What Can You Use Crayola Air Dry Clay For?

Crayola has been making art supplies for kids and adults for over 100 years. Founded in 1885, the company started by selling wax crayons before expanding into markers, paints, modeling clays, and more. Crayola introduced their air dry clay product line in 1999.

Air dry clay is a light, non-toxic modeling material that dries naturally into a hard, durable finish. Unlike traditional clays that require baking, Crayola air dry clay sets via evaporation. The clay can be molded into 3D creations, jewelry, home decor, and more. It’s lightweight, easy to shape, and dries hard within 24 hours. Air dry clay is an accessible, kid-friendly alternative to oven-bake polymer clay.

Sculpting and Molding

One of the most popular uses for Crayola Air Dry Clay is sculpting and molding it into different shapes and objects. The clay is soft and pliable, making it easy to mold by hand into whatever you can imagine. It’s perfect for sculpting mini figurines, characters, animals, jewelry, pots, bowls, and more.

Let your creativity run wild as you sculpt objects both simple and complex. The clay holds its shape nicely as it air dries, so the sculptures will retain all the fine details. Make tiny sculptures as desk accessories, holiday decorations, or just for fun. Sculpt life-size hands, faces, or figures to practice your modeling skills. Create unique jewelry pieces by molding the clay into beads, pendants, rings, and earrings. Craft colorful bowls and pots for holding office supplies, jewelry, or trinkets. The possibilities are endless when sculpting and molding with air dry clay.

Textures and Patterns

One of the great things about Crayola Air Dry Clay is that you can easily add texture and patterns to your sculptures. The clay remains soft and pliable until it dries, so it’s very easy to imprint designs using your hands, clay tools, or household objects.

To add texture, simply press tools into the surface of the clay in a swirling, crisscross, or other pattern. You can use clay sculpting tools, the edge of a butter knife, straws, combs, forks, crumpled paper – anything with an interesting edge or tip will work. Get creative with the objects around you!

It’s also fun to imprint designs using rubber stamps, colanders, stencils, or silicone molds. Kids will love making repetitive patterns like polka dots or waves. The options are endless when it comes to pressing items into the clay to make embossed designs.

Texture not only adds visual interest but also gives the sculpture dimension. Add texture strategically to certain areas or cover the entire piece for an artsy, handmade look. Roughing up smooth surfaces makes them less slippery for painting later on too. Let your imagination run wild with the patterns you add to your Air Dry Clay creations.

Painting with Crayola Air Dry Clay

One of the best aspects of Crayola Air Dry Clay is that it can be painted after it dries. This allows you to create beautiful, colorful sculptures and crafts. Acrylic, tempera, and watercolor paints can all be used on air dry clay.

Acrylic paint works especially well. It adheres beautifully to the clay surface and dries quickly. Acrylics also provide vibrant colors that really make clay creations pop. Tempera and watercolors can be used too, but may take longer to dry on the clay.

It’s best to use acrylic or tempera paint pens for adding fine details and accents. These make it easy to draw designs, patterns, and faces on clay figures or ornaments.

When painting air dry clay, apply a thin first coat and let it dry completely. Then add additional coats for the richest color. The clay surface should be smoothed with sandpaper before starting to paint for best results.

Get creative with painting clay! Try different techniques like blending, sponging, splattering, or using painters tape to create patterns and designs. The possibilities are endless.


Crayola air dry clay is an incredibly versatile material that can be used for decorating in many creative ways. Once the clay has dried, the smooth surface provides the perfect base for adding embellishments and textures.

Some ideas for decorating include:

  • Glitter – Adding glitter while the clay is still wet or gluing it on after the clay has dried gives projects a fun, sparkly look. Fine glitter sprinkled lightly over the surface works well for a subtle effect. For concentrated glitter, brush on a layer of glue first before pouring on glitter.
  • Beads – Large beads can be pressed into the clay for 3D effects. Smaller beads can be used to outline patterns or shapes. String beads together into necklaces then wrap them around clay sculptures.
  • Gems – Flat gems look great added to pendants or jewelry made with air dry clay. Small gems can be used for eyes on animals or accents on figurines.
  • Fabric – Soften clay edges by wrapping ribbon around them. Make prints or textures by pressing fabric into the clay.
  • Pipe Cleaners – Bend pipe cleaners into shapes like hearts, stars or letters, then press them into the clay to add instant dimension.

With a bit of creativity, the possibilities for decorating air dry clay crafts are endless. Let your imagination run wild!

Making DIY Crafts

Crayola air dry clay is perfect for making all kinds of DIY crafts and ornaments. Because it air dries, you don’t need to bake it in an oven or kiln. This makes it easy to craft jewelry, figurines, miniatures, home decor items, gifts, and more. The clay holds very fine detail once dried, so you can impressively capture small designs.

During the holidays, air dry clay is great for making homemade ornaments to decorate the Christmas tree. Sculpt names, dates, snowflakes, snowmen, angels, and other shapes. Add glitter for sparkle or spray with acrylic sealer for a glossy sheen.

For jewelry like earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, roll and cut the clay into beads. Use cookie cutters or clay tools to make interesting bead shapes. Air dry the beads before stringing them onto chain or leather cording.

Craft miniature figurines like animals, fairies, gnomes, or dinosaurs. The clay retains crisp detail for capturing small features. Paint your figurines with acrylics and seal them for durability.

Air dry clay can also be molded into bowls, vases, bookends, coasters, and other decorative objects to adorn your home. Impress textures, shapes, and designs before drying and painting.

The clay makes wonderful homemade gifts for any occasion. Customize ornaments, jewelry, figurines, wall art, keychains, and more with personalization.

Kids’ Projects

Crayola air dry clay is a fun, safe material for kids to get creative with. It’s easy for little hands to sculpt and mold into all kinds of shapes and objects. Kids can make their own unique animal creations, sculpt 3D geometric shapes, or imprint their handprints and footprints into the clay to make keepsake art projects.

Compared to traditional clays and modeling compounds, air dry clay is non-toxic and mess-free. There’s no need to bake or fire pieces made with this clay. It air dries to a hard, permanent finish within 24 hours. Parents will appreciate that air dry clay doesn’t leave behind any sticky residue or stains on hands, clothes or furniture.

Making animals out of air dry clay allows kids to shape imaginary creatures or recreate their favorite real-world animals. Let them explore their artistic side by sculpting clay pets, jungle animals, dinosaurs, farm animals or aquatic creatures. Air dry clay is also perfect for open-ended sculpting and molding. Give children a lump of clay and let them shape it however they’d like, just for fun.

For a personalized craft, kids can press their hands or feet into pliable air dry clay to capture their prints. Write their name and age on the artwork to commemorate their exact size at that moment in childhood. These handprint/footprint keepsakes make wonderful gifts for family members. Air dry clay retains fine details well after drying, so the imprints will look great.

With just a little guidance and encouragement, kids can create all kinds of amazing clay artworks and keepsakes using Crayola air dry clay. It develops their creativity and motor skills in a screen-free, educational way.

School Projects

Crayola air dry clay is great for teachers and students to use for various school art projects. Since it doesn’t require baking, it’s easy to work with in the classroom. Here are some ways it can be utilized for school art classes and projects:

Make small sculptures – Have students sculpt animals, objects, or anything they can imagine out of the clay. Figures can be painted after drying.

Design pins or jewelry – Roll pieces of clay thin and use cookie cutters or clay tools to cut shapes for pins, charms, beads, or pendants. Add paints or glaze after drying.

Create tiles or plaques – Flatten clay into tiles or plaques and carve designs, words, or images into the surface. These can be hung up around the school after painting.

Craft mini pots or vases – Roll coils and attach into simple vase or pot shapes, let dry, and paint designs. Fill with artificial flowers or pens & pencils.

Make magnets – Form clay into interesting magnet shapes like animals or mini 3D sculptures. Paint them and glue magnets on the back.

Decorate picture frames – Use clay to create frames, attach dried frames to a painted canvas or photo. Or press clay into frame edges for texture.

The projects students can make with air dry clay are nearly endless! It develops creativity and art skills for any grade level.

Tips and Tricks For Working with Air Dry Clay

When working with Crayola air dry clay, there are some tips and tricks you can use to help make the process go smoothly and ensure your finished pieces turn out just how you envisioned. Here are some of the top tips for working with air dry clay and avoiding cracks and breakage:

Smooth and Crack-Free Drying

To help your clay sculptures and creations dry smoothly without cracking:

  • Avoid making pieces that are too thick or bulbous, as those are prone to cracking. Keep most areas of your sculpture thinner than 1/4 inch.
  • Let pieces dry slowly at room temperature. Avoid quick drying in direct sun or by heaters.
  • Consider using a drying box – place the clay sculpture in a loosely closed cardboard box to slow moisture loss.
  • Apply a very thin layer of water to the surface as it starts to dry, to evenly slow moisture loss.

Baking for Added Sturdiness

While air dry clay will cure and harden at room temperature, you can optionally bake it for extra durability. To bake:

  • Let air dry for 24-48 hours first.
  • Bake at 200°F for 10 minutes per 1/4 inch of thickness.
  • Ramp temperature up and down gradually – don’t transfer directly in and out of the oven.

Baking makes the clay slightly stronger and more water resistant.

Sealing the Finished Piece

To help protect, strengthen, and add shine to completed air dry clay projects, consider sealing with a protective spray sealant.

  • Let piece fully cure first. Sealant won’t work well on damp clay.
  • Spray lightly from a distance of 6-8 inches. Apply 2-3 thin coats for best results.
  • Matte sealants work best for maintaining a clay-like appearance.

Sealing is great for pieces that will be handled often or exposed to moisture.


Crayola Air Dry Clay is an incredibly versatile modeling compound that can be shaped, sculpted, textured, painted, and crafted into all kinds of imaginative designs. As we’ve explored, it’s great for sculpting detailed models and figurines, impressing textures and patterns, decorating crafts and homemade gifts, and unleashing kids’ creativity through DIY projects. With the ability to air dry into a durable, lightweight, finished product, it opens up possibilities that go far beyond basic clay. So grab some Crayola Air Dry Clay, and let your inner sculptor run wild! Give your imagination free rein to mold and shape amazing, artistic designs.

The most magical part of Crayola Air Dry Clay is how it inspires creativity and gives people of all ages a fun, hands-on way to make their ideas into 3D reality. It’s an open invitation to invent, design, and produce one-of-a-kind works of art. So sculpt, mold, shape, paint, and craft to your heart’s content. There are endless creative possibilities waiting to be brought to life!

Similar Posts