How to Make Self-Hardening Clay

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Self-Hardening Salt Clay is a great dough that students can use to mold whatever shapes, bowls or decorations they want. This is also a great idea for encouraging children to make homemade Christmas gifts for friends and family.


  • 1 1/2 cup salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon alum to preserve dough if the clay is not to be baked

How to Make Self-Hardening Salt Clay

In a large bowl, children can mix together the salt, flour, and alum if not baking the clay. Slowly add water, stirring until the dough balls up around the spoon. Children should then switch to kneading the dough much like bread. If the clay crumbles as it is kneaded, more water can be added.

This clay will harden as it air dries, but it can also be baked. To bake the clay, set the oven at 300 degrees F and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the clay is hard.

Encourage children to make Christmas ornaments or other small gifts as a cheap way to spread the Christmas cheer this holiday season!

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