How to soften hardened air-dry clay

Yep. We have all been there.. bought Air-Dry Clay in bulk.. used some.. but over time it has become quite hard and stiff! This is particularly a problem when using air drying clay with kids! Their fingers are not strong enough to knead it back into softness and they will have problems connecting pieces, so that their creations do not later fall apart. It is actually incredibly EASY to soften hardened air-dry clay – as we will show you here! I think this is the easiest way to revive dry clay.

Our favourite Air Dry clay projects have been our Nature Art Projects, and our Monster Pinch Pots. Simple and fun. But there are MANY uses for air drying clay and we look forward to sharing more ideas with you over time.

How to soften harden air dry clay EASILY. Have some air drying clay that is hard and can't work with it? This is the easiest method to soften it back down, ready for a great air drying clay project!
Working with air dry clay in our craft basics series since Oct 2016

Do watch this short video (which is part of our handy “Crafts Basics” series on YouTube – let us know what else you would like to see in this series.. we have everything from basic sewing stitches, to removing labels from jars here!).

Watch our how to soften air drying clay video on auto play or follow the step by step instructions here –

So.. how do you soften air drying clay??

  1. Basically…. you get your clay. You get a couple of plastic bags (with no holes in them) and a cup of water.
  2. Place the clay in the bag. Poke a few times with a knife to make some holes.
  3. Add the water.
  4. Seal the bag and leave for a day.
  5. You will now have very soft clay indeed.

NOTE: It is best that you get your clay out and ready to be used maybe a good half an hour before use. As you WILL want it to harden a little bit again. Depending on whether you are doing this in Winter or summer.. you may want to leave it out resting under a damp art rag. But it WILL be a little too wet for use immediately!