Corn Starch Clay Holiday Decorations

I was not too thrilled about my salt dough decorations of the other day and thought I would try the corn starch clay method.  I found this mixture through a link on Pinterest, I have made changes based on my experience. Clay Christmas Decorations 

print pdf Clay Christmas Decorations

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 cup baking soda

3/4 cup water

Warm Clay from the stove into a plastic tub to cool

In a medium sized pot combine the cornstarch, baking soda, and water. With an adults help the kids can stir this mixture over medium-low heat. After a couple of minutes, the mixture will begin to thicken.  You must stir the pot and never leave it, or this mixture will setup. When it looks like smooth, mashed potatoes, remove the pot from the heat. Coating the spoon with cornstarch will help the spoon get the clay out of the pot.  Spoon the ball of dough into a bowl and cover it with a damp cloth until its cool.  I placed it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to cool. When it’s cool, knead it on a smooth surface, adding a little more cornstarch if it feels sticky. You will need to have cornstarch on the surface and on your hands to knead the clay.

Rolling, cutting, and baking

Cool clay resting after having been worked by hand with extra corn starch

Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.   Roll out clay to 1/4 inch thick on a surface lightly dusted with cornstarch. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Transfer shapes to the prepared baking sheet.

 Use chopsticks or pencil to poke a hole in the center top of each decoration,.

Rolling between chop sticks

Place them in the oven at 175 degrees for about an hour, turning them over halfway through cooking.

Then … Increase the temp to 200 degrees, for one additional hour, turning over after 30 minutes.  Allow to completely cool in the oven.  Cool = cold.  Taking the harden clay out too soon will cause them to crack.   


After baking, resting, two broke. Cause was thermal shock.

I like the bone white appearance of the “fired” clay. 

Two broke upon taking them out the of the oven, yet I was able to glue them.  These resemble fired bone white clay. 





Salt Dough Tags for the Holidays

This year I was asked to look into salt dough ornaments for the students.  The teacher wanted a small colorful item they could glue the students class photo on the back, as a gift from student to parent.

Not having done this project before (really!) I experiment with the material before submitting to the homeroom teachers for approval. 

I used 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of salt and 1/2 of water.  Mixed, rolled to 1/4″ thickness and baked at 200 degrees for six hours.  The above image is the baked tags.  After cooling I painted the tags with  Daniel Smith Luminescent aztec gold acrylic paint, highlighted by red watercolor. I allowed the paint to dry overnight. 

I was able to download a collection of holiday clip art images to collage over the tag. Using Daniel Smith acrylic medium gloss, I coated the tag, and applied the handtorn images, covering the corners with white tissue paper, and recoating the whole tag with medium gloss.  I then worked small areas of the tag with the gold paint, trying to obtain a better merge of image and tag.  Small amount of epson salt was adhered to the side to keep with the holiday theme.


Class Project – Paper weaving

Last school year I was asked to work with the third grade class and create a class auction project for a fundraising event. 

As a quick introduction to me and the art project, the class created simple paper weaving with construction paper from the recycling bind in the workroom. Our next meeting the students created colorful paper for the project.

Each student received a small sheet of Bristol paper, watercolor from Daniel Smith Art, brush and cup of water.  We reviewed wet-on-wet, blowing color around, removing color with towels, and adding sea salt while drying.  At our next class the small sheets were dry, cut into short thin strips, reserving a 3″ x 4″ square for weaving.  

Students were encouraged to exchange strips to create a variety of visual colors in the weaving. In addition, each student chose a inspirational quote from the bible to incorporate into their weaving. When the student completed their weaving, mounted them on black foamcore board, adding additional strips to join each work together.  The project was then framed and offered for sale.