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How to Make Sawdust Modeling Clay

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Written by Darlene Michaud   

homemade clay recipe

Sawdust modeling clay or modeling compound is a great homemade clay that dries with a lovely wood grain appearance. You can use it as any other clay to make fun objects like figures or decorative cups and vases, etc. If you happen to just have a tree cut down use the sawdust to make this clay! Or if you have a workshop, next time you sweep up the sawdust save it for a sawdust clay project. If you don't have any sawdust, ask your local hardware store to save some for you. Or you may be able to buy some at your local craft store. This recipe makes about 1 cups of sawdust clay. You may double or triple this recipe if needed.  This recipe also requires that you make one of my other recipes for either Thin Paste or Paper Paste. The recipes for Thin Paste or Paper Paste can be found at the bottom of this article.

Step 1:  Gather the following ingredients to make sawdust clay: 1 cup of fine sawdust, 1 cup of Thin Paste or Paper Paste (see recipes at the bottom of this article).

Step 2:  Mix the sawdust and the paste of your choice to a thick dough like consistency. If the sawdust is coarse, your may need to add more paste to obtain a dough like consistency.

Step 3:  Knead the sawdust clay over and over again until it is mixed well.

Step 4:  Use the sawdust clay as you would any clay to make whatever creation you want. You can stick bits of the clay to your basic piece by moistening it with a bit of the glue you made and sticking it down.

Step 5:  Let your sawdust clay creation air dry for 2 to 3 days. To speed up the drying process, you can bake at 200 degrees for 1 to 2 hours then let it finish air drying until it is dry and hard.

Step 6:  Sand your creation with fine sand paper if you want a smooth finish or you can leave it as is. For a permanent finish you can spray it with shellac or varnish. Small creations can be polished with clear nail polish for a permanent shiny finish.

How to Make Thin Paste
How to Make Paper Paste

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