Cold Porcelain (CP) Recipes

Cold porcelain is an air-drying clay (also called 'paste') ideal for making flowers and figures.  It can be purchased commercially (although hard to find in USA) or can be made at home.   Cold porcelain has a much finer finish than bread dough or even polymer clay.   When making flowers, you can get wafer thin petals.  When making figures, you can use Styrofoam shapes as armatures.

There are many different recipes for cold porcelain but basically it is made with cornstarch, glue, oil and preservatives.   The paste is prepared by cooking on the stove or in the microwave for a brief time and then kneaded until smooth.  Cold porcelain is known throughout the world by many different names..... as porcelana fria, masa flexible, biscuit, pasta di mais, among others.

Below are some of the easiest and best recipes to start with.   You can find many more recipes by  searching the web, but be cautious.   Some will call for ingredients that are not as 'user friendly' as other recipes.  (Never use a CP recipe that uses formalin, it is dangerous and poisonous.)    Use good quality ingredients.  Not all mineral oils, cornstarch, glues, etc, will work the same, therefore, some experimentation with different products may be necessary.  

  • Cold porcelain paste will dry translucent unless a whitener is added to paste recipe as you make it.   Wilton "White-White" (for cakes) can be used or white tempera paint or similar products.  Adding whitener will also help make your colors brighter if you also tint your CP.
  • Make sure the cornflour/cornstarch you use is actually made from CORN (not wheat), it makes a difference.
  • Store paste in an airtight bag or tightly wrapped in plastic.
  • Keep in well lighted area.  Do not place in a dark drawer for a long period of time, this will make the paste moldy.
  •  Store  in a dry area at room temperatureDo not refrigerate, but you can freeze.
  • Use cold cream or dust with cornstarch to keep paste from sticking to hands, work surface or molds.
  • Paste that has been tinted with color will dry out faster than non-colored paste.
  • As a project dries, it will lose 15% to 20% of the original volume and this shrinkage must be considered when modeling.
  • See this post for coloring tips

    I haven't personally tried every one of these recipes.   Please tell us about your experience with the ones you've tried, especially the 'no cook' options.
    There are many more recipes for cold porcelain in addition to these...which one to use depends on your own experience and what you will be making with the cold porcelain.  Some recipes are softer, some harder, some more flexible or rigid. 

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    Basic recipe #1 for microwaving (by Sangeeta

    2 cups of Corn Starch
    2 cups of Elmer's Glue or wood glue (should be white)
    1 Tblsp of lemon juice (it acts as preservative) or 1 tsp of citric acid
    2 Tblsp baby oil (you could use any oil be it mineral, cooking, baby or even Vaseline petroleum jelly will work)
    1 Tblsp of white liquid tempera paint
    1 Tblsp of cold cream, non greasy, without lanolin and silicone (Nivea or Ponds)

    Glass bowl (microwave compatible) & wooden spoon 

    Mix all the ingredients in the bowl, excluding the cold cream, which is used for kneading the paste. I use a hand mixer to mix as it removes all the lumps and is a very uniform mixture.

    Place the bowl in the microwave and cook it during 3 minutes on maximum power. Open the oven
    on each minute and mix the paste with the wood spoon, so that it cooks all around equally. Variations in the different models of microwaves can modify the cooking time of the paste. Therefore, it is essential that you observe it minute by minute. If necessary, monitor it every 30 seconds for the last minute.

    As soon as the paste is cooked, spread only 1 Tablespoon, as it indicates the recipe, on a marble or kitchen counter top surface and place the paste, still hot. The hotter the paste when kneaded, better the results.   Knead the paste for some minutes; say about 5-7 minutes. The trick, the more you to knead, better it will be to work.

    When the paste is well kneaded, make a coil, thus preventing the formation of air bubbles.
    Place the paste in a well closed plastic bag or in plastic film such as Saran Wrap or cling film to prevent it from drying up. (I use a plastic bag lightly greased with the hand cream.)

    (Note:  I can vouch for the ease of making this recipe.   It's the one I use myself, except I use the 'White-White' by Wilton to whiten the paste.)

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    Basic Recipe #2 from Creations by Edith (stovetop)
    2 cups or corn starch
    2 cups of white glue
    2 tablespoon of glycerin
    2 tablespoon of stearic acid
    1 tablespoon of sodium bensoate.

    Mix them all together and cook it on low heat until it does not stick to the pan any more.

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    No cooking needed, recipe #3

    This recipe is made with non-toxic ingredients. It does not contain any chemicals that could be hazardous for your health and does not need to be cooked at all.

    When kneading this paste, if too sticky, add some cornstarch,.  To keep from sticking, rub a dab of shortening (or cold cream) to your hands and keep the rolling pin very clean..... rub a dab of shortening on the table too, Small amounts, do not overdo it.

    1 cup Aleene’s Tacky Glue Original
    1 cup cornstarch
    1 tablespoon Tylose**
    1 tablespoon Wilton liquid white color (this is add to the paste to prevents it from becoming transparent when dried)

    **Tylose is a gumpaste used by cake decorators. It is the product as CMC.   

    Mix all ingredients and knead to get a soft paste. If too sticky, add cornstarch.

    Do not cook. Store in well lighted area, tightly wrapped in plastic. Do not refrigerate. 

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    Instant CP, recipe #4

    Edith sells a glue specially formulated for cold porcelain, this makes a real flexible paste, ideal for flowers.
    Mix 4 spoons of adhercola glue and 4 spoons of corn starch.
    Mix them together and it's ready!  No cooking needed!

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    Video demo by Sangeeta showing her microwave method (for recipe #1)

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    Recipe #5 & Video demo by Rubina, showing her stovetop method.

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    Recipe #6 & Video demo by Marisol Romero, showing her stovetop method.    See this page for the 2-part video and some tips.

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    Compare the texture and consistency of your own homemade Cold Porcelain to this video

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    Recipe #7  Basic Stovetop Recipe
    Step by step photos for another recipe that is similar to Basic Recipe #1 and #2.  This recipe is accompanied by lots of photos and uses the following ingredients:

    1 cup Cornflour (cornstarch)
    1 cup PVA glue
    2 tablespoons Baby oil
    2 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar
    Non-greasy moisturizer

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    Click the "recipes" label in the sidebar 
    and you might find some more CP recipes not shown here! ;-)