Clay Crafts


©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Sculpting clay statues is a fun way to show off your favorite animal.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Sculpting clay statues is a fun way to show off your favorite animal.
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Clay crafts for kids are bound to get your hands dirty, but the result is worth it. You can use the clay to create fanciful creations or use it to transform prints from newspapers. Really, the ways you can use clay are too numerous to consider.

One of the best things about clay crafts is that it's likely you'll have all the ingredients in your house. You won't need to make a special trip to the store to pick up anything -- that way you can get started right away.

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Keep reading to learn how to create clay crafts:

Crazy Putty Dough

This crazy clay dough lets you make a carbon-copy of comics you find in the newspaper. Learn more here.

Sawdust Clay Dough

Instead of throwing away sawdust, mix it together with a few other ingredients to create amazing accessories.

Sculpting Clay Dough

By mixing together this basic dough, you can create numerous types of small creatures. Find out more.

Coiled Bowl

Add clay to twisted coils to create a unique bowl.

Modeling Clay Dough

Jazz up modeling clay dough with your favorite food coloring, and have a blast sculpting your creations.

Salt Clay Dough

For a variation of regular clay dough, add some salt and sculpt yourself some masterpieces.

Clay Accessories

Glamorize your outfits with wearable clay barrettes and clay buttons.

Clay Printer

Create your own stationery or wall art with a clay printing block.

Sculpting Clay Statues

By using wire and decorating it with clay, you can construct your own three-dimensional creations. Learn more here.

Clay Boats

Float your way to craft fun with these awesome clay boats.

Clay and Candles

For a candle holder that expresses warmth and love, check out this fun project.

Shell Print Clay Craft

Fossils are the record of ancient life on Earth. Make your own "ancient" fossils with this clay craft.

Story Characters Clay Craft

Build characters for the stories you love with this neat clay project.

Picture This Clay Craft

This picture frame decorated with clay makes a great gift idea for the holidays. Learn more about this clay craft.

You are a Star Clay Craft

Make these stars and then have your own award ceremony with this fun clay project.

Keep reading to learn how to magically lift comics right off the newspaper with some crazy putty.

For more creative crafts for kids, check out:

Crazy Putty Dough

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Magically lift comic strip characters off the newspaper with crazy putty dough.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Magically lift comic strip characters off the newspaper with crazy putty dough.
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With this crazy putty dough, you can make all sorts of silly shapes or appear to lift pictures off the funny pages.

What You'll Need:

  • 1/3 cup liquid starch
  • Baking sheet
  • 1 cup craft glue
  • Craft stick or small spoon
  • Newspaper comics
  • Drawing paper

How to Make Crazy Putty Dough:

Step 1: Pour liquid starch on a baking sheet. Using a craft stick, slowly stir in craft glue. After it starts to clump, let the mixture set for five minutes.

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Step 2: Dab a small amount of starch on your fingers and knead the mixture. Now you can pull it, roll it, and stretch it -- just like putty.

Step 3: As you experiment with your homemade putty, use the baking sheet as your work surface. (Be careful not to get it on the carpet or furniture.) Use the putty to make prints of your favorite comics. Press it on the comic strip, peel it back, and then press the putty on a piece of paper.

Step 4: When you're finished playing with the putty, store it in a small airtight plastic container.

Keep reading to learn how to create a masterpiece out of sawdust.

For more creative crafts for kids, check out:

Sawdust Clay Dough

You'll never think of sawdust as garbage again after you turn sawdust clay dough into wonderful bowls, vases, and even puppets.

What You'll Need:

  • Newspaper
  • 3 cups sawdust (available at a lumberyard)
  • 2 cups wet wallpaper paste (mix with water according to package directions)
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Large bowl and spoon
  • Tube
  • Wire frame or foil

How to Create Sawdust Clay Dough

Step 1: Cover your work surface with newspaper. Have an adult help you mix the sawdust and wet wallpaper paste together in a large bowl, and stir until the mixture becomes doughlike. Take the sawdust mixture out of the bowl, and knead it with your hands.

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Step 2: Use this thick clay to make textural sculptures with an adult's help. You can form your sculpture over a tube, a wire frame, or a small ball of foil.

Step 3: This clay is also great for making small bowls and vases. Once you've finished shaping your clay creation, paint it with a coat of wet wallpaper paste to set it. Let it air dry for about four days. When dry, paint it with acrylic paints.

Keep reading to learn how to mix together a basic sculpting dough from clay.

For more creative crafts for kids, check out:

Sculpting Clay Dough

Sculpt and paint your craziest concoctions and wildest fantasies after mixing together sculpting clay dough.

What You'll Need:

  • Saucepan
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • Waxed paper
  • Poster paints
  • Paintbrush

How to Create Sculpting Clay Dough:

Step 1: In a saucepan, mix cornstarch, baking soda, and water. With an adult's help, heat it on a medium setting. Stir the mixture continuously until it thickens. Let it cool.

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Step 2: Place a sheet of waxed paper over your work surface. Knead the clay dough for a few minutes. Roll the clay into a ball, and shape it into small sculptures. Pinch ears and legs to make bears, bugs, and bunnies. Let the figures air dry, then paint them using poster paints.

Step 3: If you want to play with the clay another day, store it in a sealed plastic bag or an airtight container, and keep it in the refrigerator.

Keep reading to learn how to make a clay bowl out of circular coil.

For more creative crafts for kids, check out:

Coiled Bowl

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Bend wire and cover it with clay for a coiled clay bowl.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Bend wire and cover it with clay for a coiled clay bowl.
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A coiled bowl truly becomes a bowl of a different color, and it becomes extra special when you make it yourself.

What You'll Need:

  • Assorted colors of polymer clay
  • Waxed paper
  • Blunt scissors
  • Aluminum foil
  • Ovenproof bowl (about the size of a salad bowl)
  • Craft knife

How to Make a Coiled Bowl:

Step 1: Using the palms of your hands, roll clay on waxed paper to make nine to ten rolls of clay about ten inches long. Then roll each clay piece into a circular coil.

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Step 2: Cut a circular piece of foil slightly larger than the bowl. Place coiled clay pieces on the foil close together like puzzle pieces. Use your fingers to smooth the surface of the coils until the clay blends together. (Dipping your fingers in water helps to smooth the clay.) Make sure there are no gaps between the pieces. Ask an adult to use a craft knife to trim edges if necessary.

Step 3: Turn the bowl upside down, and turn the clay sheet over onto the bowl. Press into place.

Step 4: With an adult's help, bake the bowl according to package directions. After the clay has cooled, remove foil and bowl from clay.

Keep reading to learn how to make modeling dough in all your favorite colors.

For more creative crafts for kids, check out:

Modeling Clay Dough

It's amazing how many interesting shapes you can make with colorful and fun modeling clay dough.

What You'll Need:

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Mixing bowl and spoon
  • Waxed paper
  • Food coloring

How to Make Modeling Clay Dough:

Step 1: Mix flour, salt, oil, and water together in a big bowl until the mixture becomes dough-like. Place a sheet of waxed paper on your work surface, and sprinkle it with some flour. Knead the clay dough into a ball on the floured waxed paper.

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Step 2: Divide the ball into separate lumps of clay, and add some food coloring to each. Knead each lump well again. Now you can sculpt the clay dough into any shape you want.

Step 3: When you're done sculpting, you can leave your clay creations out to air dry, or store the clay in separate plastic bags or airtight containers. Keep them in the refrigerator until the next time you play.

For another clay dough variation, keep reading to learn how to make salt dough.

For more creative crafts for kids, check out:

Salt Clay Dough

Do something unexpected with salt clay dough -- sculpt sports equipment, such as a bat and ball, or even food, such as pizza and hot dogs.

What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • Mixing bowl and spoon
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • Waxed paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Acrylic paints and paintbrush (optional)
  • Resealable plastic bag or airtight container

How to Make Salt Clay Dough:

Step 1: Mix salt and flour in a bowl. Slowly begin adding in water until the mixture forms a doughlike consistency.

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Step 2: Place a sheet of waxed paper on your work surface, and sprinkle it with some flour. Knead the clay dough until smooth.

Step 3: Sculpt clay into any shape you want, and then bake your sculpture on aluminum foil with an adult's help. Bake thin objects for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Larger or thicker objects will require more baking time.

Step 4: After your clay creations have cooled, add some color with acrylic paints. Let the paint dry. Store unused clay in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container.

Keep reading to learn how to design wearable clay accessories.

For more creative crafts for kids, check out:

Clay Accessories

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Cut tiny stars and a moon for a barrette that's out of this world.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Cut tiny stars and a moon for a barrette that's out of this world.
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It's just like having jewelry for your hair and clothes when you create these beautiful and special clay accessories.

What You'll Need:

  • Blue, white, and yellow polymer clay
  • Rolling pin
  • Waxed paper
  • Craft knife
  • Metal barrette
  • Baking sheet
  • Craft glue
  • Toothpicks (for clay buttons)

How to Make Clay Accessories:

Step 1: Roll out a thin, even pancake of blue clay on waxed paper. Ask an adult to cut clay into a rectangular piece slightly larger than the metal barrette.

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©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Bend the clay to form the shape of your barrette.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Bend the clay to form the shape of your barrette.
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Step 2: Knead or roll out a small amount of white and yellow clay. Cut tiny stars and a moon from white and yellow clay. Place them on the blue clay piece. Bend the clay to match the curve of the barrette.

Step 3: With an adult's help, bake the clay according to package directions. After the clay piece has cooled, glue it to the back of the barrette.

Keep reading to learn how to print your own messages on clay.

For more creative crafts for kids, check out:

Clay Printer

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Make sure the words are backward for your clay printer, otherwise you can't read them.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Make sure the words are backward for your clay printer, otherwise you can't read them.
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Print a special message or a unique design with your very own clay printer blocks to make wrapping paper, note cards, or a wall picture.

What You'll Need:

  • Plastic-based clay
  • Waxed paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Toothpick
  • Craft knife
  • Paper clip
  • Poster paint
  • Pie pan
  • Brayer or paintbrush
  • Drawing paper

How to Make a Clay Printer:

Step 1: Roll out an even pancake of clay about 1/4-inch-thick on waxed paper. Have an adult cut it into a 3x5-inch rectangle with a craft knife.

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Step 2: Sketch a design on the clay using a toothpick. If you are using letters in your design, write them in backward. (The design will be the raised part of the clay that will print.) Use the knife (have an adult help you) and paper clip to scrape away clay from the design so it is raised.

Step 3: Place some poster paint in the pie pan, and roll the brayer in the paint. Using the brayer, cover the clay printer piece with paint. If you don't have a brayer, paint the raised part of the clay with a paintbrush.

Step 4: Lay the painted clay over a piece of drawing paper. Press gently to imprint your design on the paper. If you want to use a different color, carefully rinse the paint off the clay printer and repaint it with the brayer to make another print.

Keep reading to learn how to sculpt your own clay figurine.

For more creative crafts for kids, check out:

Sculpting Clay Statues

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Bend the wire into the shape of your favorite animal.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Bend the wire into the shape of your favorite animal.
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By sculpting clay statues, you can become a great artist by letting your imagination run wild.

What You'll Need:

  • Uncoated wire
  • Waxed paper
  • Rolling pin
  • White polymer clay
  • Aluminum foil
  • Baking sheet
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrush

How to Make Sculpting Clay Statues:

Step 1: Have an adult help you with this project. Make a wire shape base for your clay statue. Create any shape you want -- a person, animal, or even common objects.

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Step 2: Cover your work surface with waxed paper. Roll clay into a thin pancake. Place pieces of clay over the wire shape, covering it completely. Use your fingers to smooth over any gaps. Add dimension to your statue by pinching patches of clay over one another or cutting away small areas of clay.

Step 3: Place your sculpture on a foil-covered baking sheet. To support the shape, crumple some foil pieces and place where needed.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Paint your animal or object whatever colors you'd like after it's cooled.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Paint your animal or object whatever colors you'd like after it's cooled.
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Step 4: Bake the clay statue. After it has cooled, paint it with acrylic paints.

Go to the next page for a fun seafaring clay craft.

For more creative crafts for kids, check out:

Clay Boats

Make these Clay Boats.
Make these Clay Boats.
©2007 Publications International Ltd.

Mold and model clay boats to find what shape floats best.

What You'll Need:

  • Bucket or large bowl
  • Water
  • Plastic table covering
  • Modeling clay
  • Paper clips
  • Pennies or marbles

How to Make Clay Boats:Step 1: Fill a bucket (or even a large bowl) with water. If you are working inside the house, cover the table with a plastic table covering. Step 2: Then take a lump of modeling clay, and experiment! Try shaping the clay into different kinds of boats until you find a shape that will float successfully. Step 3: Once you have figured out what kind of clay shape will float in water, experiment further by testing how many pennies, paper clips, or marbles your boat can carry without sinking. Make an estimate before testing. Then keep adding a penny or paper clip until you've sunk your boat!Go to the next page for a clay craft that will brighten the day.

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For more creative crafts for kids, check out:

Clay and Candles

Make this Clay and Candles craft.
Make this Clay and Candles craft.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

This clay and candles craft is quite illuminating.

What You'll Need:

  • Air-drying clay
  • 6-inch candle
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Glitter
  • Sequins

How to make clay and candles:Step 1: Form a three-inch ball of clay into a special shape you admire -- it could be a circle, a triangle, a heart, or anything else that catches your fancy.Step 2: Press the base of the candle into the center of the clay shape. Paint the shape if you'd like. Step 3: Press in glitter and sequins on the surface of the shape, and let the clay dry. Before you know it, you'll have a lovely, handmade candleholder to brighten up your day (and night). (Remember, never light a candle without adult supervision.) Keep reading for more great clay crafts.

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For more creative crafts for kids, check out:

Shell Print Clay Craft

Make this decorative Shell Print Clay Craft.
Make this decorative Shell Print Clay Craft.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

See how a fossil print might have been made with the shell print clay craft.

What You'll Need:

  • Newspaper or plastic mat
  • Air-drying modeling clay
  • Plastic or butter knife
  • Pencil
  • Small seashell (or other object to make an impression with)
  • Leather strip or thick yarn

Real fossils are formed in several different ways. They can be the actual hard remains of ancient organisms, parts of organisms that have been replaced by minerals, or impressions of the organisms that have been preserved in sediments. Using a shell and clay, you can imitate this process.

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How to make the shell print clay craft:

Step 1: Cover your work surface with newspaper or a plastic mat. Start with a 3/8-inch-thick slab of air-drying modeling clay. Cut out a two-inch-diameter circle of clay.

Step 2: Use a pencil to poke a hole through the top of the clay circle. Press an interesting small seashell firmly into the circle of clay. Carefully remove the shell. It should leave a clear impression. The impression will resemble a fossil imprint. Allow the clay to air dry.

Step 3: Thread a leather strip or thick yarn through the hole, and tie the ends in a knot. You can wear your shell imprint around your neck.

Tell a tale with the craft on the next page.

For more creative crafts for kids, check out:

Story Characters Clay Craft

Recreate your favorite tales with the Story Characters Clay Craft.
Recreate your favorite tales with the Story Characters Clay Craft.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Re-create your favorite hero or heroine from science-fiction stories or fairy tales with the story characters clay craft. Use them for play­­time or as decorations.

What You'll Need:

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  • Several colors of play dough
  • Toothpicks

How to make clay story characters:Step 1: Choose your favorite characters and mold them out of play dough. Step 2: Attach body parts by using toothpicks. Step 3: Stick a toothpick or part of a toothpick into the top of the body. Then slide the head onto the other end of the toothpick. (Be careful to keep the toothpicks away from younger brothers and sisters. Let them have their own play dough to play with.) Two colors can be mashed together to form a neat, marbled color. Unfortunately, adding one shape on top of another without toothpicks won't work; the shapes will fall apart when dry. Step 4: Let your characters dry for two or three days. Now use your desktop for a stage and act out your favorite story!

Continue to the next page for more fun clay crafts.

For more creative crafts for kids, check out:

Picture This Clay Craft

Create a masterpiece frame with the Picture This Clay Craft.
Create a masterpiece frame with the Picture This Clay Craft.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Turn discarded frames into jeweled masterpieces with the Picture This clay craft.

What You'll Need:

  • Newspapers
  • Plastic gloves
  • Old shirt
  • Small, old picture frame with wide, flat borders
  • Paper towels
  • Old margarine tub
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Old butter knife
  • Glass "pebbles" in gemstone colors

How to make the Picture This clay craft:Step 1: Spread out the newspapers, and put on your gloves and an old shirt. Step 2: Ask an adult to remove any glass from the frame and set it in a safe place. Wipe off the frame with a damp paper towel, then dry it off. Step 3: In the margarine tub, mix a small amount of the plaster of Paris according to package directions. (Have an adult help you with this part.) Use an old knife to spread plaster on the picture frame. Step 4: Place a row of glass pebbles around the inner edge of the frame. Make sure the pebbles are evenly spaced and in a variety of colors! Finish covering the frame surface in rows of "jewels." Step 5: Let dry for a day. Use the leftover plaster to bejewel a flowerpot or throw it away in the trash, but don't pour it down the sink -- it could cause a nasty clog! Enjoy your "jewel" of a frame.

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Keep reading to learn how to turn yourself into a real star.

For more creative crafts for kids, check out:

You Are a Star Clay Craft

Make the You Are a Star Clay Craft.
Make the You Are a Star Clay Craft.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Show someone they're appreciated or reward them for a special deed with the You Are a Star clay craft.

What You'll Need:

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Cream of tartar
  • Water
  • Cooking oil
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Saucepan
  • Mixing spoon
  • Waxed paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie cutters
  • Pencil or straw
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Poster paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Glitter markers
  • Ribbons

How to make the You Are a Star clay craft:Step 1: Have an adult help you make the clay. To mix up a small batch of play clay, stir together two cups of flour, 1/2 cup of salt, and two tablespoons of cream of tartar in a saucepan. Step 2: Then add one cup of water and two tablespoons of cooking oil. Step 3: Put the pan over medium heat, and cook for three to five minutes. Stir the mixture constantly until it looks like mashed potatoes. Step 4: Dump the clay out on a sheet of waxed paper, but wait until the clay is cool enough to touch. Roll out the play clay to a layer about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out stars (or other appropriate shapes) with cookie cutters. Step 5: With a pencil or straw, make a hole in the top, but not too close to the edge. The size of the hole depends on the thickness of the ribbon you're using. Step 6: Let the cutouts air dry for 24 hours on a wire rack. Paint them with poster paints, and let dry. With the glitter markers, write on the names of the people who are receiving your awards and add any other messages. Thread ribbons through the holes and present your awards!

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For more creative crafts for kids, check out: