Air Dry Clay Tips & Tricks

Air Dry Clay is a natural clay that air dries into a hard solid.  It is a versatile and widely available clay that can be used in many craft projects. You can use it to make a wide variety of clay decor, accessories such as DIY clay keychains, earrings, necklaces and more. 

Also, air dry clay clean up is easy, and there is no baking or firing needed. So once it becomes dry, you can paint the clay. Just another reason we love using this medium!

If you are a subscriber to our monthly DIY subscription boxes, you know this month we are making these cute DIY Monstera Leaf Clay Bowls that are made out of air dry clay. We know that air dry clay can prove to be a little challenging to work with so we've compiled a list of some tips and tricks for you to help you while you are working with air dry clay.

  • Make sure to keep any extra clay in an airtight container.

Air dry clay can be a bit expensive and you won’t want it to go to waste. Make sure your leftover clay is stored in an airtight container or plastic ziplock bag. If it isn’t, you will be left with a solid dry lump of clay!

  • Get fingers wet to smooth edges and imperfections.

When you work with clay, rough edges or even your fingerprints will make imperfections on your project. To smooth out imperfections or adjoining areas, use a small amount of water on your fingertip. Make sure to gently rub the areas that need smoothing with a small amount of water. Be careful not to over water your craft, this will affect your drying time.

  • Protect your surface, put craft or wax paper down.

If you are working on a porous surface like a wooden table, make sure you lay kraft or wax paper down. It can be very hard to get dried clay out of the cracks.

  • Do not make the clay too thin.

Rolling the clay out too thin can lead to cracking and breaking once dry. About a quarter inch thick works well for most projects. It is thick enough that it is less likely to break, but still thin enough that it won't increase drying time too much.

  • Speeding up drying time

There are few tricks to help speed up the drying process. Tip One: Make sure to flip your craft. If part of your project is against your work surface the entire time, moisture is trapped underneath and it will take even longer to dry. So, flip it over halfway through the drying time or use a wire rack for drying. Tip Two: You can use the oven! Turn the oven on to its lowest setting and bake for a couple of hours. Be careful not to burn it!


1 comment

  • Terry

    I made some items with porceline clay but over the past 2-4 weeks they have shrunk a lot. I put a design on the top of a wooden box and it shrunk 1/4" each side so its pulled away from the edges now. What am I doing wrong. 1cup lepages glue, 1 cup cornstarch 1 tblsp lemon juice and 1 tblsp oil. 15 sec each time in microwave. Til it looks like mashed potatoes. It was so much fun til now. Would love any ideas you have thank you

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