How to Make Erasers

Three Methods:Sculpting Clay ErasersCooking Clay ErasersMaking Magic Erasers for Cleaning

Making your own erasers is a fun and easy project for kids to do to personalize their own school supplies or personal art supplies. Adults also enjoy crafting things in small scale to make pencil erasers, or even making a homemade “magic eraser” as a cleaning product that gets out tough stains around the home. Learn how to make these different kinds of easy do-it-yourself erasers.

Method 1
Sculpting Clay Erasers

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    Buy eraser clay. Look for crafting clay specifically designed for use in creating your own erasers. This special molding material comes in a variety of colors and kits, available in most craft stores.
    • Try brands like Sculpey or Creatibles for easy-to-find eraser clay in a variety of colors, and even some that come with sculpting tools.
    • Eraser clay is made with a special type of polymer clay, which doesn’t harden completely when cooked. While some have discovered methods like rubbing an eraser on the sticky part of a post-it note will create a similar substance, it is easiest and most consistent to buy the premade clay.
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    Warm and shape the clay. Pull off pieces of the eraser clay to squeeze and warm them in your hands until they’re very soft and pliable. You can then shape pieces into any shapes you want.
    • Make the clay into any fun shapes you like, including animals, foods, or geometrical shapes. You might find that very thin shapes are too brittle to use, and the shape that traditional pink rubber erasers come in is easiest to hold and use when erasing pencil marks.[1]
    • Try blending colors together to create one that’s not already included in the eraser clay kit that you buy. To do this, simply roll and knead two colors together until they are fully blended. You may want to test two very small pieces first to make sure you get the color you expect.[2]
    • Note that if you make shapes using more than one piece stuck together, you should make sure that they connect very well to one another, or they may become detached during cooking.
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    Use tools if you wish. Use any household items you have on hand to help cut, roll, and shape your eraser clay into your desired shape. You may also have some shaping tools included with the eraser clay you bought.
    • Try using popsicle sticks, toothpicks, butter knives, and cylindrical objects to cut, poke, roll, and shape your eraser clay. You can even find objects with interesting texture to press into the clay to make a unique pattern.
    • If you want to make an eraser that fits on the top of a pencil, use the end of a pencil to make an indentation in your eraser clay design, or shape the clay right onto the pencil. Then slide the eraser off the pencil carefully to keep its shape before putting in the oven or hot water to set.
    • Try a silicone mold if you want to make your erasers into clearly defined shapes. You can even make your own silicone mold of any object using mold putty. Pack the clay into a mold evenly, then pop it out of the mold and trim any unwanted excess.[3]

Method 2
Cooking Clay Erasers

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    Set the erasers in the oven. If the instructions for your eraser clay say to let them set using an oven, preheat it to the instructed time. Arrange your eraser designs on a baking sheet so they aren’t touching one another.
    • For most eraser clay, preheat the oven to 250° F (130° C). Bake erasers for 20 minutes per ¼ inch (6 mm) thickness.[4]
    • You may want to bake smaller eraser designs separate from larger ones, as they will likely have different cooking times.
    • Use a piece of aluminum foil or wax paper on the baking sheet to keep the erasers from sticking.
    • Make sure children have adult supervision during this step.
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    Set in boiling water. If the instructions for your eraser clay say to let them set using boiling water, pour water into a pot and place it on the stove. Set the water to boil, then place your eraser designs into the boiling water for a few minutes.
    • Make sure you have enough water in the pot to completely cover your eraser clay designs.
    • For most eraser clay that uses this method, leave the erasers in the boiling water for 5 minutes, then turn off the burner and allow them to sit in the water as it cools.[5]
    • Remove the erasers from the water safely using a slotted spoon and set them to dry on a paper towel or napkin. Use caution and have an adult present for this entire step.
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    Allow erasers to cool before use. After setting in the oven or on the stove, let your erasers cool for a couple of hours. Then enjoy using your personalized erasers to remove any pencil marks.
    • Test your erasers out when they’ve cooled down. If they are too soft, you may need to set them for longer. If they are too hard, you may need to try again and set them for less time. If they are too brittle, you may want to try again with thicker shapes.
    • Store your erasers in a container that seals tightly to make your erasers last as long as possible. They may become too dry and brittle for proper use if exposed to the air over a long period of time.

Method 3
Making Magic Erasers for Cleaning

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    Locate and buy melamine foam. Get the material used for the Mr. Clean “Magic Eraser” and other similar products simply by purchasing melamine foam. Find this foam in bulk or multi-packs from online stores like Amazon.
    • You may also be able to find this material in stores that specialize in soundproofing or insulation, as melamine foam is also used for these purposes.[6]
    • If your melamine comes in larger sheets or blocks, cut it into an easy-to-handle size, as in a rectangle that is 6 inches (15.24 cm) long, 4 inches (10.16 cm) wide, and 1 inch (2.54 cm) thick, or whatever you prefer. Use heavy-duty scissors or a utility knife.
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    Soak your melamine eraser in cleaner. Use your favorite cleaner to infuse the foam with a cleaning agent that will make it act as an “eraser” for cleaning. You can use any cleaning solution you like.
    • Try a combination of baking soda and Borax cleaner for a simple solution. Put 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of Borax and 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of baking soda into a bowl with ½ cup (118 milliliters) of water to soak one sponge-sized piece of foam.[7]
    • You can also create a more natural solution with lemon juice and baking soda, or you can simply wet your eraser sponge in plain water and apply your favorite spray cleaner separately.
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    Use the damp “eraser” for cleaning. Wring excess water out of your melamine foam and use it to scrub at stains on nearly any surface, as you would with a regular sponge. The uniquely porous material acts almost like a very fine sandpaper to scrub away stubborn substances.
    • Try your new “magic eraser” on wall scuffs and stains, bathroom faucets and shower walls, and other common areas that are difficult to clean with other products.[8]
    • Store your “magic eraser” in a place where it can dry after use, then re-wet it every time you want to use it. Discard the sponge when it becomes very discolored or deformed.

Things You'll Need

Clay Pencil Erasers

  • Eraser clay
  • Shaping tools (optional)
  • Baking sheet & oven or pot & stove

Melamine Cleaning Eraser

  • Melamine foam
  • Scissors or utility knife (if needed to cut)
  • Water
  • Cleaner (such as baking soda and Borax)

Article Info

Categories: Writing Implements