When I was out shopping for my son’s birthday gifts I stumbled across Air Dry Clay by Crayola. I was about to grab the “regular” kind when I saw this in the same section. It’s amazing because I am used to the clay that has to be baked. This is a fantastic medium for kids with the creative imagination.
For a 5-pound container of clay it’s only $12.99 at Michael’s. Do you know how many projects you can make with 5 whole pounds of clay?! I find that to be a steal of a deal. Not to mention every week Michael’s typically has 25% to 40% off coupons for regular priced items so if you time it right you can get it for even less so keep your eyes peeled! Don’t need that much? You can also purchase 2.5 pound tubs at half the price. No matter which size you choose, it comes in a terracotta color or white. I purchased the white so my son could paint it whatever color he wanted.
With Air Dry Clay, you can mold it and design it as you would any clay that you bake but this will air dry in 2-3 days. My son made a few projects that were quite thick and even with those, after the third day we completely hardened.
Most recently we used the Crayola Air Dry Clay for my son’s end of year school project. He had to make a triorama depicting a story they read and he molded the characters from the clay and decorated them in the appropriate color for clothing. It was a huge hit in class.
It’s easy to mold, odorless, you can use water to help bind any pieces together, and you can use any tools you want to manipulate it. Michael’s has some great quality plastic tools at a very reasonable price for children or beginners to use. We used the Artminds Clay Modeling Tools. You can get a 3 pack for $3.39.
Painting and sealing
Once they were dry, we painted them then (to seal the paint and add some shine) we brushed over the paint with some Mod Podge ($1.99 for a 2 oz bottle). I had gloss on hand but you can also get a matte version. It also comes in an aerosol can but that is quite smelly and honestly gets all over because the spray is so wide.
As far as paint goes, the 2-ounce Craftsmart Acrylic paints are my favorite to use. You may think it’s not a lot but TRUST ME 2 ounces of paint goes a long way. They are washable, dry quickly, and the best part—they only cost 70 CENTS each!! Don’t let the price fool you, for this kind of project you are not sacrificing quality even though this is a more generic brand.
If your kids have that creative spark grab some Air dry clay and let those imaginations run wild! I would love to see all of your creations so drop some photos in the comments!
-XO Savvy Sammy