Today’s project is part of our Monthly DIY Challenge series. If you’re new here, each month we get together with a few other fabulous bloggers to each make a project based on the same item or theme. This month we’re working with air dry clay.
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I was fairly certain that anything I tried to make with clay would look like a preschooler made it, so I decided to keep it simple and make these tags that could be used on a gift, as a keychain, or even as an ornament.
One thing I was surprised by when working with the clay was how sticky it was. I used a rolling pin to roll it flat on my kitchen counter and it was so completely stuck to the counter I could barely scrape it off. I thought it would be similar to working with cookie dough or even play-doh but it was much stickier (which is probably normal for clay, I just didn’t know what to expect).
The second time I rolled it out, I rolled it onto a gallon size ziplock bag, and it was easier to peel the tags off after I cut them. The other girls had good luck rolling it onto wax paper, but I was out so improvised with the ziplock bag.
I used a circle cutter from my kid’s play-doh toy stash, but any type of cookie cutter, a cup or even a shot glass would work. I used a drinking straw to create the small hole at the top for the twine.
We have this inexpensive alphabet stamp set and I used it to add words to the tags.
Even though the package says air dry, I’m impatient and decided to try drying the tags in my oven on the lowest setting and it worked great. I let it bake for a couple hours and it was mostly dry. I left one on the counter overnight just to see how long it took to dry and it was still really wet the next morning.
The clay never became “white”, but I actually prefer the natural color. I also noticed that every imperfection and fingerprint stayed on the tags through the drying process. I didn’t necessarily expect them to disappear, but it made me wish I had taken a bit more time cleaning them up before drying.
I did use a fine grit sanding block to clean up the edges once they were dry. I gave them a quick coat of GF poly, then rubbed a little dark wax over the top with a paper towel, taking care to get it inside all the lettering.
So would I work with air dry clay again? Meh.. I’m on the fence. I’m not really good at sculpting things, and while I didn’t have any issues with the dried clay breaking, a few of the other girls did. We had some pretty funny text messages going on behind the scenes. After reading the Amazon reviews, it looks like it’s not really known for its durability. If I were going to the trouble of making something with clay again I would probably look into a polymer clay which is supposed to be more durable. If you have experience with different clay products and/or their durability, I’d love to know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Ready to see what the other girls made? Just click the photos below to see the full blog posts for each project.
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