Modelling clay is suitable for a variety of applications. From handicrafts with children to the design of landscapes in model making to works of art. Cold porcelain is ideal for these purposes as it becomes solid in the air and does not need to be fired after modelling. Here you can find out which methods you use to make your own modelling clay.
Are you looking for methods to make modelling clay yourself? There are numerous “recipes” for custom-made modelling clay that work just as well as those that can be bought in a craft shop or on the Internet. In some cases, you use ingredients in the household that keep the purchase costs very low.
The cold porcelain can easily be used by children and painted after drying. Depending on the idea used, the surface differs, because some allow a smooth surface, while others allow a slightly rougher surface. This is the advantage of these: You can try several and see which ones are right for you.
Cold porcelain: What is it?
If you are looking for a modelling clay to make yourself, but have never heard of cold porcelain, you have come to the right place. This is a modelling clay that is not fired after moulding and can simply dry out in the air. This would not be possible with normal ceramics. For this reason, this form of porcelain is ideal for teaching children how to model or if you don’t want to burn your creations. They can also be coloured with food colours or painted after drying. The mass is based on glue and starch, which has led to a variety of different recipes.
However, the mass has some disadvantages:
You will already notice when kneading that this modelling mass dries up quickly. This means that you have to hurry or knead constantly to prevent the mass from drying out too quickly. After the mass has completely dried, which can take several days, it must not come into contact with water, even if you have chosen a variant that has been mixed with water. For this reason, this modelling clay is only suitable for decorative purposes, while real porcelain can be used in the kitchen. You should pay attention to this.
Tip: Do not be surprised about the behaviour of the mass when drying, because the result can be a little different than expected. On the one hand, the mass loses between six and ten percent of its mass during drying and on the other hand, food colours can turn out darker.
Making cold porcelain yourself – instructions
That’s what you need:
That’s how you do it:
Step 1: Add 125 millilitres of wood glue to the bowl.
Step 2: Add 70 grams of cornflour.
Step 3: Add a teaspoon of white acrylic paint to the existing ingredients.
Step 4: Mix well with the blender.
Step 5: Sprinkle a heaped teaspoon of Kukident over the other ingredients.
Tip: Rub your hands with a hint of cornflour in between. This facilitates the act and beautifies the result.
Step 8: Put the modelling clay in a freezer bag, close it airtight and let it rest at room temperature for about twelve hours.
Note: During this time, the ingredients combine with each other.
The cold porcelain is ready as a practical and versatile modelling compound. You can start making pretty accessories right away. If you don’t want to use it, wrap it in cling film and keep it in an airtight tin. So it stays in good condition.
Handicrafts with DIY modelling clay
If you do something with modelling clay yourself, you will find numerous methods to adapt it to your ideas. The modelling itself is the basis for your work of art and the design ideas facilitate the implementation of your own creative impressions.
Painting modelling clay is possible with a variety of colours. Despite its sensitivity to water, water-based paints can be used as well as acrylic, food and pastel paints, i.e. chalks. You can either massage the colours directly into the still modelable dimensions or apply them thinly after drying.
A firing flask is ideal for processing the dried mass. With this you can proceed very precisely and incorporate your own dedications, pictures, lettering or samples. You only have to work very carefully here, as the tip can quickly penetrate through the cold porcelain. For this reason, the application is recommended especially on thicker components of the work of art.
If you want to make small decorative items yourself from modelling clay, you can use cookie cutters to shape or press in patterns. Just be careful not to destroy existing shapes. You can also cut out shapes and join the cut out parts together, for example to make rose petals.
You can print on the cold porcelain. For example, you can use a net of sturdy threads or plastic and press it onto the surface when it dries. This creates an extremely precise pattern which can even be combined with other patterns in this way.
Depending on your knowledge of electronics, you can even equip your creations with small light-emitting diodes. For example, if you’re creating a figure, LEDs are great for your eyes or nose (for a reindeer, for example).
Once your artwork and decorative items have dried from the modelling clay, they must be properly stored. As cold porcelain is sensitive to moisture, it must be treated accordingly for storage. Especially important is a protective layer of clear varnish, which you apply thinly to the work of art. This protects the sensitive material from the following environmental effects.
damp weather (for example when windows are open)
Droplets from spray bottles
Steam (for example from kettles or pots in the vicinity)
Depending on how good you are with a brush, we recommend liquid clear varnish or a variant for spraying on. Clear varnish for spraying is particularly easy to apply and ensures an effective finish for the cold porcelain, which makes it much more durable. You should also choose a location for the solid modelling clay that protects it from moisture and insects. The individual ingredients can be interesting for insects if the artwork is not stored properly.
The location should have the following characteristics:
no direct sun
not exposed to strong temperature fluctuations
Many people like to use display cases or glass bells to protect their creations from moisture and insects. These prove to be particularly effective as they prevent moist air from reaching the porcelain, which could have a negative effect on the structure.
Tip: The durability of works of art can also be maintained by placing a small bowl of rice or a packet of silica gel in the immediate vicinity. This absorbs excess moisture.
Many things can be modelled out of cold porcelain, such as jewellery or pendants. These pendants can be used in many ways, for example as key rings or as decoration pendants on branches or other decorative materials.
please wear gloves when colouring the cold porcelain with colours, as natural and artificial colours will discolour and after drying coloured modelling clay usually becomes darker
decorate your cold porcelain with acrylic paints or other decorative material, you can also mix sand or small decorative stones in the material, so a new structure is created (please only work in solid materials)
the cold porcelain can also be sanded with fine sandpaper after the drying process, which makes it particularly smooth from the haptic point of view
modelled elements can also be covered with napkins or thin paper
before modelling, always knead the cold porcelain mass until soft, everything should have mixed homogeneously and add some cornflour again and again during kneading
after the drying your modelled object will shrink, it will become about ten percent smaller, holes from the outset therefore rather somewhat larger cut out or give in the drying process wooden sticks or straw pieces into the openings
allow the modelled objects to dry on an air-permeable base, depending on the thickness of the modelled object, the drying takes a few hours to a few days, then the mass is completely dry
Cold porcelain itself is not waterproof, therefore give waterproof clear varnish over the finished objects, matt or silky glossy varnish looks particularly noble and sets cold porcelain figures so properly in scene
with a little wood glue individual parts can be glued together, this also works partially before drying, it is better to do this after the drying process
Modelling clay – Ideas
Preliminary remark: The following steps are regarded as “introduction” for each short manual:
Knead the modelling compound until soft and form a crack-free ball. Roll it out to the desired thickness. Use a pasta roller or a similar utensil.
Step 1: Roll out the modelling mass with some cornflour as a flour substitute on baking paper.
Step 2: Cut out your desired motif with a cookie cutter (star, heart and so on).
Step 2: Insert a thick straw into the upper part of the cold porcelain.
Tip: The straw marks the hole through which you can “thread” the pendant at the end onto a connecting element to the key.
Step 3: Let the trailer harden.
Step 4: Paint or decorate the accessory as desired.
Step 5: Let the paint or decoration dry. Done! For a noble effect and to protect the colour you can paint the pendant afterwards with clear lacquer.
The pendants can now be used as chain pendants or also as key pendants – as desired. In any case, they are creative little gifts.
Or you can create small Christmas pendants for the Christmas tree or to decorate gifts. There are no limits to your creativity.