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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Baking Soda Clay Revisited

Some time ago I promised a few commenters that I would look into baking soda equivalents for us folk living in Germany, plus how well the baking soda clay takes to food coloring. I'm happy to report that I've finally done this and with a happy degree of success!

I recently made 2 batches of baking soda clay:
The first one used a surprise find at the Mix Markt in Betzingen: a 500 gr. box of Natriumhydrogencarbonat (only 55 cents (€)!). The Mix Markt carries a line of products largely from Russia and eastern Europe and they have 100 stores throughout Germany, so hopefully you German followers can find one.
The other batch I made with Natron, purchased at the cost of 1 kilo for 2.31€ from but they charged a whopping shipping cost of 4.90€! Never again will I do that for a lone purchase!

In any case, both batches turned out just beautifully! (Oh, I did try some very cheap Waschsoda at one point but although my hands got very clean it did not ever produce a working clay consistency.)
Here are photos of each clay in the mashed potato stage (so right at the end of cooking) with the matching baking soda packaging.

Then I divided the cheapie batch to try out the various dyes I have. Yellow was the winning color and I used
4 drops of McCormack's liquid food coloring in one batch,

two small blobs of AmeriColor's gel food coloring in the second batch

and a tiny pinch of powdered German Lebensmittelfarbe from Birkmann in the third batch.
In each case I kneaded in the coloring and, although each a different shade, they are all quite pretty.

I then made a bunch of stars and, as you can see, I also dyed a separate small portion with some red gel food coloring and rolled a rope of that together with a rope of plain white to get those swirly marble effects.

After they air-dried for a day or two, I did a bit of doodling on a few of them. For that my Stabilo fine-tipped Write-4-all worked best. Some of the stars did crack a little bit on the back side, but I will admit that I didn't put too much time into making these perfect. My heart ornaments were much better.

Have a great day!