I am very excited about today’s collection of kids craft ideas – it is all about Air Dry Clay Projects for Kids (well for kids and big kids… ). We love using air dry clay, but find it is something that many people shy away from.
Yet air dry clay is inexpensive (when not buying branded clay) and versatile and there are so many wonderful tutorials you can have a go at. From jewelry, to clay decor, clay planters, to gorgeous clay bowls. Clay crafts for all ages groups and abilities – from beginners to advanced!
You mainly get air drying clay in brown or grey. But there are also some great (but more expensive) white clay versions. I highly recommend going back to basics and learning to use traditional grey or brown clay with the kids. It is indeed a learning process, and no doubt mistakes (and falling apart) projects will be made, but that is what art projects are all about, right? Learning!
Ary Dry Clay Resources
First off, we have two great “general” resources here on Red Ted Art – an article about How to soften Air Dry Clay (it is super easy, but you need time), as well as a great introduction to working with clay!
There are different types of clay, but we like to go for the most natural as possible. You can avoid expensive brands when buying air dry clay in bulk and go back to basics.
We like to buy clay in bulk – and usually get clay like this:
- grey clay (US/ UK) (the best for buying in bulk)
- terracotta clay (US / UK) (great for earthy projects)
But this white clay is also popular
- white air drying clay (US/ UK) (Crayola air Dry Clay is super popular, a lovely clay for when you want that clean white finish without painting, however it is MUCH more expensive and therefor best for small projects such as ornaments)
(affiliate links added for convenience)
Generally speaking, we like using acrylic paint to decorate our clay projects, as acrylic paint also acts a little bit like a varnish and can seal your projects off!
So.. and now over to some projects!
Air Dry Clay Ideas
Air Dry Clay Bowls & Pinch Pot Ideas
Super popular clay projects are of course air drying clay bowls. They are usually quite easy to make and are practical gifts that the kids can make and give!
- Autumn Leaf Bowls – we love these bowls and have made them MANY times. The article focusses on a KILN version of these bowls, but do WATCH the VIDEO, where we use air drying clay. These make a lovely clay dish and wonderful home decor addition for Fall!
- Super Easy Apple Pinch Pots – the kids will love this easy Autumn craft!
- Similarly we have some adorable Easter Pinch Pots too!
- Poppy Clay Bowls – this uses a super simple technique and the results are gorgeous – perfect for Remembrance day or as a gift to Granny!
- Sunflower Clay Bowls – love these bowls, but they are a little harder. Maybe a great air dry clay project for middle school?
- Monster Pinch Pots for Kids – pinch pots are great for kids – and you can make them with all age groups. The kids can have lots of fun with bright colors and unleash their creativity!
- Gorgeous “Faces” Pinch Pots
- Clay Pinch Pots for Succulents
- Clay Footprint Bowl
- Ornamental Hand Dish
- DIY Letter Bowls (an air dry clay project for senior school I think)
Other Air Dry Clay Tutorials & Projects
Air Dry Clay isn’t just for pinch pots and clay bowls of course. There are so many more DIYs and crafts you can make – from Christmas Tree Ornaments, to beads and decorated Pen Pots! Let’s take a look at these wonderful craft projects and tutorials:
- Nature Sculptures – we love heading out to nature and creating these nature sculptures. It is important that you do indeed use NATURAL Air Dry Clay for this, in order to not pollute your local environment.
- Easy Clay Owls – perfect for the classroom or at home
- Lovely LEAF Fridge Magnets – they make great gifts too!
- Fun with Clay Snails (craft & game) – this is something we came up with on a whim.. basically having fun with some snail shells we found!
- Joan Miro Sculptures – learning about the Great Artists projects – a great hands on project exploring Joan Miro!
- DIY Clay Beads
- Colorful Heart Ornaments (beads and summer finds)
- Fabulous Air Plant Pots
- Easter Ornaments using white air drying clay
- Clay Mobile Phone Holders
- Air Dry Clay Coasters (painted)
- Stamped Clay Coasters
- Clay Footprint Bowl
- Clay Heart Mobile
- Sea Shell Pen Pots
- Gorgeous Clay Birds (probably an air drying clay project for senior school)
- Fantasy Dragon Eggs
- Hedgehog Pen Holder
- Hooray for Fish Craft – a wonderfully simple air dry clay project for kids
And in addition, if you are working with Polymer Clay, you may like:
For those of you looking for some POLYMER Clay inspiration, I have put together a small collection of crafts too. Polymer Clay is more durable than air dry clay (which can crumble if not sealed properly) and is also great for smaller, finder projetcs – such as pendants, bracelets or charms.
- Dolls house party food
- Acorn Tea Set
- Mini Teddy in a Matchbox
- Alphabet Magnets
- Daffodil Tea Light
- Magnetic Pin Bowl
Watch this space fore more air dry clay crafts coming soon! We are looking at experimenting with oven bake clay (will report back), so that we can see how waterproof it is and may have a go at some vases or even mugs! But we certainly have some candle holders coming (great Christmas gifts) and maybe a diy incense holder or two. I am also keen on making some cute clay gnomes for Christmas!! But watch this space.. more coming soon!
I hope you enjoyed this collection of air dry clay projects and that it has given you inspiratio to get crafty!