A roundup of air-dry clay craft ideas for adults.
Clay is a fantastic medium for crafts, sculpture, jewelry, home decor, and more, for both kids and adults. This roundup covers the easiest clay projects you can make, those with air-dry clay. However, I’ll talk a little about the different types of clay for crafting if you want to branch out. This roundup of air-dry clay craft ideas is meant for grown-ups or for teens and tweens, but I’ll collect some ideas for kids next for you, so stay tuned!
what are the types of clay for crafts?
Generally speaking, there are four main types of clay: Water-based clay (soft and malleable, but it dries quickly), oil-based clay (stays malleable, but difficult to create a permanent sculpture), polymer clay (technically not clay, as it is a synthetic material, but it’s user-friendly, malleable, and can be baked to set permanently), and air-dry clay. If you’re interested in fun and easy crafts with clay, than polymer clay and air-dry clay are for you.
what is the difference between air-dry clay and polymer clay?
Polymer clay comes in many colors, is made with polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and comes in a dense package. The clay needs to be worked a bit to make it malleable. It is baked at a low temperature until firm to set your piece permanently. You can then paint your craft. Crafts made with polymer clay tend to be more durable and waterproof, and the craft won’t shrink when drying. Polymer clay crafts do not need to be sealed. There are some precautions to working with polymer clay, so it’s not usually recommended for children (rest assured, though, it’s non-toxic). Popular brands include: Kato, Sculpey, and Fimo. You can find polymer clay in the craft store.
Air-dry clay is also malleable and comes in lots of colors. It dries with air contact, so no baking is needed. It tends to be a bit more spongy and less dense, so it’s easier for kids to work with than polymer clay, and it’s safe for kids. Air-dry clay can also be painted when dried. It tends to shrink a bit when drying, and it’s not waterproof. Popular brands include: DAS(what I buy), Sculpey, and Crayola. You can find air-dry clay in the craft store.
Air-dry clay is a great product to start with, especially if you’re working with kids. However, for long term crafting and greater durability, polymer clay is the better choice. Each of the 25 links below takes you to a fantastic tutorial. Many have tips, tricks, and links to products you will need to work with air-dry clay.
air-dry clay craft ideas for adults
(or teens or tweens or kids who are super crafty)
- As always, I start with me. Find how-tos to make a clay wall vase here.
- These stamped bowls from Gathering Beauty are stunning.
- Or make coasters.
- Craft some alphabet containers at Willow Day.
- Lovely decor idea, make clay birds, from Alicia Sivert.
- You can even make your own clock! By The Lovely Drawer.
- Decorate with scalloped garland, from Patchwork Cactus.
- I’m so crazy in love with this clay rope bowl from Fall for DIY.
- Or make these incense holders.
- Brighten up your space with clay cactus candle holders, from A Beautiful Mess.
- Make these pendant lamp shades at Brit + Co.
- Try some colorful air plant pots, by Alisa Burke.
- No animals harmed! Make this deer head wall art at Delineate Your Dwelling.
- Or try these clay tea light holders.
- Make a pencil holder, from Lines Across.
- Make some hanging succulent planters at Paper & Stitch.
- Create a wind charm at Design Sponge.
- Cute gift idea. Make clay key chains, by Average but Inspired.
- For the avocado fan? Make an avocado jewelry dish, from The Glitter in My Tea.
- Or make these mini pots, by Journey into Creativity.
- Make jewelry! Find the how-tos to make clay beads at Curly Made.
- Collect your jewelry in jewelry pots, by Alice and Lois.
- Or these clay platters!
- Fans of the beyond… craft moon phase wall art at The Merry Thought.
- Learn to decoupage fabric on a clay dish, at Mad for Fabric.