Favorite Recipes for Art Materials

Non-hardening No-Cook Play Dough

2 cups self rising flour
2 T. alum
2 T. salt
1 cup, plus 2 T. boiling water

  • Mix and knead.

Salt Paint

1/3 cup salt
1/4 tsp. food coloring

  • Spread in pan to dry before putting in shakers.

Cooked Play Dough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 T. vegetable oil
2 tsp. cream of tartar

  • Heat until ingredients form a ball, add food coloring.

Potter’s Clay

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup salt dissolved in 3 3/4 cups of boiling water

  • Blend flour and cornstarch with enough water to make paste.
  • Boil water and salt.
  • Add to cornstarch mix and cook until clear.
  • Cool overnight then add 6 to 8 cups of flour and knead until you have the right consistency.

Iridescent Soap Bubbles

1 cup of water (hard or soft)
2 T. liquid detergent
1 T. glycerin
1/2 tsp. sugar

  • Mix all ingredients.

Finger Paint

2/3 cup elastic dry starch
1 cup cold water
3 cups boiling water
1 cup Ivory Soap Flakes
Oil of cloves, a few drops (preservative) calcimine
pigment or vegetable coloring

  • Dissolve elastic starch in cold water.
  • Smooth lumps and add boiling water.
  • Stir constantly.
  • Thicken but do not boil more than one minute.
  • Add rest of ingredients (hot or cold). Use oil glazed paper, newsprint, or wrapping paper.

Sugar Flour Paste

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 qt. water (2 cups cold, 2 cups hot)
1 T. powdered alum
3 drops of oil of cloves

  • Mix flour and sugar together.
  • Slowly stir in 1 cup of water.
  • Bring remainder to boil and add the mixture to it, stirring constantly.
  • Continue to cook and stir (1/2 hour in a double broiler) until fairly clear.
  • Remove from heat and add oil of cloves.
  • Makes 1 quart of paste. Paste keeps a long time. Keep moist by adding small piece of wet sponge to top of small jar of paste.

Bookbinder’s Paste

1 tsp. flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. alum (powdered)
1/3 cup water

  • Mix dry ingredients.
  • Add water slowly, stirring out lumps.
  • Cook in a double boiler over low heat, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat when paste begins to thicken; it will thicken more as it cools.
  • Keep covered. Thin with water when necessary.

Sand Paint

1/2 cup sand (washed, dried and sifted)
1 T. powdered paint

  • Shake onto surface brushed with watered-down glue.

Soap Paint

1 1/2 cups soap flakes
1 cup hot or warm water

  • Whip with an eggbeater until stiff.

Play Dough Recipe

Below is a play dough recipe similar to the
commercial type and more durable. Keep in a plastic
bag or closed container when not being used.

1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 T. oil
1 T. alum
1/2 cup salt
2 T. vanilla
Food coloring for desired intensity

  • Mix all dry ingredients.
  • Add oil and water.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it reaches the consistency of mashed potatoes.
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla and color.
  • Divide into balls and work in color by kneading.

Baker’s Clay

4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup salt
1 1/2 cups water

  • The salt in the dough will dry your hands out.
  • Rub a little salad oil on your hands before working with the clay.
  • Don’t forget to oil children’s hands too.
  • Mix all ingredients with hands. More water may be needed.
  • Knead for 5 minutes and it’s ready to use.
  • Mold with hands or use cookie cutters. The dough can be colored with a few drops of food coloring.
  • Store unused portions in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
  • Remember to oil hands before sculpting with the clay.

Homemade Finger Paint

Small plastic bowls or containers
Soy sauce or prepared mustard (optional)

  • Mix two tablespoons of cornstarch and two tablespoons of cold water in a medium size mixing bowl.
  • Add one cup of boiling water and stir again.
  • Decide how many different colors you want, and then divide the mixture into small plastic bowls or containers. To add color and smell, try a few drops of soy sauce for a nice brown.
  • A few shakes of prepared mustard will make a soft yellow. A spoon full of powered drink mix will give it a pleasant color and smell.