5 Homeschooling Favorite Craft Recipes

Clay, paint, slime, oh my! Crafting and homeschooling often go hand-in-hand and what better way to make hands-on learning even more fun is with than with great DIY projects the kids will love. Here are some tried and true recipes for making your own crafting mediums.

Salt Dough Clay

Ideas for use: 3D modeling, relief maps, ornaments


•    1/2 cup salt
•    2 cups flour
•    3/4 cup water


Mix salt and flour together in a bowl. Add water a little at a time until the dough becomes stiff then use your hands to gather the dough together into a ball Knead the dough about 5 minutes or until it is soft and pliable. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 5-10 minutes before using.


•    If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour, about a tablespoon at a time, kneading it in until no longer sticky.
•    If the dough is dry, add a little more water, about a tablespoon at a time, kneading it in until no longer dry.
•    When using the dough, you may want to coat your hands with a little flour to keep it from sticking.
•    Store unused dough in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
•    If you want to make your project permanent, you can bake this dough in a 200° oven for about 90 minutes or as long as it takes for the project to become dry and hard, sometimes as much as 2 hours, depending on thickness. Once hard, be sure to seal with Modge Podge or other varnish. ***If baking your clay, be sure to not use self-rising flour or your project will “puff.”
•    You can color the dough with food coloring or Kool-ade packets, but you will probably need to add more flour or water to compensate for the additional ingredients.

Edible Paint Ideas

Ideas for use: Great for little ones or children who put everything into their mouths. Fun to decorate food or create colorful edible projects.

There are loads of options for making edible paints. One of the simplest methods is to take a food base such as yogurt, applesauce, pudding, baby food, whip cream, or other “mushy” food and either use as is or color in a variety of ways such as adding food coloring, gelatin or Kool-ade powder, or crushed colored cereal. The Craft at Home Family has gathered all kinds of edible paint how-tos with links here if you need more ideas. 

Sidewalk Chalk

Ideas for use: perfect for driveway art, writing out spelling and vocabulary words, art projects, and more


•    2/3 cup water
•    1 1/3 cups Plaster of Paris
•    Tempura paints (food coloring can work as well though may not be as bright)
•    Paper tubes (toilet paper, paper towel tubes for giant chalk, coin wrappers for smaller chalk) or silicone molds. Alternatively, you can make your own molds by shaping foil and lining with wax or parchment paper. If using tubes, be sure to close up one end with tape.
•    Disposable bowls, paper cups, and spoons or popsicle sticks for mixing


***Do not clean materials in sink as this can cause issues with your plumbing. That is why we suggest using disposable items.

Mix water and plaster in bowl until the consistency of runny yogurt. Divide mixture into paper cups and add 3-4 tablespoons of paint to reach desired color in each cup. Pour or spoon each cup into your desired mold. Set aside to dry 24-48 hours. Putting them in the sun helps speed the drying process. Once dry, pop out of the molds and enjoy.

Alternative Recipe without Plaster of Paris:

This recipe makes a more brittle chalk but can work in a pinch.


•    1 cup water
•    1 cup cornstarch
•    Tempura paints (food coloring can work as well though may not be as bright)

Basically, follow the same instructions above, however the drying time my be much less (12-24 hours).

Paper Mâché

Ideas for use: pinatas, models, sculptures, DIY globes, bowls, decorations, rattles, maracas, rain sticks


•    Traditionally strips of paper (old newspaper, magazines, scrap paper, wrapping paper, paper bags, etc)  or you could use yarn, fabric scraps, leaves. Experiment with a variety of materials.
•    Something to use as “framework” such as balloon, wire shape stuffed with crumpled paper, aluminum foil in desired shape, carboard boxes, plastic bottles, etc.. Just about anything can be used as a mold if you cover it with plastic wrap beforehand and have a way to unmold once the paper mâché has set if you want to keep the original.

Option 1 (flour method):

•    1 part water
•    1 part flour

Mix equally measured ingredients together well until smooth.

Option 2 (glue method):

•    ¾ parts white glue
•    ¼ part water

Mix ingredients together. If using a thick glue, you can do a 1 to 1 ratio.

Option 3 (cooking method):

•    1 part flour
•    5 parts water

Mix ingredients together in large pot and bring to a boil. Boil about 3 minutes then set aside to cool completely before using. This method makes the smoothest paste.

General Instructions:

Prior to mixing your desired paper mâché medium, prepare your “frame.” 

Prepare paper mâché paste per recipe.

Dip pieces of molding material into the mixture, wipe excess amount off into the bowl, then place them on your mold. Continue to cover your mold with your molding material until you are satisfied with its coverage. 

Set aside to dry completely before adding more layers (about 24 hours). No more than 4 layers should be added.

After adding all the layers you want and your project has completely dried, you can carefully remove any framework as needed.

•    This is a messy medium, so prepare your work surface with either newspapers or a disposable table cloth to minimize clean up.
•    Use white paper for your last layer makes painting and decorating your project simpler.
•    If you are not adding an outside finish to your project, you can add a couple of tablespoons of salt to your flour mixtures to help prevent mold growth.


Ideas for use: Science and sensory exploration

There are loads of slime recipes available. Instead of repeating all of them here, The Spruce Crafts has pulled together 10 of the best here.