How to Make Air Dry Clay: A Beginner’s Guide

Greetings, dear readers!

Have you ever wanted to make your own clay but don’t want to go through the hassle of using an oven or a kiln? Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we will guide you through the process of making air dry clay.

Air dry clay is an easy-to-make material that can be used for a variety of projects. Unlike the traditional clay that requires high temperatures to harden, air dry clay can dry on its own at room temperature. It’s a fantastic alternative for many art projects that require clay but don’t have access to special equipment.

Are you ready to make your air dry clay? Here are twelve easy steps to follow.

Steps how to make air dry clay

Step 1: Gather the materials

Before starting the process, you will need to get the necessary materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

– 2 cups of baking soda
– 1 cup of cornstarch
– 1 1/4 cups of water

Make sure you have all the items before you begin.

Step 2: Mix baking soda and cornstarch

In a medium-sized pot, mix the baking soda and cornstarch together. Stir the ingredients until they are fully combined.

Step 3: Add water to the mixture

Add the water to the pot. Mix the contents thoroughly with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes smooth and free of lumps.

Step 4: Cook the mixture

Place the pot on a stove over medium heat. Cook the mixture while stirring it occasionally with the wooden spoon. It would take about 5-10 minutes, or until the mixture thickens up and starts to form a dough-like consistency.

Step 5: Remove the pot from the heat

After the mixture has thickened up, remove the pot from the heat.

Step 6: Cut the dough into small pieces

Take the final mixture and cut it into pieces with a knife or dough cutter. This process helps the material cool faster.

Step 7: Allow the dough pieces to cool

Place the dough pieces on a cutting board or any flat surface and allow them to cool for at least 20 minutes.

Step 8: Knead the dough

Once the dough pieces have cooled down, knead them with your hands until they’re soft and pliable. By doing this, you’ll ensure evenness in the clay’s texture.

Step 9: Flatten the clay with a rolling pin

Using a rolling pin, flatten the clay into a uniform thickness. The thickness should be around 1/4 inch or thicker depending on the project’s requirements.

Step 10: Shape and mold the clay

Now that you have flattened the clay, you can mold it into any shape that you desire. Whether it be a small sculpture or a decorative art piece, your clay is ready for anything.

Step 11: Leave the clay to dry

After shaping the clay, leave it to dry up for at least 24 hours. It can take up to 2-3 days, depending on the clay’s thickness.

Step 12: Paint and decorate

Once fully dried, you can now paint and decorate your piece of art any way you want. From acrylic paint to glaze, the possibilities are endless.

Explanation how to make air dry clay

Making air dry clay is simple and easy because it only requires three common household items – baking soda, cornstarch, and water. Here’s how it works:

Baking soda is a base that, when mixed with an acid such as cornstarch, creates a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide gas. As the baking soda and cornstarch mixture cooks and heats up, the carbon dioxide expands and pushes other molecules apart, resulting in a fluffy, light mixture that is easy to mold and shape.

Once cooked, the dough-like mixture can be kneaded, flattened, and molded into any shape. After the desired shape is achieved, the clay is left to dry up, removing the water from the mixture, which results in a solid form that retains the shape. The result is a strong and lightweight material that can be painted and decorated to your heart’s desire.

Tips and Tricks how to make air dry clay

1. Remember to store unused clay in an airtight container or a plastic bag to prevent drying out.
2. If your clay is too dry or cracking, add a few drops of water to it and knead until it becomes soft and pliable again.
3. To test for the right consistency, pinch the clay. It should feel soft, smooth, and not sticky.
4. Use a rolling pin and plastic wrap to flatten the clay easily without sticking to the rolling pin.
5. Make small batches of clay to avoid the mixture from drying out.
6. In- depth research and experimentation will lead to more texture and color options for your air dry clay projects.
7. Add a bit of cornstarch to your work surface to prevent the clay from sticking to it when you flatten the clay or mold it into a shape.
8. Have patience when shaping your clay piece. Letting the clay dry completely is essential to prevent it from breaking or collapsing.
9. Use a fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges and bumps on your clay after it’s fully dried.
10. Before applying paint or glaze, make sure that your clay is smooth and dry.

Now that you’ve learned how to make air dry clay, it’s time to get your hands dirty and start creating! With the tips and tricks mentioned in this article, you’ll be able to make fantastic and creative sculptures easily. So what are you waiting for? Start creating your masterpiece now!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Making Air Dry Clay

If you love crafting, then you must know how versatile air dry clay is! This kind of clay can easily be shaped into different figures, sculptures, and even home décor. In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of making air dry clay.


1. Air dry clay is super easy to work with. It does not require any special equipment or tools, meaning that it’s a perfect craft material for beginners.
2. Once you’ve shaped your clay, you don’t need to fire it in a kiln – simply let it dry. This can save you tons of time and money.
3. There’s no need for any firing, glazing, or other industrial equipment to finish your project. This means air dry clay is a great choice for those who don’t have a lot of space or a dedicated workspace for crafting.
4. Air dry clay can be painted and varnished after it dries, giving you a wide range of possibilities for your creative projects.
5. It’s also very affordable and easily available, making it a great passtime for those on a budget.
6. Due to its light weight, air dry clay is also perfect for creating decorations and ornaments that can be hung from walls or ceilings.
7. You can make your own colors! Just mix in some paint or food coloring as you knead your clay!
8. Making air dry clay is not very messy. Unlike some other materials such as regular pottery clay, air dry clay requires minimal clean-up once you’ve finished your project.
9. It’s nontoxic! This means air dry clay is safe for kids to work with, making it a great family activity.
10. As it dries it shrinks and hardens which makes it a good material for making small househol items such as candles holders, coasters and ring dishes, as it won’t collapse under its own weight.


1. The drying process can take several days or even a week. This means that you have to be patient and plan your crafting projects in advance.
2. If the clay dries too fast or is exposed to sudden temperature changes, it can form cracks or breakage.
3. Once the clay has dried, it’s not possible to make any further changes to it. You cannot add extra clay to it so you have to start over.
4. The clay is not very durable and can easily break if dropped or handled roughly.
5. You cannot use air dry clay for creating functional items, such as bowls or mugs, because it is very porous and brittle.
6. Although it’s easy to work with, air dry clay can be difficult to store as you need to keep it moistened to prevent it from drying out.
7. It cannot be used in areas with high humidity as it absorbs moisture which can cause molding and rotting.
8. If you make a mistake while working with the clay, it can be difficult to fix the error once the clay has dried. It’s a good idea to plan your designs in advance.
9. If the clay is left out too long without being stored properly, it can become too dry to work with.
10. It’s not heat-resistant, which means you cannot use it for making temperature-sensitive items such as ovenware or pots.

Despite the disadvantages, air dry clay is still a great material to use for your craft projects. Whether you’re an experienced crafter or just starting out, air dry clay has something to offer everyone. Just make sure you weigh the advantages and disadvantages before deciding if air dry clay is right for your project!


1. What is air dry clay?

Air dry clay is a type of clay that doesn’t need to be fired, unlike traditional clay that requires a kiln for the ceramic process to complete. It dries on its own over time, and it is perfect for crafts, sculptures, and other DIY projects.

2. What are the benefits of using air dry clay?

Air dry clay is easy to use and doesn’t require special equipment. It is also less expensive than traditional clay and doesn’t need to be baked, which saves time and money. Another benefit is that it can be painted and decorated after it dries.

3. What are the ingredients for making air dry clay?

You will need 1 cup of cornstarch, 2 cups of baking soda, and 1 1/2 cups of water.

4. How do I make air dry clay?

Mix the ingredients in a saucepan and stir until there are no lumps. Cook it over medium heat and keep stirring until the mixture thickens. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and let it cool down. Knead the clay until it is smooth and the texture is consistent.

5. How do I store air dry clay?

You can store air dry clay in an airtight container or a ziplock bag. Make sure to remove any excess air from the bag/container before storing it. Refrigeration is optional but can prolong its shelf life.

6. How long does air dry clay take to dry?

The drying time depends on the thickness and size of the clay. It can take anywhere from 24 hours to a few days for the clay to dry completely. Be patient and let it dry naturally in a well-ventilated area.

7. Can I speed up the drying process of air dry clay?

Absolutely! You can use a fan, a hairdryer, or a dehumidifier to speed up the drying process. However, be careful not to overheat it, or it may crack or break.

8. Can I reuse air dry clay?

Yes, you can! If the clay is still pliable and not dried or hardened, you can store it and reuse it for future projects.

9. Can I sculpt air dry clay?

Yes, you can! Air dry clay is excellent for sculpting. You can manipulate it while it’s still soft and shape it to your liking. Use sculpting tools and your fingers to create your masterpiece.

10. Can I paint air dry clay?

Yes, you can! Wait for the clay to dry completely before painting it. You can use acrylic paints, watercolors, or even spray paint to color your clay. Just make sure to apply a sealer after painting to protect it and make it last longer.

11. Can I make jewelry with air dry clay?

Yes, you can! Air dry clay is versatile and can be molded into different shapes and sizes. You can make pendants, earrings, and beads with air dry clay. Just make sure to poke a hole or add an eyelet screw before the clay dries to attach to a chain or earring hooks.

12. Can kids use air dry clay?

Yes, they can! Air dry clay is non-toxic and safe for kids to use. It is an excellent way to keep them entertained and boost their creativity. Just make sure to supervise them while they work with the clay.

13. Can I make different colors of air dry clay?

Yes, you can! You can dye your air dry clay using food coloring, acrylic paint, or even colored pencils. Add a drop of color to the clay before kneading to incorporate the hue. Experiment with different colors to make your projects stand out.

Are you interested in making your own air dry clay? Look no further! With just a few simple ingredients, you can create your own clay for crafting. Here’s how:


The ingredients for air dry clay are easy to find and affordably priced. You will need:

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups water

These three ingredients are all that’s needed to make air dry clay at home.


1. In a large pot, mix together the baking soda and cornstarch.

2. Add in the water, stirring the mixture continuously until it begins to form clumps.

3. Place the pot on a stove over low heat. Continue stirring the mixture as it begins to cook and thicken. This process should take around 5-10 minutes.

4. Once the mixture has thickened, remove the pot from the heat and let the clay cool for a few minutes.

5. Knead the clay with your hands until it is smooth and pliable. If the clay feels too dry, add a very small amount of water. If it is too wet, add a little cornstarch.

6. Store the clay in an airtight container until ready to use. It should last for several weeks before drying out.

Conclusion how to make air dry clay

Making air dry clay at home is an easy and affordable way to enjoy crafting. With just a few ingredients, you can create a versatile and long-lasting medium for your projects. Give it a try and see what you can create!

Closing how to make air dry clay

Thank you for taking the time to learn how to make air dry clay. We hope that this article has been informative and useful for your crafting endeavors. Happy creating!