INSIDE : Learn 7 simple tips to help prevent your Air Dry Clay from cracking during your next craft project. Also learn some of the reasons why your clay projects may be cracking.
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Why does Air Dry Clay crack?
If you have used Air Dry Clay very often, you know that with time and air exposure the clay will begin to dry out and thus harden. And as the clay dries, you will sometimes notice small cracks forming. I have had so many emails asking, “Oh no. Why is my Air Dry Clay cracking??”
At first you might want to break out into a panicked mess as you worry that your project is slowly turning into a disaster! But, rest assured there are a few easy tips to repair and restore your project. Keep reading for my air dry clay tips on keeping clay from cracking. You might also be interested in my post about Tips, techniques and tricks for using Air Dry Clay.
Air-dry clay is a natural clay that comes from the earth and hardens when it dries. Baking air dry clay is not required to cure and it typically has minimal shrinkage. And an added bonus is that clean up after crafting with air dry clay is fairly easy, too.
Does Air Dry Clay crack very easily?
1. The number one key to prevent and then fix your cracked clay is to quickly notice cracks and repair them right away. If you start to notice a few small cracks, it is best to not wait until the clay has completely dried to repair. Be sure to follow the steps below to take quick clay action and get your project back on track!
A few reasons why your clays cracks when it dries:
2. Air Dry Clay is primarily a water based product and the longer it is out of it’s packaging and in the open air, the more moisture will evaporate from it. Most often times moisture evaporating from the clay is the reason for small cracks. This is an obvious issue if you are using AIR DRY clay and the air is the thing that slowly will make cracks.
Be sure to store your air dry clay in an air tight container. I use gallon sized zip lock bags to store all my clay and keep it staying as fresh as possible. I have also seen many people using tupper-ware or other air tight type containers to store and hold their clay to help stop it from drying out too quickly.
Colorful Clay Animal Head step by step photo
3. When creating something out of air dry clay, sometimes you can roll out or make something that is too thin. When the clay begins to dry, out in the open air, the thinner pieces of clay can slightly begin to crack. Do your very best to make every part of your work more than 1/4-inch thick. Keeping a consistent thickness throughout the clay piece helps to prevent cracking.
How to stop Air Dry Clay from cracking while you work:
4. Adding too much water to your DIY air dry clay can sometimes result in a crack. Do your best to keep the clay moist as you work, but not overly saturated with water. If you have too much water, I recommend setting your clay out to dry for an hour or two before continuing on.
Geometric Clay Place card Holder step by step photos
5. When you are joining two pieces of clay together, this can be a highly prone area to crack later on. Make sure to connect each piece together by having both pieces be equally dry. Also you can score the pieces (make a crosshatch type pattern with a toothpick or a sharp clay tool) on the connecting surfaces for better adhesion.
6. Use a “slip” type mixture to act like clay glue when bonding two pieces together. “Slip” is a watered-down clay paste that is a combination of clay and water that you mix together.
7. Once you have created your clay piece, keep an eye on it while it dries. Putting it in a cabinet to dry and turning it every few hours to expose a different side, helps the piece dry more evenly.
And if you are looking for how to make hard clay soft again it is so simple.
If you are using air dry clay and it starts getting hard before you are ready for it to dry out, you can simply add a little bit of water into a ziplock bag and place your clay inside. It may get too wet, but you can “dry it off” a bit with a paper towel or just allow it to sit out in the air again to dry a bit.
Looking for the best TIPS, TECHNIQUES + TRICKS FOR USING AIR DRY CLAY? Look no further.
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