How to use air dry clay

Air dry clay has been around for a while and has not declined in popularity. It is one of those beautiful ways to create art and craft that people of all ages and backgrounds can use.

That is to say; if you are someone who has never used clay before, you can easily opt for air-dry clay as your material and save yourself on some complex steps.

What are these complex steps that can be cut down by using air-dry clay? Does air-dry clay actually give professional results at all?

This article will discuss it and a lot more on how to use air-dry clay! We will also cover why and when air dry clay is the first choice. Keep reading to find out what you can and cannot do with this type of clay.

air dry clay cartoon making

Why should you use air-dry clay?

It saves on the baking process.

Air dry clean truly simplifies the process by saving you on the entire oven and kiln step. Normally for professional projects of even a smaller scale, you need to bake your project to get quick results of permanence.

Normal clay can also air dry, but that is not feasible because of how much time it takes for that to happen. With an air-dry clean, all you have to do is focus on the creation of the project, and then you can move on easily to the painting or decorating step.

On top of that, it is also true that baking needs certain installments, which are quite expensive. if in case you think o drying air dry clay artifacts then do it easily and affordably by reading about air dry clay baking in detail.

It gives a clean finish.

Air dry clay almost always gives a very clean finish. Sharp lines are easy to create with air-dry clay, and the pigmentation is uniform. It is so soft and impressionable that even the tiniest detail you make gets segmented on the air-dry clay with great beauty.

It is also very easy to create a smooth surface or an effect of the same on this kind of clay because of how easily impressionable it is. This clean finish goes a long way for professional projects as that is exactly what customers hope from you.

It is very durable

Projects made by using dry air clay do not break or spoil easily. In most cases, if you use proper varnishing on painted projects, this clay won’t even get discolored in the sun. The only time projects made out of air-dry clay will break when too much pressure is applied to them from all sides.

It might also break if you drop them from a height. But it is not brittle and holds its shape well. It doesn’t break or crack on a small application of pressure.

It is safe for children.

Air dry cleaning has been proven to be a non-toxic, safe option for kids. It means your child can now easily upgrade themselves to the joy of creating permanent art that stays displayed on the walls or the fridge of your house.

Psychologically, creating permanent art and displaying it is a great tactic to encourage young children to create more. In that way, air dry clay does a good job of keeping your children interested in artistic projects from a young age.

Does not chip

Just like air dry clean does not break or crack easily; it does not even chip. Chipping is when certain tiny pieces from the surface of an ugly item start coming out and falling off. It creates an uneven project. Quite frankly, the creation is ruined.

However, this clay almost always never chips unless you use expired air-dry clay. It is one of the many ways in which air-dry clay is a better option than regular clay. to prevent any possibility of air dry clay cracking read this great post about it.

It is easy to store

You might think storing air-dry clay will be quite hard since this clay will harden when it comes to contact with air. It is true. However, dry cleaning does not react to some air contact when stored in bulk air. At most, only the surface of that bulk clay is hardened a bit.

On the other hand, storing air dry cleaning airtight containers and only using some of them at once can ensure that even the surface level hardening does not happen to your air dry clay stock.

How to use air-dry clay?

As sculpture material

Air dry clay is popularly used as a sculpture material. It can be a great option for beginners in the sculpture field. Using dry air clay as modeling clay material is not only to give shape to final projects but also to create molds and casts that can be used in other areas.

Using dry clay means you do not have to worry about how your project will damage while it is drying up. It also cuts down on a long time it takes for usual clay to air dry.

To do jewelry projects.

If, as a beginner, you are thinking about using air-dry clay to create professional projects, starting with jewelry making can be the best choice to make. Air-dry jewelry is quite popular among the younger generation and is often made in fascinating designs and colors.

You can create beads, lockets, earrings, hooks, fake elements like flowers or skulls, and so much more that can be a part of bracelets, necklaces, and even anklets.

Air-dry clay can be painted over.

Yes, after any project with air-dry clay has completely dried up, it can be painted in vivid detail, just like any other solid surface. You can use common painting tactics with dried-air clay to reach successful conclusions.

If you want the best resolution, it is good to try air-dry clay that was white or colorless before and then paint on it simply using brushes that make it possible to create intricate designs.

With rubber stamps

Another extremely popular way to create things out of air-dry clay is to use rubber stamps. Rubber stamps are quite popular for clay projects. These stamps are made out of rubber with a predetermined intricate design built into them.

When you impose the stamp on a piece of clay, that clay is molded under the pressure of the stamp in the exact design that the stamp holds. Being dry, the clay then dries quickly to hold the impression of the stamp forever.

Different techniques

Coil, slab, score, and pinch are a few uncountable techniques that can be used with air-dry clay. If you have been working with normal clay by now, you will see that almost every technique you have employed for normal clay projects can easily be employed with air-dry clay.

The only thing to remember for air-dry clay is that the entire process has to be made extremely fast. In this way, the entire project does not dry up before adding the finite touches. even if you want to decrease the drying time for air dry clay for setting the artifact then it can be done after reading this post which explains easy to follow steps for drying process.

air dry clay wall hanging

Best for hand building

Air dry clay is the best option for hand-building projects. What is the oil sculpture simply with the use of the hand? Many different tools can work on it while it is wet. Some tools can even be used when the clay has dried up.

Even with these endless numbers of tools at its disposal, air-dry clay is mostly popular for hand-building. It can pick up anything, even a fingerprint. It is why there is so much possible to be done with and build on this type of clay.

With Mason stains

Mason stains are added to create strips of color in the clay. Because of how quickly air-dry clay can reach its permanent stage, using mason stains becomes much more fun and even easier. In this type of addition, color in pigment form or paint is added to the clay. And then, the clay is molded and fashioned into several things.

From there, it dries quickly, and the freshness of the new colors remains segmented on the project forever. In this manner, stains get incorporated into the project and not over it.

Repurposing old clay

The best and most surprising thing about air dry clays is that they can easily be repurposed. Three purposing old clay can be done simply by adding water or glycerin under the right conditions.

There are certain ways you can save your permanent projects from getting repurposed by adding sealant or varnish on them while you paint them.


Your air dry clean can do everything that a normal clay can, except that it dries up in the middle of the project if it stretches for too long. However, some creators use this drawing process as an advantage by creating details that gradually harden.

Another way to incorporate details in your air-dry clay project is to soften the surface alone while the core stays hard. There is absolutely no reason not to use air-dry clay for short projects. And the beginner-level artistic realization of unique ideas!

amazing air dry clay items


Can air-dry clay be used to make pottery?

Air dry clay can be used to make pottery; however, it is very hard to produce a professional result. Moreover, air-dry clay is not actually food safe and should not be used in utensils.

Is air-dry clay safe for children?

Air dry clay is non-toxic and safe for children under 2.

What kind of clay is best suited for permanent projects?

Air dry clay is best suited for small permanent projects as you do not have to immediately bake them to get a permanent shape.

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