Recipe for Homemade Air Dry Clay

Here is a recipe for Homemade Air-Dry Clay (Fake Play-Doh®)

Ingredients (I don’t know the metric equivalents, but it doesn’t matter because THIS IS AMERICA!) (Actually, I just don’t know the metric system. You can find  a conversion chart if you click here.)

2 cups of flour

1 cup of salt

2 cups of water

2 TBSP (is that how you do tablespoons?) of vegetable oil

1 TSP (I’m pretty sure that’s short for teaspoon) of cream of tartar

NOTE: A lot of people think you can jazz up any recipe by melting cheese into whatever you’re making. This is NOT that kind of recipe.

Combine all the ingredients in a pot over medium heat, stirring constantly. And I mean CONSTANTLY! Stir it so a lump could never, ever form; stir it like you’re making gravy that the Queen of England is going to eat on her bangers and mash. (NOTE: this is “foreshadowing.”) (Also note: I have no idea if you put gravy on bangers and mash, but I need this imagery to “foreshadow,” so.)

Once the mixture starts thickening, lower the heat. But DON’T turn it OFF, because you can’t cook with no flame. God! Keep stirring!

I hope you’re still stirring, because you’re not supposed to stop that, even while you’re adjusting the heat.

Are you still stirring? Okay. The mixture will start to get thick – really, REALLY goopy! – until it becomes so thick that it’s a chore to stir it. The thickness will become stiffness – but keep stirring! Your arm will be KILLING you, but keep stirring until the mixture looks like very stiff mashed potatoes. (See? Remember the gravy remark?)

Once you start to see tiny pellet-looking pieces in the mixture, remove it from the heat. Then turn off the stove.

NOTE: What you will now have is going to look so much like mashed potatoes that you might be tempted to taste it. DO NOT DO THIS! It’s just salt and flour, and believe me – it tastes HORRIBLE! (Obviously, I couldn’t help myself.)

Once the mixture has cooled a bit, scrape it all out of the pot and start kneading it like bread dough. This is the good part, because you can get a lot of thinking done while you knead that fake Play-Doh®. Just knead it and knead it, imagining all the shapes and sculptures you could make with that Play-Doh® if you had any talent whatsoever in that area.

If you start to get mad or sad that you have no talent in that area, just keep kneading and try thinking about something else, something wonderful, like Juicy Fruit bubble gum or the smell of diesel fumes coming from the back end of a bus on a busy London street. (I’ve never been to London, but I added this image for the sake of my friend *********, whose memory of smelling diesel fumes from the back of a bus in London when she was a teenager has never left her.)

After you knead the dough, you can add food coloring to it (see photo above), or leave it the color it is and try to bake it like bread. (This won’t work, but you could bake it like a brick, maybe. I don’t know! I’m not a chemist! Leave me alone!) You can store it in airtight bags or containers for up to three or four weeks, especially if you put it in the refrigerator.

NOTE: Write “DO NOT EAT THIS!” on each container.

Real photo of real fake Play Doh made following this recipe.