10 Simple Air-Dry Clay Ideas For Creative Fun

Jun 21, 2024

Air-dry clay is a non-toxic, versatile, and accessible material perfect for crafters of all ages. Unlike traditional clay, which requires firing in a kiln, air-dry clay hardens naturally when exposed to air, making it ideal for easy and quick projects. 

The flexible nature of clay means you can create almost anything from it. However, if you’ve just started, you might be better off with beginners’ ideas to make the most out of your project. Here are 10 simple air-dry clay ideas you can take on today!

Also read: How pottery can improve your mental health

1 - Mini planters 

Create adorable mini planters for your succulents or small plants. Roll out a slab of clay, cut out a rectangular shape, and then form it into a cylinder. Smooth the edges and let it dry. Decorate with paint or leave it natural for a rustic look.

2 - Personalized ornaments 

Make unique decorations, such as Christmas tree ornaments, for holidays or special occasions. Roll out the clay and use cookie cutters to shape your ornaments. Before drying, use a straw to make a hole to hang them. After they dry, paint them with your favorite colors and add glitter for extra sparkle. 

3 - Jewelry dishes 

Craft a simple and elegant dish to hold your rings and earrings. Roll out a ball of clay and flatten it into a circle. Gently press the center to create a shallow bowl. Once it’s dry, you can paint it or add gold leaf accents for a touch of luxury. Optionally, you can create another style of dish, such as rectangular or even triangular. 

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4 - Beaded necklaces 

Design your own beaded necklaces by rolling small pieces of clay into beads. Use a toothpick to create holes for threading. After drying, paint the beads in various colors and string them onto a necklace cord for a custom piece of jewelry. As a tip, you can even turn these necklaces into a durable gift for a loved one.

5 - Keychains 

Make personalized keychains by shaping the clay into your desired form. Use letter stamps to imprint names or words. Add a small hole at the top for a keyring. Once the clay is dry, paint and seal your keychain to protect it from wear and tear.

6 - Magnets 

Among the list of easy air-dry clay creations are magnets. Cut out fun shapes from rolled clay, such as hearts, stars, or animals. Attach a small magnet to the back after the clay has dried, and paint them in vibrant colors to add a pop of personality to your kitchen. You can even make your own collection of unique magnets to brighten up your fridge.

7 - Coasters 

Craft a set of stylish coasters to protect your furniture. Roll out the clay and cut out circles or squares. Use a textured object, like a piece of lace or a rubber stamp, to create interesting patterns on the surface. Once dry, paint and seal them to make them water-resistant. Similarly, create candle holders for your candles and enjoy their scent around the house. 

8 - Pen Holders 

Organize your desk with a handmade pen holder. Form a cylinder or any other shape you prefer, and make sure the base is flat. After it dries, decorate it with paint or other embellishments to match your workspace aesthetic. These pen holders can double as pots or small vases for your succulents. 

9 - Figurines 

Create small figurines or animals for decoration or play. Mold the clay into your desired shapes and add details with clay tools or toothpicks. Once they’re dry, paint them to bring your creations to life.

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10 - Wall Hangings 

Shape clay into various forms, like leaves, feathers, or geometric shapes, to design a unique wall hanging. Using string or wire, attach the dried pieces to a piece of driftwood or a branch. This will add a personalized and artistic touch to your home decor.

What tools do you need for air-dry clay projects?

To get started with an air-dry clay project, you will need supplies of polymer clay (depending on how large your project is), some shaping tools, and some acrylic paint. For beginners, it is recommended to follow some air-dry clay tutorials for the best results. After you’ve colored your clay, preserve your project by applying a layer of gloss varnish (also known as a glaze) to keep it smooth and shiny. 


Did you know: There are paint pens available for pottery?

Finding all these tools and supplies can be difficult and time-consuming. A quicker alternative is to purchase a ready-made pottery kit, which has all the tools you need to start your first clay project instantly. 

Creating a suitable environment before you start is also important. Make sure you’re sitting in a well-lit, cluster-free spot. This increases your creativity level, which will help you gain more joy out of this activity. 

Tips for Working with Air Dry Clay

Keep clay moist: If the clay starts to dry out while you're working, use a damp sponge to moisten it.

Smooth surfaces: Use a little water on your fingertips to smooth out cracks and rough spots before the clay dries.

Seal your work: Once your projects are fully dry, seal them with a clear varnish to protect them and give them a finished look.

Patience with drying: Allow plenty of time for your projects to dry completely, which can take 24-48 hours, depending on the thickness of the clay.

Apply a base coat: Before you apply color to your project, it’s best to cover it with a neutral white base coat. This makes sure that the colors painted can display your desired shade. 

Try air-dry clay today

With these simple air-dry clay ideas, you can explore your creativity and make beautiful, functional items with ease. Whether you’re crafting alone, with friends, or with kids, air-dry clay is a fun and rewarding medium to work with.

Get your clay today

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