Air Dry Clay: 5 Fascinating and Interesting Projects You Can Make with It


modeling clay ideas

Clay is one of the oldest materials in human history. People have been using it since the early days of creating art and pottery. There are so many different types of clay, but one of the most popular has become air-dry clay.

So, let’s get to it! Below are 5 projects you can make with air-dry clay. But first…

What is Air Dry Clay?

A close up of a brush

Air-dry clay is exactly what it sounds like: clay that dries without the need for a kiln. Oftentimes, air dry clay can be made from recycled materials or formed from natural resources.

You don’t need much equipment to make air-dried clay pieces: mixing bowls, utensils, and a surface to work on are all you need. You do want to make sure that the project you’re working on is non-toxic and food-safe. Many air dry clays are, but not all of them are.

There are a number of ways you can use air-dry clay to make homemade crafts at home. You can mold it into almost anything if given the proper tools and time. Check out these modeling clay ideas and how to make them.

Water Balloons

A person carrying a surf board on a beach

Who doesn’t love a good water balloon fight? If you’re tired of filling up balloons with water using your hands, why not make the process easier by using air dry clay? You can make super fast and easy balloons with some air-dry clay.

You’ll need two air-dried colors (one for the balloon itself, one for the knot), a straw and scissors or a sharp object.

Cut two small holes near each end of your balloons. Blow up each balloon with about an inch of water to make them easier to work with. Take your straw and push it through one side, all the way through to the other side.

Take your scissors or sharp object and cut a small piece of air-dry clay. Shape it into a small bowl that’s big enough to fit over the end of the straw. Place it on top of the end with the hole, then use your finger to smooth out any lumps or bumps in the clay.

Repeat this process on both ends and allow your balloons to dry.

Spice Jars

If you like having fresh spices in the kitchen, but hate how bulky it can be to store them all in a drawer or cupboard, make your own spice jar collection with air-dry clay! Simply shape your air-dried clay into small vases, bowls, cylinders, or other shapes to hold your spices.

Once your pieces have dried, simply take a funnel and fill each piece with your favorite spices!

Leaf Pile

This is one of the most awesome modeling clay ideas for fall! All you need are air-dried leaves in various shapes and sizes, along with hot glue or another type of adhesive that dries clear.

Arrange the leaves on a surface where you can see through it well, such as glass or clear plastic.

Take your glue and apply it around the outer edge of each leaf. Press another leaf onto the glue so that they stick together. Continue this process until all of your leaves are glued together in a pile.

Allow to dry, then display on your window seal or table!

Bouncy Balls

Who doesn’t want a bouncy ball? This is one of the easiest modeling clay ideas there is and it’s perfect for relieving stress and having fun. These are super easy to make with air-dry clay. You’ll need food coloring (optional), a sharp knife or another object that can cut the clay and a baking sheet or something similar to place your balls on while they dry.

Take a small handful of air-dry clay and put it in a bowl. Add a few drops of food coloring, if desired. Mix the dough thoroughly with your hands until you’re left with one solid color. If the dough is too sticky, add some more air-dry clay until you get the desired texture.

Roll your dough into small balls that are roughly 1 inch in diameter. You can use another clay-friendly object to help form them, such as a plastic fork or knife blade.

Place your balls on a baking sheet and allow them to dry for about 12 hours; this should ensure they harden correctly.

Once the balls are dry, they’re ready to use! Keep in mind that these clay balls will be fragile and won’t bounce as high as regular bouncy balls.

Silly Face Picture Frames

If you need a quick present for a friend or family member, make them a silly face picture frame with air-dry clay! In this modeling clay idea, you’ll need cardstock or heavy paper for the frame, two colors of air-dry clay (one for skin tone, one for hair), a straw (optional if using cardstock) and a pair of scissors (optional if using cardstock).

Color your clay with whatever colors you like to make skin tone and hair. You can also add details such as teeth if desired. If you’re using cardstock, simply place it under your clay and cut around the shape of the frame along with any pieces for the back.

Place your pieces on a baking sheet and allow them to dry completely. Once they have dried, take them off of the baking sheet and put them on the picture frame.

You can leave them as is, or if you’d prefer to hang your pictures, cut a small rectangular piece of cardboard and attach it underneath where you would like to hang your frame. Insert this piece into the back of your clay frame to make it sturdier.

I hope you found this article informative and interesting, please don’t forget to comment below! Also, if you have your own clay project ideas that aren’t listed here, feel free to share them with us in the comments section too. Thanks for reading!

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter