry clay

I don’t just have one reason to love DIY air dry clay. I have three.

1.This recipe is perfect for when you want to make something. RIGHT. NOW.

Do you ever come across a DIY tutorial that you just have to make the very minute you find it? For me that’s, well, pretty much every time.

2. You only need simple household ingredients most people have around the house.

Especially if you’re into bath bombs making (it won’t come as a surprise to you when I say that I am) this recipe is perfect. The main ingredient is baking soda. And I have lots and lots of that in my stash.

3. It’s a DIY in a DIY.

You get a 2 for 1 deal when it comes to DIY tutorials. It’s basically the ultimate DIY if you ask me.

Very easy step by step tutorial to make your own DIY Clay decorations for pencils + a BONUS homemade clay recipe! Tutorial by The Makeup Dummy

Ingredients You’ll Need   

This recipe to make your own air dry clay is so easy, you won’t believe it.

You really only need 2 main ingredients that you probably already have at home. And if you don’t, a quick trip to the grocery store will fix that.

  • baking soda

  • corn starch

Just add water, let it brew on the stove, and that’s it!

Very easy step by step tutorial to make your own DIY air dry Clay including decorations for pencils + a BONUS homemade clay recipe! Tutorial by The Makeup Dummy

How To Make Pencil Toppers

What you’ll Need:

  • Homemade Air Dry Clay (see recipe below)
  • Pencils
  • Paint

With my batch of homemade clay I wanted to make a few pencil toppers to decorate some otherwise very boring pencils.

I decided to make a cactus topper, a pineapple topper and something that was supposed to look like a unicorn.

First I cut off small sections of clay with a blunt knife. For every topper I started with a small ball. Next I made a hole in the base with a pencil. Then I formed the basic shape with my fingers.

Next I added other elements to the design, like the crown of the pineapple, the flower and ‘arms’ of the cactus and the horn and ears of the unicorn. To make sure all of the elements stay put, make sure all of the seams are smoothed out with a small, blunt utensil, like the back of a knife. If any of the elements do fall off once the toppers are dry, you can simply glue them back on with a glue gun or some heavy duty glue.

Once you’re happy with your design, let the clay dry for a least 24 hours.

After they’ve dried overnight you can paint the clay toppers in whatever colors you like.

Very easy step by step tutorial to make your own DIY air dry Clay and decorations for pencils + a BONUS homemade clay recipe! Tutorial by The Makeup Dummy

Let your creativity run wild! There’s plenty more you can make with your own homemade batch of air dry clay. Like this Unicorn Horn Jewelry Holder for example.

DIY Unicorn Jewellery Holder - Step by step tutorial with homemade clay recipe (easy and cheap gift idea) by The Makeup Dummy #diygifts #unicorns
Yield: 1 1/2 cups air dry clay

Air Dry Clay Recipe + Steps

Active Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: 1 US dollar

Make your own Air Dry Clay with this simple homemade recipe. All you need is a few household ingredients and you can start making your own clay creations. from scratch!

This is a perfect kid's activity craft idea to keep them entertained for hours and let their creativity run wild.


  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 3/4 cup water


  • Cooking pot
  • Spatula
  • Stove


  1. Measure the baking soda, corn starch and water, and pour them together in a cooking pot or sauce pan. Place the pot or pan on the stove over medium heat.
  2. Stir the mixture to combine all of the ingredients and keep stirring regularly as the mixture heats up. The consistency will start to thicken as you stir.
  3. At this point the mixture will start to clump together. Keep stirring to smooth it out and make sure no lumps are left. Step by Step Homemade clay recipe to make any design you like Tutorial by The Makeup Dummy
  4. After a while (at least 10 minutes) the mixture will start to look like a solid dough, a lot like cookie dough.
  5. Next, transfer the clay dough to a bowl. Give the mixture time to cool to room temperature. Once the mixture feels cool to the touch, knead it like you would knead a bread dough until you have a smooth round ball. How To Make air dry clay at home with simple kitchen household ingredients by The Makeup Dummy
  6. Keep kneading until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers. If it still feels sticky you can add some corn starch.
  7. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin or pinch a piece off and start creating! Let your creativity run wild as the possibilities are endless. Keep kneading the dough with your fingers and in the palm of your hand to keep it soft and moldable. As soon as you're happy with what you've created, you can set it aside and let it air dry. The clay will have hardened considerably after 2 hours already. And your design will be fully dry in 24 hours. Once dry you can paint the outside with acrylic paint, permanent markers (like Sharpies) or porcelain markers. Finish with a coat of varnish and your design will last forever!


Store the homemade clay (or any leftovers) in an airtight container until you're ready to use it.

If you like it, than don't forget to put a pin on it!

Did you make this project?

If you like this DIY than don’t forget to put a pin on it!

Learn how to make air-dry clay from scratch with easy kitchen or household ingredients, including baking soda and corn starch. This simple recipe tutorial uses household items, so you won't even have to leave the house.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Roxanne Hosty

Friday 17th of April 2020

I made clay hands they ended up having tons of cracks ☹️. What can do to keep them smooth?

Ina from The Makeup Dummy

Friday 17th of April 2020

Add a little more water next time!


Friday 5th of July 2019

Love It! Catisfying greets,



Monday 22nd of April 2019

Why is my clay runny like gloop

The Makeup Dummy

Wednesday 24th of April 2019

Hi Daniella, keep stirring and heating the mixture until it clumps together. If nothing changes, try adding more baking soda and corn starch while you keep stirring until it starts to clump together. Let me know how it goes!

55 Bridesmaid Gift Ideas for Your Girl Squad | Sutterfly

Monday 29th of January 2018

[…] Source: The Makeup Dummy […]

53 Christmas Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Thursday 30th of November 2017

[…] Source: The Makeup Dummy […]

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Instructions