While researching for our next crafternoon I discovered a whole new world of Air Dried Clay. Wow! I have used the purchased clay before, but found it quite expensive, and really never found anything super useful to make with it. Making your own clay allows you to mess up while you learn, as it is super cheap to make! Through trial and error I went through quite a few different recipes before I settled on my favorite.
The recipe I finally settled on was just one cup of cornflour, (cornstarch) one cup of bicarb and one cup of water. This is boiled together over a medium heat until it thickens and forms a ball. I then scrape it out of the pot and onto a piece of clingwrap (I know, I also hate to use it, but cant think of any other alternative) . As soon as it has cooled a little, knead in 1 tsp of glycerine. This is optional. This makes is more malleable and less likely to crack as it dries.
I used cookie cutters to cut out shapes, and I found they are best when rolled to a thickness of between 8mm and 12mm, or 1/4″ to 1/2″. Thinner than that they tend to bend and or crack. You can impress some with the underside of a small leaf, which is what I did with the above hanger. Make sure to turn them over every couple of hours so that they dry flat.
With this simple recipe, you can bake the clay after it is dry, and this makes it harder and more durable. Bake at 200*F or 100*C (very low heat) for about 30 minutes, I like to turn them over half way through so that they don’t curl at all, the drier they are to begin with, the better.
A few drops of essential oil dropped onto an angel and hung in your closet will make the whole closet smell heavenly. These are awesome to give these as small gifts. Simply add a few more drops when it needs to be refreshed. I love my little closet angels.
The other thing you can do is paint the little shapes, and it is best to bake them first, and then leave to cool thoroughly before painting. Paint with acrylic paint and then seal with two layers of sealant, drying well labels between coats. These are fine to be used on a covered porch. Use them for lovely little labels on a wrapped present, or tied around napkins for a special meal. Stay tuned for the next blog post where I will talk about another recipe which can be used to make plant labels for outdoor use.