Clay Recipes

This is an easy, homemade, air drying, Bread Dough Clay recipe for creative sculpture projects. It's made from two simple ingredients and no baking is needed. Use it to roll shapes for handmade beads, impress and mold it to make original pendants, sculpt small figurines, or create unique tree ornaments.

You will need the following items:

Measuring spoons
Butter knife or wooden stick to stir with
Plastic placemat or other smooth working surface
Small Ziplock storage bag
Small, smooth glass or plastic bowl

Dough Ingredients:
3 Slices of white loaf bread, aged *
3 Tablespoons of Elmer's "Glue All" White Glue
3 drops Glycerin (optional)

Use the following proportions, and any amount of Bread Dough Clay can be made. Just mix one scant tablespoon of glue per slice of loaf bread. *Aged Bread: Lay day old bread out overnight turning often to dry out a little on both sides or until it crumbles easily. Tip: Laying bread slices on cold stove burners will dry them from both sides at the same time.

Remove and discard colored part of bread crust from *aged bread reserving as much white bread as possible.
Crumble bread into fine pieces in a bowl add Elmer's Glue All and mix until it forms a soft lumpy ball. Mixture will be sticky. Scrape and use everything left on the bowl sides. Pour out onto clean work surface. (i.e., plate, cutting board, plastic placemat) Allow to rest about 3 minutes to dry a little.
Pick ball of dough up in your hands and knead dough vigorously. Your hands will be very sticky and messy. However, continue kneading and in a few minutes the dough will clean away from your hands and easily form a smooth cream colored ball.
Place in a ziplock bag.
Bread Dough is an air drying clay. Work with small portions at a time. Store reserve in the ziplock bag or under a cup or glass to keep it from drying out as you work.

Coloring: Break off small portions of the dough and make a well in the center. Add 4 to 5 drops of liquid acrylic paint in desired colors. Knead paint into the dough until it makes a uniform color. Make primary color portions in Red, Yellow, & Blue. Intermix the colored doughs to get Green, Purple, & Orange. Tip: Create a marbled effect and custom color shades by only partially mixing two pieces of the colored dough together.

Shape & Finish: Sculpt your project by rolling and cutting shapes. Glue pieces together with Elmer's Glue All. Make an equal mixture of glue and water and coat your finished sculpture. Allow to air dry for about a week. Coat again with the thinned glue mixture. When completely hard and dry, give your piece a shiny finish by spraying lightly with a clear gloss paint spray.

Store: Soft Bread Dough keeps for up to three weeks if kept airtight and refrigerated. Finished pieces will last for years if encased or stored carefully, and kept away from moisture.



Easy to mix together with simple kitchen ingredients, this sculpting dough will make a large basket like the photo. I like to use it to make tree ornaments using cookie cutters. You can sculpt all kinds of decorative wall plaques, individual small baskets and many other items. It's wonderful for children because if they get carried away and want to eat harm. I will just taste very salty.


4 cups of all purpose flour
2 cups (1carton) plain salt
3/4 - 1 cup water (added until proper consistency)
1 tablespoon glycerine or plain vegetable oil (improves elasticity)
*1 tablespoon cinnamon or other scented oil in place of vegetable oil

Measure all dry ingredients into a large smooth mixing bowl. Add oil
or optional scented oil drizzling around and over flour. Add water a little at a time, mixing until it forms a stiff dough and clings together. If it's too sticky, add a little more flour, if it's too dry to hold together, add a little more water. Turn out onto a lightly floured smooth surface.

Knead for about 10 minutes until it forms a smooth, soft, workable dough that holds its shape well. Cover or wrap the dough and let it rest for about 30 minutes.

Color the dough itself if you want to, or paint your piece after baking. Dough will bake much darker than it looks when soft. Tint accordingly with gel food coloring. You can also use kool-aid to color and scent at this point. Separate into sections according to how many colors you want to make. It's good to begin by dividing it up into four pieces coloring each... red (strawberry) yellow (lemon) green (green apple or lime) and leaving the last piece uncolored. You can mix these colors together to get many more hues and shades.

Work your project piece by piece moistening all joints where any two pieces overlap or meet so it will hold together when dry. Do not get the dough too wet. To form a basket, use an upside down pan or bowl as a form. Place it onto a cookie sheet big enough to have plenty of working room all around the edge.

Divide dough evenly into four or five sections. Roll two pieces each long enough to reach around the rim of your form. Twist these together lengthwise to make a rope border for your basket. Connect by moistening the two ends where they meet. Keep in mind when it's done the bottom of this border will become the visible top edge/rim of your piece. Take care that it does not burn during baking.

Roll remaining dough uniformly 1/4" to 1/2" thick and cut long strips about 1" wide, long enough to reach over your form from side to side. (study image for positioning strips)

Store unused dough refridgerated in a ziplock bag or an airtight container for up to a week. Note: Dough will become somewhat softer, and harder to work with as it ages. It will also bake darker the longer it is kept, so it's best to use it as soon after you make it as possible.

Bake in a 250 degree oven for approximately 3 hours or until it is thoroughly dried and hard. Gently squeeze at the thickest part of your piece. If there is any give, continue baking until piece resonates dry when gently thumped.

Have Fun!