Are you looking for an easy dough recipe that air dries hard? Try making this cornstarch and salt clay recipe- with only 3 ingredients- that’s great for projects, ornaments, or just playing around!

Homemade playdough is a staple in our arts and crafts cabinet. It’s easy to make, fun to play with, and provides hours and hours of fun. The only downside to playdough is that it doesn’t dry very well. It’s great for playing with, but not for keepsakes or gifts. (Here’s my recipe for playdough if you want that!)

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But if you are looking for a homemade clay that dries hard and looks great- this cornstarch and salt clay is it!

Unlike my homemade air dry clay, this salt clay recipe makes a dough that’s somewhat grainy, like salt. This is actually one of my favorite qualities of this dough because it makes the dried items look sparkly!

It’s great for ornaments, models, bowls, and whatever else you, or the kids want to make with it!


sparkling air dry salt clay


Easy 3 Ingredient Cornstarch and Salt Clay Recipe

This is a super simple recipe- with only 3 ingredients that you probably already have on hand!

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups salt
  • 1 1/4 cups of water (+/-)
  • 1 cup cornstarch

You will also need a medium sauce pan and a spoon for stirring. 


Here’s how to make the salt clay:

Mix all the ingredients in the saucepan.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan often while stirring to prevent burning. 


homemade salt clay cooking in a pot, forming a ball

The clay has just come together in a ball, it’s just about done!


Cook and stir until the mixture forms a ball and all of the water is gone. Then turn off the heat and continue to stir and flip the clay ball for a few moments to reduce some of the stickiness. 

Turn out onto a board or counter and knead until smooth. You may need to dust your hands or surface with cornstarch if the clay is a little sticky.

Then it’s time to create!


ball of homemade salt clay on a blue plate


How to Use Homemade Salt Clay

You can use this homemade salt clay to make all kinds of things!

Give the kids some tools, such as rolling pins and cookie cutters and let them create whatever they wish. 

Other tools include:

  • toothpicks (for poking holes or writing)
  • leaves (great for making prints)
  • stamps (for stamping patterns)
  • Scissors or butter knives for cutting

Let your kids create whatever they want, or use some of the ideas  below as a jumping off point.


small salt clay bear drying on a mat


Not sure what to make? Here are some of ideas for how to this clay:

  • Homemade Christmas ornaments
  • Hand prints (or paw prints)
  • Animal figures
  • Pinch pots
  • Coil pots
  • Picture frames
  • Little bricks to build with
  • Anything else you can imagine!

When you are done, just let it air dry until it’s completely dry. 

As I mentioned, the clay dries very hard, and has a somewhat sparkly look to it. 

You can also paint the final product, though I think the pure white, sparkly look is nicer than painting!


salt clay sculptures including a pot, snowman, coil pot, and a cutout star


How to Store this Cornstarch and Salt Clay

Since this is an air dry clay, it will dry if left out in the open air. 

To store for later, place in an air tight container. 

I find with most homemade clay recipes the quality of the dough goes downhill somewhat quickly, even in an air tight container it tends to slowly dry out, making it harder to work with. 

I suggest using it within a couple of days to ensure the best quality of your final products. You can always make a half recipe if you won’t use the full amount in a couple of days. 


You May Also Like:

Edible Candy Corn Slime

How to Make Glow in the Dark Slime

How to  Make Sidewalk Chalk Paint


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