Baking Soda Modeling Clay

This is the best homemade modeling clay I’ve found. It’s light, oh-so-soft, and has a texture similar to playdough. And it even dries without flaking or crumbling!

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 cups baking soda
1 ¼ cup water
1 cup cornstarch
Optional sealer:  Shellac, Acrylic spray or clear nail polish 

Mix the baking soda and cornstarch in a saucepan. Slowly add water into and stir over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes.

It will thicken up pretty quickly.

Once it’s almost the same thickness as playdough, remove from heat and dump onto a clean surface. Cover with a dishtowel until cool. Once cool, knead the dough until smooth and start forming the dough.

(Big Brother wanted to reenact the story of David and Goliath, so he chose to make five smooth stones. Love that kid!)

Allow your creations to dry overnight before painting them. If you choose to seal your designs you can do so with shellac, acrylic spray or even clear nail polish!

I’ll be sharing our final creation later in the week, but until then I’ll leave you with this beaut…

Yep, I made it.


    1. I honestly don’t know for sure. I THINK it should keep if you put it in a ziploc and squeeze all the air out. But like I said, I’m not 100%. :)

  1. Thanks for this awesome recipe! I made it today but didn’t have quite enough baking soda and it turned out a bit runny. I just kneaded flour into the dough to get the right consistency and it worked too. We also added a bunch of pumpkin pie spice mix and the whole house smells great and it turned the dough into a beautiful earthy orangish brown. It is packed tightly in plastic and still fells malleable.

  2. Thank you Jenae for ALL of your wonderful ideas and real, raw posts! The Lord is using you to bless and encourage many….especially me! We are getting ready to make our golf tee turkeys!

  3. Hi,

    does this work for taking handprints as a gift to grandparents? I am hoping to do this as a Christmas gift, but wasnt sure how it would hold up. Once you seal it is it pretty well hard like ceramica?


  4. Hi! Thanks for posting this! I used it with many of my classes and they loved it!

    I saw it on lots of Pinterest boards, and all the recipes were the same. Since
    yours was the one I actually read and used, when I made a blog post using
    this recipe, I linked back to you.


  5. Hey! I was wondering if this is good to make impressions in, too? We’re talking about dinosaurs in my preschool class and I would like to make “fossils” to dig up in our sand box this week.
    I look forward to hearing from you!

      1. Awesome! Thank you!! We have a few allergic to Gluten so this Baking Soda on is perfect and will probably be used in our classroom for years to come! I love the look of the Coffee Grounds one, maybe I’ll give it a whirl when I have a less…allergic group! Thank you!

  6. Teacher here. Thanks for sharing this idea. I saw it on Pinterest. I wonder if you know whether this would work as a base for a totem pole? I am thinking about whether I could make the clay into logs, let it dry, and have kiddos carve on it, maybe using a nail as a tool. Will the clay hold together but yield to carving do you think?

  7. Can we put food dye in it, so it will have a color? When it would dry, would the color stay the same, or would it be white a flakey? Or, would we have to wait for them to dry to paint them green? We are making advent wreathes and just wondering! Thanks!

  8. Jenae,

    Thank you so much for this recipe. It has been our go-to dough since you posted it. My kids have food allergies, so most dough is not safe for them. This dough safe and terrific!

    Thanks, again!

    Amy :)

  9. I should also say that one of my children is allergic to corn starch, so we use arrowroot powder as a substitute. It works perfectly! :)

  10. Made w my kids they were super excited we followed directions step by step. We were a little disappointed, it kept falling apart!! Real crumbly All in all not happy we will never use this again!

    1. I think you must have waited too long to knead the dough. I had to rush it a little, so I kneaded it while it was still quite warm, and it worked perfectly, for my daughter’s class project.

  11. Hi, Love your site, lots of great ideas for the little devils oops I mean little angels to try, do you know how long the clay would lase, could it be kept soft, before too hard to mould?
    thank you!

  12. For anyone asking about making ahead, I made 4 batches yesterday for Bible School today. I put each batch in a quart freezer bag, eliminated the air, and refrigerated. When I got to church today the dough was crumbly and still cold. I kneaded each batch a bit and flattened it into an aluminum pie pan with wet paper towels under and over it then sealed it with plastic wrap. At time for class, each pan was perfect, moist and pliable.

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