What Is Air Dry Clay and What Are Its Benefits?
Air dry clay is a natural clay that contains no toxins or chemicals. It is perfect for crafting and modeling projects, as it is easy to work with and can be shaped into any form. Air dry clay is also very lightweight, making it ideal for use in sculpture and other art projects. Unlike other types of clay, air dry clay does not require firing in a kiln. Once it is dry, it can be painted or sealed with a sealant to protect it from damage. Air dry clay is a safe and affordable choice for craft projects of all kinds.
How do you Make Air Dry Clay at Home?
Air dry clay is a type of modelling clay that doesn’t require baking in an oven to harden. It can be made at home by using flour, cornstarch or glue. The mixture is then kneaded together to form a dough, which can be sculpted into any shape. Once the clay is dry, it can be painted or decorated with other materials.
How to Make Air Dry Clay with Flour
To make your own air dry clay with flour at home, you’ll need:
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of salt
- 2 tablespoons of oil (vegetable or olive oil work well)
Optional: food coloring or other coloring agents
To make the clay
- Combine the flour, water, salt, and oil in a bowl and mix until the ingredients are combined. If you’re using food coloring or other coloring agents, add them now.
- Knead the dough for about 5 minutes to form a smooth, consistent mixture.
- Roll out the dough on a flat surface to your desired thickness. If you want to add texture to your clay, this is the time to do it.
- Cut out shapes using cookie cutters or a knife and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Allow the clay shapes to air dry for 24-48 hours, or until they’re hard to the touch. Once they’re dry, you can paint them, varnish them, or use them as is.
If you don’t have all-purpose flour on hand, you can also use other types of flour, such as whole wheat flour or almond flour. And if you want to make a smaller batch of clay, simply halve all of the ingredients.
One important thing to note is that air dry clay takes a bit longer to harden than traditional oven-baked clay. So be patient, and allow your pieces plenty of time to dry completely before trying to use them.
How to Make Air Dry Clay with Cornstarch
- To make air dry clay, start by mixing together 2 cups of cornstarch and 1 cup of water in a bowl.
- Then, knead the mixture until it forms a thick paste. If the mixture is too runny, add more cornstarch, and if it’s too thick, add more water.
- Once you have the right consistency, shape the clay into whatever form you desire. Let the clay dry for 24 hours, or until it is hard to the touch.
How to Make Air Dry Clay with Glue
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to make air dry clay using white glue and cornstarch.
- 1/2 cup white glue
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Food coloring (optional)
To make the clay
- mix together the white glue and cornstarch in a bowl. If you want to color your clay, add a few drops of food coloring to the mixture and stir until combined.
- Once the ingredients are fully mixed, knead the clay with your hands for a minute or two to form a smooth, pliable dough. If the clay feels too sticky, add a bit more cornstarch; if it’s too dry, add a bit more glue.
- Now your clay is ready to use! You can shape it into whatever you like – sculptures, jewelry, ornaments, etc. Once you’re finished shaping your creations, allow them to air dry for 24-48 hours. Once they’re completely dry, you can paint them if you like.
Tips for Using Air Dry Clay
Air dry clay is a great material to work with because it is easy to use and dries quickly. Here are some tips for using air dry clay:
- Always knead the clay before you use it, to help it dry evenly.
- If you are going to be using the clay for a while, keep it wrapped in a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out the clay to the desired thickness.
- Use a sharp knife or other cutting tool to cut out shapes from the rolled out clay.
- Use a straw or other pointed object to make holes for eyes, nose, etc. in the shapes you have cut out.
- Once the shapes are finished, set them aside to dry. They will usually be dry within 24 hours.
How to Make Air Dry Clay Stronger
Air dry clay is a great option for DIY projects because it’s easy to work with and doesn’t require any baking. However, air dry clay can be a bit brittle, so it’s important to make sure it’s reinforced either before or after your project is finished. There are several ways to do this:
- Use a primer: Applying a layer of gesso or white glue to your clay before you start working with it will help to strengthen and reinforce the clay.
- Add reinforcement: Mixing in some fibers, such as cotton balls or shredded paper, can help to make your air dry clay stronger.
- You can try adding some salt to the mixture. This will help to make the clay harder and more durable.
- Another option is to add some baking soda, which will also help to make the clay stronger.
- Add a sealant: Once you’re finished with your project, seal it with a coat of Mod Podge or some other sealant to help keep it strong and protected.
These are just a few tips for making air dry clay stronger – experiment with different methods to find what works best for you. With a little bit of reinforcement, your air dry clay projects will be able to hold up to whatever you throw at them!
15 Projects you can Create with Air Dry Clay
The best thing about air dry clay is that it is so versatile! You can use it for a variety of projects, from arts and crafts to home decor.
1. Air Dry Clay Bowls
One of my favorite things to make with air dry clay is bowls. These bowls are simple to make and can be used for a variety of purposes, from holding fruit to keys.
2. Air Dry Clay Vases
These vases are similar to the bowls, but they’re taller and thinner. Pick a design vase you’d like to complete. Then use a knife or other sharp object to make designs on the outside of the vase. Once you’re satisfied with your design, let the vase air dry for 24 hours. Check out this fun vase design.
3. Air Dry Clay Jewelry
Air dry clay is a great material to use for making jewelry! It’s easy to work with, and you can create beautiful pieces that look just like fine jewelry. Here are some tips for working with air dry clay to create stunning jewelry:
- Condition the clay before you start working with it. This will make it easier to work with and will prevent it from cracking.
- Roll out the clay to the desired thickness. You can use a rolling pin or your hands to do this.
- Use a cookie cutter or other sharp object to cut out shapes from the rolled clay.
- Use a straw or toothpick to make holes for stringing the beads.
- Bake the clay beads in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
- Let the beads cool completely before stringing them onto jewelry wire or thread.
4. Air Dry Clay Candle Holders
These candle holders are perfect for adding a touch of elegance to any room.
What You’ll Need:
- 1 pound air dry clay
- Acrylic paint
- Tea light candles
- Start by rolling your air dry clay into a ball. Then, flatten the ball into a disc shape. The disc doesn’t have to be perfect…it can be any size or shape you like!
- Let the air dry clay dry completely.
- Use your paintbrush to add some color to your clay disc. You can paint it any color you like…get creative!
- Once the paint is dry, add the tea light candle on top of the clay disc to the base.
- That’s it! Your cute little candle holder is now complete. Light tea light candle and enjoy the soft, flickering light.
5. Air Dry Clay Coasters
Air dry clay is a great material for coasters. It’s easy to work with and can be molded into any shape or size you want. These coasters are perfect for protecting your furniture from water rings. Plus, it’s very inexpensive and can be found at most craft stores. Check out how to make these stunning air dry clay coasters!
6. Air Dry Clay Picture Frames
Making your own picture frames is a great way to add a personal touch to your home decor. Air dry clay is a great material to use for this project because it is easy to work with and doesn’t require any special equipment. You can find air dry clay at most craft stores.
- To make your frame, start by rolling out a sheet of clay that is about 1/4 inch thick. Use a ruler or a straight edge to help you get a consistent thickness.
- Cut out a rectangle that is slightly larger than your photo. If you want to add any decorative elements to your frame, now is the time to do it.
- Once you are happy with the way your frame looks, use a straw or a toothpick to make two small holes at the top of the frame. These will be used to hang your frame on the wall.
- Allow your frame to dry for 24 hours before handling it. Once it is dry, you can paint it any color you like. A clear sealant can also be applied to protect your frame. Hang your frame on the wall using picture hanging hardware or string. Your air dry clay picture frame is now complete!
7. Air Dry Clay Ornaments
Making ornaments out of air dry clay is a fun and easy way to get into the holiday spirit! All you need is some clay, a few simple tools, and your imagination.
To get started, roll out your clay on a flat surface. Use a rolling pin to make it as thin as possible. Then use cookie cutters or a knife to cut out your desired shapes. Once you have your shapes cut out, use a straw or a toothpick to make a hole near the top of each one. This is where you will put the string or ribbon to hang your ornament.
Once the air dry clay had dried, it’s time to decorate! You can use paint, markers, glitter, or anything else you can think of to make your ornaments unique. Once you’re satisfied with your design, let the paint dry.
8. Air Dry Clay Planters
These air dry clay planters are the perfect way to bring a little bit of nature indoors. They’re simple to make and can be customized to your own personal style.
To make these planters, you’ll need:
- Air dry clay
- Pot or container to use as a mold
- Parchment paper
- Sharp knife
- Acrylic paint
Start by rolling out your air dry clay into a flat sheet. Cut out a shape that will fit inside your pot or container, using a sharp knife. Line the pot with parchment paper so the clay doesn’t stick to the pot while it’s drying. Make sure to cut a hole in the bottom of your clay piece so that water can drain out. Let the air dry clay dry while sitting in the pot.
Paint the outside of your clay piece with acrylic paint. You can be as creative as you like with this step! Let your clay piece dry completely before moving on to the next step.
Fill the pot with soil and plants of your choice. Water your plants as needed and enjoy your new air dry clay planter!
9. Air Dry Clay Serving Dishes
Homemade air dry clay serving dishes are a great way to add a unique and personal touch to your next gathering. These clay dishes are simple to make and can be customized to match your event’s theme or decor. Best of all, they can be made ahead of time so you’re not rushed on the day of the party.
10. Air Dry Clay Soap Dishes
Air dry clay soap dishes are a great way to add a bit of personality to your bathroom. They’re easy to make and can be customized to match any decor. Plus, they’re a great way to use up any leftover air dry clay you might have.
To make an air dry clay soap dish, start by rolling out a sheet of clay that’s about 1/4 inch thick. Then, use a soap dish template or a small bowl to cut out a circle from the clay. Next, use a straw to make two small holes in the bottom of the soap dish for drainage. Finally, allow the soap dish to air dry for 24 hours before using it.
If you want to get really creative, you can use stamps or other tools to decorate your air dry clay soap dish. Just be sure to let the decoration dry completely before using the soap dish.
11. Air Dry Clay Pencil Holders
Clay pencil holders are the perfect way to keep your desk organized and your pencils within easy reach. These holders can be made in any shape or size and can be decorated to match your personal style. Air dry clay is the perfect material for this project, as it is inexpensive and easy to work with. Simply roll out a flat sheet of clay, cut out the desired shape, and decorate as desired. Allow the clay to air dry overnight, and then your pencil holder is ready to use!
12. Air Dry Clay Desk Accessories
Assuming you have some air dry clay, the first step is to soften it up. Knead the clay until it’s pliable, then roll it into a ball. If the clay is too crumbly, add a few drops of water and knead again.
Next, take your ball of clay and flatten it into a disc. Using a rolling pin, roll the clay out until it’s about 1/4-inch thick. If the clay is too sticky, dust it with a bit of cornstarch or flour.
Now it’s time to cut out your shapes! Using a sharp knife or cookie cutter, cut out the desired shape from the clay. Place the shapes on a piece of parchment paper or a non-stick surface, and let them air dry for 24-48 hours.
Once the clay is dry, it’s time to paint! Use whatever colors you like – get creative! Once you’re finished painting, let the desk accessories dry completely before using them. And that’s it – you’re done!
These air dry clay desk accessories are a fun and easy way to spruce up your work space. Get creative with your shapes and colors, and enjoy your new desk accessories!
13. Air Dry Clay Memo Boards
Air dry clay memo boards are ideal for posting pictures, notes, and other reminders. They can be hung on the wall or placed on a desk or shelf. Air dry clay is easy to work with and doesn’t require any special tools or equipment.
To make an air dry clay memo board, you’ll need:
- Air dry clay
- Rolling pin
- Sharp knife
- Ruler or measuring tape
- Piece of cardboard or a cutting board
- Wax paper or a plastic bag
- Start by rolling out your air dry clay on a flat surface. You’ll want it to be about 1/4 inch thick. If the clay is too thick, it will be difficult to cut; if it’s too thin, it will be fragile and more likely to break.
- Once you have a flat sheet of clay, use a ruler or measuring tape to measure and mark out the dimensions of your memo board. Then, use a sharp knife to cut out the shape.
- Place the piece of wax paper or plastic bag over the clay, and then use a rolling pin to smooth out any rough edges.
- Once you’re happy with the shape of your memo board, use a pencil or other sharp object to make holes for hanging. Make sure the holes are evenly spaced and large enough to accommodate the type of hanger you’ll be using.
- Allow the memo board to air dry completely before hanging.
14. Air Dry Clay Door Knobs
Air dry clay door knobs are a unique and stylish way to add personality to your home décor. These beautiful pieces of art can be made by anyone with a little bit of creativity and patience. The best part about them is that they are completely customizable, so you can create a design that fits your personal style. Here are some tips on how to make your own air dry clay door knob:
- Start by sketching out your design on a piece of paper. This will help you visualize what you want your final product to look like.
- Next, roll out your clay to about ¼ inch thick. Use a circular cookie cutter or glass to cut out your desired shape.
- Once you have your discs cut out, use a skewer or other sharp object to make a small hole in the center of each one. This will be where you insert the screw that will attach your knob to the door.
- Next, bake your clay discs in the oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes. This will harden the clay so that it is ready to be painted or glazed.
- Once your discs are cooled, you can now paint or glaze them however you’d like. Be creative and have fun with it!
- To finish, simply screw your new air dry clay door knob onto your door and enjoy your unique creation!
15. Air Dry Clay Figurines
Air dry clay is a great material for crafting, as it is easy to use and doesn’t require any special equipment. With a little patience, you can create beautiful figurines that are perfect for display or gifting.
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my kids however, that is typically a challenge with how limited their attention span can be and how messy it gets. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and creating fond memory for all of us.