How to Make Cold Porcelain

comments (63) July 11th, 2008     

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Sister_Diane Diane Gilleland, contributor
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This pendant is made with cold porcelain, an air-drying modeling clay you can make in your kitchen.
Cold porcelain is made from simple ingredients: white glue, cold cream, glycerin, cornstarch, and water.
Cold porcelain holds tiny details beautifully. These amazing roses are by Cold Porcelain Designs.
This pendant is made with cold porcelain, an air-drying modeling clay you can make in your kitchen.

This pendant is made with cold porcelain, an air-drying modeling clay you can make in your kitchen.

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There are lots of reasons to love polymer clay, but if you're of a DIY mindset, you might try making some cold porcelain-an air-drying clay that's amazing for jewelry and other small projects. Here's how!

What you'll need:
3/4 cup white glue
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cold cream (such as Pond's)
1 teaspoon glycerin
1 cup cornstarch, plus additional for dusting your hands

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Assemble all your ingredients before you begin. If you have trouble finding glycerin, try a drugstore's skin care aisle, or a cake-decorating store.

If possible, use an old saucepan and spoon for this process. The ingredients in cold porcelain aren't toxic, but they can be sticky, so don't use your best utensils!

  Mix the wet ingredients over medium heat.

Begin by mixing the white glue, water, cold cream, and glycerin in a saucepan. Stir this mixture over medium heat until it's smooth. (You may need to mash that cold cream up a bit in order to get it to dissolve.)

  Add the cornstarch and continue stirring.

When the wet ingredients are nice and smooth, add 1 cup of cornstarch. Be ready-the mixture will transform very quickly at this point. Continue stirring. The mixture will rapidly become quite stiff.

  At first, the mixture will look like cottage cheese...

  ...and within minutes, it will stiffen into something that looks like mashed potatoes.

When the mixture forms one clump and has pulled away from the sides of the pan, it's done.

  Wrap the hot clay in a clean, wet dish towel.

Next, you'll be kneading the clay with your hands. But it's still pretty hot to the touch at this point. So, take a clean, old dish towel and wet it with cold water. Drape this towel over a plate and place the clay on it.

Take a moment to fill your saucepan with hot, soapy water. Soak any spoons or other utensils you've used.

  Knead the clay through the wet towel until it's cool enough to handle.

Wrap the wet towel over the clay and knead through it. Pause every couple of strokes to pull the towel from the clay, then repeat the process.

  Continue kneading, dusting cornstarch on your hands to prevent sticking.

In a few minutes, the clay will be cool enough to handle, so you can continue kneading with your hands. Keep a small bowl of cornstarch nearby, and keep lots of it dusted on your hands so the clay doesn't stick. You can also dust the surface of the plate with cornstarch as needed.

  This clay recipe makes a ball about the size of a grapefruit.

After about five more minutes of kneading, your clay will look like this-smooth textured, elastic, and no longer sticky. If you want to add some color to your clay, you can knead in a little acrylic or oil paint at this point.

Place your clay in an airtight container while you proceed to wash all your utensils and surfaces. You don't want any of that glue mixture to dry on anything!

By the way, if you don't want to make your own, you can buy lovely premade cold porcelain in lots of colors online from Cold Porcelain Designs.

When you work with your cold porcelain, prepare a work surface that can double as a drying place. I like to put some foil over a cookie sheet and work on that because when I'm done, I can set the cookie sheet someplace safe while my work dries.

Now, cold porcelain does so many things. Cold Porcelain Designs has some fun examples of hand-modeled figures and tiny roses. And the shop offers some great tutorial videos on You Tube. You can also see cold porcelain creations at Cold Porcelain Flowers.

  Candy molds are great for making cold porcelain pendants.

Or, here's a very simple project: candy-mold pendants! Just rub a little cold cream into a candy mold (and a little on your hands) so the clay won't stick. Then, press a tiny bit of clay into the mold at a time, taking care to press clay into every nook and cranny. Keep adding more clay a little at a time until you've filled the mold.

  Check the mold to make sure no air bubbles are trapped inside.

If your mold is transparent, check it from the other side to make sure there aren't any air bubbles trapped in the clay. See that little bubble in the star above? I'll need to press that out, so it won't show up in my finished pendant.

Leave the clay in the mold overnight. It will shrink a bit as it dries, so you should be able to pop it out of the mold easily.

  Press an eye pin into the top of the pendant.

You can then press an eye pin into the top of the clay, like this. Leave the clay to dry. Depending on the size and thickness of your pendant, this can take anywhere from overnight to several days.

  Cold porcelain shrinks as it dries. See the difference between this fully dried pendant and the original mold?

When dry, the clay will be very hard, slightly translucent, and quite a bit smaller, as you can see. Because the clay shrinks as it dries, the eye pin will be very securely fastened after drying.

Once dry, you can paint and embellish your pendant any way you like. I decoupaged some washi paper onto mine. You can also rubber-stamp onto this clay, or draw on it with markers. Be sure to seal your work with Mod Podge or a water-based varnish.

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Comments (63)

HeatherB1973 writes: Are your pieces cracking? I've got a solution for you! It's super simple, too.

All you have to do is get a small container that has an air tight top and pinch off a chunk of your clay that you've already made. Put the clay in the container and add just a small amount of bottled water in with the clay and mash it all together until it's smooth. This will take a few minutes. I usually take two plastic knives and cut the clay until it is all ground up. You want it to be thick like paste, because this is exactly what you're making, a clay paste. You do not want it thin like glue!

Once you achieve the right consistency, you can use it to fill in cracks and fix pieces that are broken. Just take a small paintbrush and get some paste out with the tip. Spread and smooth the paste onto the cracked surface. Let it dry and determine if the crack is completely filled. Add another layer if needed. Let it dry, then gently sand the surface (I use a nail file) until it's smooth. Then you're done!

I not only use this paste to repair clay items, I also use it to adhere pieces together as I'm making something. Also, If your clay is starting to dry out a bit and is crumbly and not nice and elastic, add a little bit of this paste to it and knead it in! Makes it nice and stretchy again. This cuts down on waste. I can't express how easy this is as a solution for clay problems!
I hope some of you try this, because I've made so many pieces and they sometimes get cracks. This fixes them all up. I usually paint my items, but after they're filled and sanded, I can't see where the cracks were. Good luck, guys!
Posted: 4:54 pm on October 16th
ninna_clay writes: My ingredient:
White Glue
Vaseline lotion/baby cream

After 24 hours, clay become softly and it doesn’t stick at my finger..
Your recipe is good

Posted: 7:24 pm on September 14th
ninna_clay writes: i’d tried this recipe on 2012. and now i find my 2012 coldporcelain doll, there’s no fungi. So i think, without lemon juice, its work.. But i add 1 teaspoon Benzoat, and without water..
Posted: 7:08 pm on September 14th
sharifah writes: i used other receipe not using water and i am still trying to make a basket a nice one big enough to put some candies or an egg. but alas, in the end the basket cracks in so many places, there is one that i tried, the crack appears from up to the bottom almost splitting the basket. i have tried again and again until i used up two measurements of the receipes. i am so depressed. maybe i can use this receipe that includes water. wish me luck. however i managed to make a nice frame and sticked all the flowers made from cold porcelain.
Posted: 1:20 am on January 15th
Tammerjack writes: Has anyone ever made something with this that stood up being used outside? I want to make memorial plaques for the new trees that I planted... had no luck using #6 plastic shrinky dinkers ;?) ideas?
Posted: 3:10 pm on August 10th
Posted: 10:37 am on June 13th
Posted: 10:32 am on June 13th
irene5700 writes: Heey there i want to make this read orl that people wrote here
about cracle but didnt get any reply to the problem ????
so .... would love to here from anybody my email is : [email protected]

Kindly irene .
Posted: 3:52 pm on May 12th
Dakinikiss writes: Did you have to sand the heart to smooth the edges, or did it dry nicely like the image shown? I am new to this and attempted making a heart in the mold, but it came out with a lot of cracks in the middle and very rough on the edges.

Thanks for any information.
Posted: 10:53 am on May 5th
Nodan writes: Amazing, you do a porcelain necklace all by yourself. I want to see all the detail of the process.
Posted: 3:27 am on April 3rd
molegault writes: The recipe should not have WATER - That's causing the cracks!
I usea different recipe, and so far no crack. This is the recipe I go off of, but I scale the measurement down to 1/6 of this and end up with a grapefruit or orange size ball:
3cups Cornstarch - my scale: (1/2cup)
3cups White glue (1/2cup)
1tblsp White Vinegar (1/6)
1tblsp Glycerin (1/6)
2tblsp Canola Oil (1/3)

I cook on stovetop, low heat, 15mins. Looks the same as this recipe, same description, heat until it clumps like ricotta and pulls off the sides. Cover your surface area with cold cream, although I just used regualr Generic Oil of Olay. NO WET CLOTH - NO WATER - just tough it out, it's not that hot, and I bounce it back and forth from hand to hand until it cools, but firmly, like you would ball clay to soften it. Then knead, but like she said, like chewing with fingers. REally get in there. Once it's a nice smooth soft ball, ****STORE IN AIR TIGHT CONTAINER FOR 24HRS!!!!**** Another important factor and reason why your porcelain may be cracking.
The next day, when you take it out... it's just beautiful. I also work with the lotion on my hand and use it alot when smoothing surfaces. I'll post the picture of my pendants and beads soon :) Hope this works! Patience is key to beautiful, flawless products :)

Posted: 10:21 am on May 2nd
aneela writes: hi..i want to know tht how we color the cold porcelain dough n how to glaze it??
Posted: 7:03 am on May 1st
karmiela212 writes: Hello.
I am doing the clay at home.
I make the same Prescription es Starsonedge. the results are very good.
The only problem I have is the crumpling of the leaves wile drying process.
is there a way to prevent it?
Posted: 4:22 am on February 4th
sughra writes: hi
i have been working on this dough for too long my problem is when i try to make ball or some thing big of about 1/8 to 1/4 thickness cracks appear .other problem is when i make a ny shape it get little bend or de shape . when dries
Posted: 5:09 am on January 21st
Starsonedge writes: This recipe is completely different from mine and might be a reason with the recipe if people are having that much issues with cracking. My porcelain doesn't crack, and here is the recipe:

1 Cup All purpose glue, or school glue.
1 Cup of corn starch (any brand is fine)
2 TBSP of mineral oil, or baby oil.
2 TBSP of Lemon juice or vinegar

You will also need non-greasy formula hand cream.

Preparation is the same
Mix the Glue and corn starch together, then add oil and lemon juice.

Then place on the burner and turn on to MEDIUM LOW.
When it starts to clump together, you may turn it down to low.

To test your porcelain take a piece out and gently knead it between your fingers, if it sticks to your fingers, cook a bit longer. If it doesn't stick (an itsy bitsy bit of stick is okay) take it out.

Cover your hands with lotion like you would if they were really dry. Knead the porcelain until it's completely cool. I don't suggest using the towel method as it sticks to the towel, and in all reality, this stuff cools down very quickly. (If your porcelain sticks a tiny bit to you which it will when its warm like this add more hand cream to your hands.)

After you do this, stick your cold porcelain in an air tight ziplock baggy, leave over night before use.


I believe the error is in the recipe started here, as it uses water (which evaporates) and the small amount of cold cream won't do anything to help it keep its consistency.

Soak the pot in hot soapy water - Leave it there for an hour (or more) to ensure glue comes off easily, DO NOT POOR GLUE BITS DOWN THE DRAIN. Drain as much water as you can, and soak the rest of the water up with paper towel, and take the chunks of glue out and dispose of. This stuff will clog your drains!

I don't wanna sound like I'm bashing this recipe but many people are complaining about cracks, this is what I use, and have been using for years.

Always place your unused cold porcelain back in an air tight zip lock baggy so it doesn't dry out.

I also suggest trying pigment to dye your porcelain, or cheap eye shadow as acrylics sometimes can make your porcelain a bit wet. I still use paint, but if you're having issues with it, try eyeshadow!
Posted: 5:59 pm on November 28th
desireehannan writes: Hey can you help me with this?

When I am creating something I make parts and before I can add the detales with tools The outer layer dries to the point that i cant even do anything for example If i were to make a leaf for a tree I would shape the clay into the leaf and then i would go to make the veins and all that on it and i do it immediatly and its allready too late it is dry on the outer layer to the point that i cant even make it do anything but crumble it up and toss it.... what can i do i want to make some awesome stuff but i cant until i figure out a solution to this horrible problem i am having every time i try to make even the simplest thing even if it only takes two minutes to do its already to late....... can you help me my email is (941)518-8824 and my email address is [email protected]

Posted: 3:22 pm on August 15th
ColdPorcelainDesigns writes: Sister Diane
Thank you for the great tutorial and mention.

FAQ - cracks in the drying clay

I have been claying with cold porcelain for a while now and one sure way to avoid cracks is to properly KNEAD the cold porcelain as you work.

Knead means to work the clay in your hands. I prefer to “work the clay in your fingers” … like a piece of chewed gum...YES...chewed gum. Kneading is NOT flattening the clay on your palms, it is working the clay in your fingers (no need to work at it for long) until you feel it a bit elastic, then proceed to make a ball shape, then whatever shape you need.

For more info visit

Thank you!
Posted: 10:25 am on June 1st
Whatchamacallit writes: Crackles could be cool...a BROKEN heart!
Posted: 10:38 pm on May 19th
Whatchamacallit writes: Thanks for sharing this. Looks like FUN! Can't wait to try it!
Posted: 10:37 pm on May 19th
renagirl writes: I want to try this ,But after reading the comments I was wondering if any one resolved the issue with crackes as it dries
Posted: 5:35 pm on March 11th
suzanabell writes: Hi, I relay lice this tutorial!I tray it , but I have the little problem.When I mace flowers, after they dray they cracks? Can you help me?
Posted: 9:35 am on January 23rd
nannu writes: hi thanx for sharing great tutorial
Posted: 12:00 am on December 28th
Dzzart writes: I too love the idea, However, I am having the same problem of crackling. Please tell me what I can do to decrease the crackling. Also some stay to air dry other say to put in the oven. Which process is better?
Posted: 2:53 am on November 30th
energydrawings writes: Is it possible to make this with regular lotion instead of cold cream?
Posted: 12:40 pm on September 14th
Sam77 writes: I like this idea!! and i had no idea it was that simple!!
I hjust a a few questions =P After kneading the cay, thats when you add the colour?
And is there any product we can use to colour the porcelain other than acrylic and oil paint??
Thank you for your help!!
Posted: 7:49 am on June 17th
tinkagain writes: Thank you so much for sharing! What fun! I can't wait to try this out.

Posted: 7:44 pm on April 18th
pakojetin writes: I love working with this medium but am having a problem with cracking when my project dries no matter how thin of a design i have. any hints?
[email protected]
Posted: 12:22 pm on March 15th
GinaLuna writes: I am looking forward to trying this recipe.
Can someone tell me if when dry, how strong it is? Would it break easily?
And some people were saying that there could be cracking in the drying process. How to avoid that?
Thank you!!!
Posted: 1:07 pm on February 19th
SAMI23 writes: HI this is really nice tutorial
I have a problem with this cracks appear after drying please send me any tip regarding this email address is
[email protected]
i will be very thankful
Posted: 11:53 am on January 28th
McJulieO writes: So, how difficult is this to do without having resulting cracks? I'm almost scared to try...
Posted: 3:46 pm on November 29th
greenstew writes: This is a great tutorial, I have made two batches..but both times all of my little pendants cracked. Can you email me to let me know what I have done wrong? beth at Please and Thank you.
Posted: 12:51 pm on November 17th
Grullon writes: It is a wonderful recipe. It came out the same way you said it would.The only problem is when it dries it cracks . Can you email me by telling me how to fix it ,so it won't happen again. Thank you for your time. My email is [email protected] Once again, thank you.
Posted: 1:34 pm on October 20th
allieg1941 writes: I would like to try this..but like that one gal i need water or can i make it without? And what do you do to it so it wont crack?
Posted: 2:09 am on October 8th
nerdygamergirl writes: I was wondering if there is an email I can reach you at so we can talk more about this recipe. I bought all the ingredients and followed the instructions to a T. My cp is in the second day of drying and when I went to check it out today, it is all covered in cracks and breaks. I am not sure what went wrong. I googled and read several different recipes and some people saying to exclude water. I really would like to make some beautiful cp jewelry. Please help! [=
Posted: 3:23 pm on October 5th
ary writes: hi
I would like to know if there's anyother cold cream that i could use to make this?thanks
Posted: 10:08 pm on September 6th
Preeti writes: Its really a great idea. Thnks for sharing. i'm looking forward to try this out!!!
Posted: 6:41 am on July 13th
golden_cicada writes: OMG!!! this is the greatest tutorial ever. i am so in love with the lilac and pink roses, you have to tell me how you made them or where you got the molds. They look like they would be perfect touches to my sisters wedding favors. please email me soraya0703 AT gmail DOT com
Posted: 10:54 pm on July 12th
walkiria writes: Hello, beautiful work. In Brazil we have ready clay. Just take the package and use. Very practical.
Posted: 10:03 pm on June 8th
lorrwill writes: Boy got all excited and should have said, going to try molding like this. I already have a mold and make jewelry so I will make eye pins in gold and silver cos you never know which mood will hit :-)
Posted: 12:46 am on May 8th
lorrwill writes: I was in Joann with my 40% off coupon and I picked up some craft porcelain today. I am so going to try this. Your tutorial rulez.
Posted: 12:44 am on May 8th
Aury writes: Thanks for the tutorials and the pictures.
Posted: 11:48 am on April 1st
Sister_Diane writes: chrissie1370, I can't find any references to cold porcelain not being compatible with a mixer. I'm not sure how or if it might affect the consistency of the clay, though. If you do try a test batch with this method, I hope you'll share your findings with us!
Posted: 5:58 pm on March 6th
chrissie1370 writes: I would like to know if you can mix the CP and coloring in a mixer?

Thank you
Posted: 7:00 pm on March 5th
Sister_Diane writes: Maria13, how interesting... I can't wait to try this in the microwave! Thanks so much for posting the tip!
Posted: 7:56 pm on January 29th
Maria13 writes: The cold porcelane can be cook in the micro wave Ive been doing it for the past 14 years.Same recipe just cook it in a glass bowl 3 minutes depending on micro half and half time.
Posted: 4:03 pm on January 28th
vianca writes: diane may god bless you thank you for the recipe you posted i kept looking for cold porcelein i never thuoght i was going to find it a had already giving up and because i dint know you could make it homemade i thought it was only store bought and i live in mexico in a small town so i realy have giving up and i found you in you tube i was watching how they made all the cool stuff and not beeing able to do it my self and i saw your recipe for diy cold porcelein i did my first dough but it cracked i dint have enugh glue and ran out so im thinking that has something to do with it but im going to try again Posted: 12:50 pm on January 22nd
solybarr writes: Thank you for this tutorial,

I had tried to make the recipe in the past, but most tutorials only cover up to the part where the dough pulls off the side.
After that I was left with a messy, hot mixture that I did not know how to handle.
This certainly turned out to be like the dough I see in the magazines and very close to the one Ive bought..

I did have to add more cornstarch to the recipe you mentioned, but maybe that had to do with the glue I was using?

Posted: 10:36 pm on January 8th
gabyta writes:

Thanks for the tutorial.
I make things whit cold porcelain from very young and never I made the mass myself.
I am going to try it.
A hug.from Argentina!

Posted: 7:16 am on November 22nd
bluebutterfly writes: Hi Diane, I sent you email... thank you for help :)
Posted: 3:51 am on November 20th
Sister_Diane writes: bluebutterfly - let's talk more by email about what's going wrong with your cold porcelain. Will you email me? diane AT deepideas DOT com.
Posted: 2:28 pm on November 16th
bluebutterfly writes: Lovely, great work... My Cold Porcelain dosnt match these result, its too much split and crack... what can i do?
Posted: 8:04 am on November 16th
paperrain writes: Are you KIDDING? This is brilliant.
Posted: 11:09 am on September 10th
CaliBeadqueen writes: This is so cool! Cant wait to try it. I have a question about paint. Can u use any kind of paint, or does it have to be a special kind/type?
Posted: 11:34 am on August 30th
jewelelegance writes: WOW! It's simply outstanding!
I cannot believe this.With such a simple methodology and ingredients and in less amount of time i can have several designs of pendant ,earrings etc.So, i can easily take care of dress and jewelry color combination.

Posted: 2:48 am on August 12th
Bettsi writes: Way back when, when my teens were toddlers, I would make this for play dough. I would color it and scent it and keep it in the fridge in a ziploc. It was great fun to play with, but I never knew it could also be a durable clay too! I cannot wait to make this. Thanks, Diane!
Posted: 2:33 pm on July 25th
krafty_sheri writes: This is so cool, I see christmas gifts, and birthday and, and, lol.
Posted: 6:19 pm on July 19th
lasue writes: I like this idea. I'm always looking for things to make using everyday ingredients. Thanks
Posted: 7:39 am on July 17th
jonwen45 writes: Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial with us. I have been saving some candy molds and now I know just what to do with them.
Posted: 9:57 pm on July 14th
digibudi writes: This is great, just great! Could use it with ice cube shapes too I presume?
Posted: 6:35 am on July 14th
susanstars writes: what a cool idea - looks amazing!
Posted: 8:10 pm on July 12th
Jennifer_Nelson writes: What a great tutorial. I can't wait to try making some myself.
Posted: 6:21 pm on July 11th
StatGirl writes: Whoa. I had no idea you could make this with such simple ingredients. Now if I only I wasn't training for that stupid Chicago Marathon I'd spend all weekend making things. Thanks for the great tutorial!
Posted: 3:33 pm on July 11th
Jen_W writes: You are such a rock star with the tutorials. I can't wait to try this out.
Posted: 3:23 pm on July 11th
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