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How to Make Cornstarch Dough

Updated on September 24, 2012

This dough recipe is perfect for crafting your own Christmas ornaments, children's keepsakes, or other holiday decorations. The final product will have a matte white appearance that can be left natural, sealed with clear coat, or painted. You can add food coloring to change the color for themes or holidays. This is a great craft for parents, kids, teachers, grandparents--anyone!

This recipe is perfectly safe for babies, children and pets.

Cornstarch, baking soda, water, food coloring, and rubber gloves for colored dough.
Cornstarch, baking soda, water, food coloring, and rubber gloves for colored dough.

Dough Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 3/4 cup water
  • food coloring, optional

Additional Supplies

  • Rubber gloves to protect hands from food coloring stains
  • cookie cutters
  • straw to punch a hole
  • twine or ribbon for tying
  • clear coat or sealant
  • water color paints

The dough should thicken up to look like cake frosting or mashed potatoes.
The dough should thicken up to look like cake frosting or mashed potatoes.

Step 1: Create the Mixture

If you are going to dye your dough, add the food coloring to the 3/4 cup of water. Combine the cornstach, baking soda, and water in a large sauce pan over low-medium heat. I needed more heat cooking on an electric cook top, so I was on medium heat, but gas tops might not require as much so adjust accordingly.

The mixture will look like milk and then gradually thicken. When it has the consistency of smooth cake frosting, spoon the mixture into a mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and allow to cool.

Step 2: Knead it, roll it, cut it!

When your dough has cooled, remove it from the bowl and knead on a cornstarch dusted counter top. If the dough feels sticky, add a little bit more cornstarch. Roll it out to a 1/4" thickness. Use cookie cutters, biscuit cutters, bowls or cups to cut out shapes to decorate. You can use rubber stamps, toothpicks, or clay carving tools to make detailed designs.

Step 3: Bake or Dry

Bake your shapes on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper for 1 hour at 175 degrees. You will need to flip them over after 30 minutes. If you notice curling or bending, you probably rolled your dough too thin. Cracks may form if the dough was not rolled evenly.

You can also leave dough out to dry if you don't want to bake it. This method is good for thin or delicate shapes, but it takes a full 24 hours to set.

Allow shapes to cool completely before painting or decorating. Seal with clear paint if you wish.


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    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      I am going to have to try this for this holiday season. Thank you! Voted up and sharing.


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