INSIDE : So many helpful Tips, Techniques and Tricks for How to use Air Dry Clay. I have learned so much information after using Air Dry Clay over the years! Plus there are tons of great kid and adult craft clay ideas, too.
This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure.
Air Dry Clay is really an amazing product. Not only is it fun to use, endless amazing ideas to create with for folks of all ages, but get ready for this… it dries via the air (I know!). No longer do you need to spend time throwing pottery and having to wait days beyond that to then paint and then ‘fire’ your project in a kiln. With air dry clay, your clay project is ready to use, as soon as it is dry! Today I will be sharing my Tips, Techniques and Tricks for How to use Air Dry Clay.
Over the years, I have created quite a few air dry clay projects and crafts. And each time I learn a little something new or figure out a neat new supply that helps make the crafting process go so much easier.
I have made over seven different clay projects as of date. You can see all of them at the end of this post. I also rounded up in two posts projects (below) that other creatives from all over the internet have made. Those two posts are VERY popular on my blog. (Clay to instantly inspire + Clay to wow)
What is AIR DRY CLAY?
Air Dry Clay is a natural clay that air dries into a hard solid. It is a versatile clay that can be used in many craft projects. You can use it to make clay sculptures, decorative items, plaques or miscellaneous home decor items.
There is no baking or firing needed and once it becomes dry, you can paint and decorate the clay. There is also very easy clean-up with this kind of clay.
What CLAY MATERIALS do I need?
I used to exclusively use white Crayola Air Dry clay. I loved that it came in a 2.5 lbs container for such a reasonable price. I also loved that it came in a resealable tub and it stayed moist for quite a long time, even after opening it. You could easily pick it up at your local craft shop, but I found buying it on Amazon a little more convenient. I have made most of my older clay projects with the Crayola brand clay.
However, one day I tried Sculpey white Air Dry Modeling clay and I don’t think I’ll stray away from this brand. I think Sculpey is the best clay because it dries a little more clean and a purer white color, as opposed to the Crayola clay with dries a light gray/white color. I do keep it sealed in a large zip-lock bag to keep it from drying out, but overall it just seems like a higher quality product.
If you are wanting to make a clay project with your kids, the Crayola clay is a great choice. However, if you are wanting to make something for your home or a piece of clay jewelry, I would recommend the Sculpey brand.
How to make AIR DRY CLAY stronger?
I have read a ton of information and from what I can tell if you are looking for a superior air dry clay that is strong and will hold up for intricate and ultra-fine detail work then ACTIVA La Doll Premier Airy Dry Clay is the best product for you.
It is pliable and easily worked for wonderful results. There are highly refined pumice, talc and special binders for a hard, satin smooth finish. Another perk of it, is it’s long open time and it can be worked indefinitely by keeping it moist.
Again I have not used this particular brand of clay, but it seems to be touted as the strongest Air Dry Modeling Clay available.
What are the BEST CLAY TOOLS to use?
Once you have your clay purchased, it is time to look into some of the other supplies and materials you can use for your air dry clay project. I have found this basic set of clay tools is appropriate for most air dry clay projects that I have done.
Occasionally I have needed to roll out the clay nice and smooth and have found this clear acrylic roller to work best.
How do I make MODELING CLAY PROJECTS, how to work with Air Dry Clay and other TECHNIQUES?
After all your supplies are purchased, you can finally begin making! A few clay technique tips include:
1. Always work on top of a clean surface. You would be surprised how many times I am just about done with a project and then notice that there is something small stuck in my clay. I’ve tried working on a piece of wax paper before thinking it would help with clean up, not smart. A clean table is the best surface choice.
2. Have a small jar of water nearby to help smooth out and patch cracks as the project starts to dry. I took ceramics classes in high school and this is called ‘slip’ (a clay + water mixture to repair cracks in your ceramics).
3. You can always paint your clay after it dries! I like using the white clay best, but there are also many colored clays now available. To paint, simply allow the clay to dry and you can either use spray paint or acrylic paint.
4. Do not be afraid to mix other materials into your air dry clay project. I have incorporated small twigs, live plants, cut up pieces of a plastic straw and jewelry items.
What can I make with Air Dry Clay?
The projects and crafts you can make with air dry clay are really endless! As creative as your imagination can take you, you can probably make it with air dry clay. Here are a few of the projects I have made with it.