In connection with my Marketbasket article on baking soda, here is my recipe for making an inexpensive play clay that is a versatile and non-toxic medium. Have fun!
2 cups (1 pound package) baking soda
1 cup cornstarch
1-1/4 cups cold water
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the baking soda and cornstarch. Stir in the water. Stir constantly until the mixture is the consistency of wet mashed potatoes.
Turn out onto a plate and cover with a damp cloth. When the play clay is cool enough to handle, knead it like dough until smooth.
For flat ornaments, roll out and use cookie cutters to make shapes. Or you can mold the clay freehand. Insert wire in the soft clay for hanging. Let the designs harden overnight on waxed paper. Thick designs may need more time to dry. Drying time can be shortened by heating the shapes in a preheated 250 degree oven for 15 minutes.
If desired, paint the ornaments after they have hardened with water colors, poster paints or colored paint pens. Coat the dry painted pieces with clear varnish to preserve.