10 Unique DIY Projects to Make with Air Drying Clay

10 Unique DIY Projects to Make with Air Drying Clay

Posted Aug 07, 2017
Tags: DIY Blogs

This month we thought we'd look at some amazingly simple air drying clay DIY projects. Air drying clay has such an earthy beauty and is perfect for custom DIY decor. Unlike polymer clay no baking is required, and simple finishes can create a designer look for some truly beautiful pieces.


Clay Dish

Image Source: One Artsy Mama

1. Jewellery Dish

This cute DIY will have all your rings and jewellery sorted in no time, and can fit in with any type of decor. Mix up your designs by painting the dish a different colour on top and underneath, colourblock with pastels, or paint on triangles, squiggles or eyes - the options are endless!

You will need:

Air hardening modelling clay

– Acrylic paint (we recommend our Satin Acrylics)

– Paint brush

– Parchment paper

– Something circular to use as a cutter

We loved this easy little DIY tutorial we found here.

HANDY TIP: Use a rolling pin and sculpting tools to ensure a smoother, more even finish.



Image Source: Delineate Your Dwelling

2. Placeholders

These quick and easy DIY placeholders take only 2 hours to make, are super unique and can even be embellished with sprigs of rosemary, holly, lavender - whatever you have in your garden or is in season. They can be used for dinner parties, country style weddings or at Christmas time to dress up your festive table.

You will need:

Air hardening modelling clay

– Wax paper or cutting board

– Damp sponge

Clay tools & folded card stock paper

– Metal point & toothpicks

Hobby knife or knife

– Sandpaper

– Card & markers for your cards

We thought this step-by-step lesson was one of the best we found for this project: click here.

HANDY TIP: For a classy card finish use metallic markers or brush markers



Image Source: Journey Creativity

3. Mini Pots

These mini pots are a sweet addition to any plain wall - they’ll add a pop of ombre colour, complete with matching coloured hanging string. We’d suggest making them all different sizes as well as all different lengths if hanging them up together. Alternatively, string them in a cluster, hang in a staggered vertical line or in different spots in your garden.

Their handmade look and feel makes each piece unique and individual - customise with a suitably-sized plant for that special DIY touch.

You will need:

Air hardening modelling clay

– Bottle cap

– Plastic knife or hobby knife

– Skewer to create holes

– Paint of your choice & brush (we recommend a paint set to save cash)

– Coloured cord for hanging

– Plants & earthy material

We couldn’t go past these beautiful illustrative images to tell the story: click here.

HANDY TIP: Cover your earthy material with some moss or tiny pebbles to finish the look and remember to always make sure your succulent leaves are above the top of the edge of the pot once planted.


Wind Chimes

Image Source: Design Sponge

4. Wind Chimes

These whimsically lovely chimes will waft sweet notes through your house on a summer’s breeze. Hang them inside or out - they can withstand gentle breezes and will dress up any wall they’re hung in front of.

You will need:

Air hardening modelling clay

– Disposable plastic wine glasses (with detachable base)

– Cotton cord

– Roller

– Craft or hobby knife

Check out more details on this handy DIY here.

HANDY TIP: Add a personal touch by hand painting each chime a different colour or creating an ombre effect by trickling the colour from faintest to strongest, or vice versa.


Clay Lamps

Image Source: Brit.co

5. Pendant Lamps

Need some creative lighting to brighten up a room in your house? This pendant lamp DIY will add an interesting stand-out feature. Pretty it up with some hand painted designs, or use wrap-around stickers or wallpaper of your choice to match your room’s colouring.

You will need:

Air hardening modelling clay

Paint pens

– Hanging light cord + bulb

– Plastic cones

– Needle tool from pottery tool kit

– Rolling pin

For a detailed how-to on this uber cool project we found this.

HANDY TIP:  Use some sandpaper to smooth down any undesired bumps.


Clay beads2

Image Source: Curly Made

6. Clay Beads Necklace

Polymer clay can’t be the only one to have all the fun - jewellery and beads can be made just as easily from air drying clay. The beads are super simple to make, and the trick for holding them while you paint is to pop them on a pencil - no more messy fingerprints in paint!

You will need:

Air hardening modelling clay

– Acrylic paint (we suggest Satin Acrylics)

– Small and medium paint brushes (try our Gallery Brushes, Mini Detail or Detail/Liner brush set for super fine stuff)

– Leather cord

We found a great little tutorial that even shows you how to mix your paint colours here.

HANDY TIP: Experiment with colours to complement your wardrobe and personal tastes.


Planter Pockets

Image Source: DesignLoveFest

7. Planter Pockets

Fancy a hanging garden? DesignLoveFest has got a DIY tutorial to satisfy that craving! Create unique planter pockets from - you guessed it - air drying clay and then pretty them up with paints to personalise. Complete with any number of succulents - as they don’t require too much water.

You will need:

Air hardening modelling clay

– Rolling pin

– Canvas (about 46cm x 61cm)

Hobby knife

– Pin tool from pottery tool kit

– Sandpaper

– Paint (we recommend Satin Acrylics)

– Tissue paper or newsprint and drawing paper

– Small sponge

We found details for this awesome little lesson here.

HANDY TIP: Use a clear acrylic spray to to seal your paint so your project can stand up to occasional plant watering.



Image Source: Pretty Nice

8. Coasters

Coasters are a simple and lovely way to add some personalisation to your decor. Matching them to your cups or bar cart style will add a nice pop of colour to your trolley. Paint after clay has dried with acrylic paints or colour in for more control.

Give these as a gift in a set with each coaster a unique pattern, or keep for yourself and display on your bar cart for a cute homey touch.

You will need:

Air hardening modelling clay

– Mug or circled item

– Acrylic paint (we’d suggest Satin Acrylic Lamp Black) + a paintbrush

For more details on how to check out this link.

HANDY TIP: For a more controlled finish try paint brush pens.


Piggy Bank

Image Source: Mont Marte International

9. Piggy Bank

Adding another dimension to the uses of air drying clay - sculpture! Make this super easy piggy bank to store all your cold hard savings in.

You will need:

Air hardening modelling clay

Pottery tool kit

Mini modelling tools boxwood

– Acrylic paints (we used Satin Acrylics)

Acrylic gloss medium

– Brushes (we used the Gallery Series Brush Set Oils 3pce)

You can view our video lesson here.

HANDY TIP: If you don’t want to smash him or her at the end to collect your cash, cut out a hole in the bottom while the clay is still uncured and pop in a rubber plug (after drying) to stop the money falling out whilst in there.



Image Source: Mont Marte International

10. Garden Gnome

Just when you thought air drying clay was only suitable for indoor decor! Its popularity due to its ability to be worked and sculpted means it can be used to make miniatures and then painted. Take this awesome gnome - a perfect addition to any whimsical garden and easy to make. Useful for attracting fairies and toadstools and scaring away crows all in one!

You will need:

Air hardening modelling clay

Pottery tool kit

Double thick canvas 12.7x17.8cm

– Artist brush (we used a Chungking Round 24)

Easy clean wood palette

PVA craft glue (250g is enough)

– Acrylic paints (we used Satin Acrylics)

This lesson is a little more involved but worth the effort. Find the full lesson here.

HANDY TIP: Pick up  a larger 2kg air drying clay block for this project - you'll use quite a bit of clay. 

Join our creative community for free art lessons, awesome competitions and a bunch of content you can’t get anywhere else.