Air dry clay is a wonderful material for crafters! It has many of the features of potter’s clay, but with the advantage of not requiring a kiln to fire and finish the end product. This means that air dry clay is perfect for home use and can be used by children and adults alike.
Coasters are a great item to make from air dry clay. This is not only a good project for beginners, but it is also a useful project for more experienced air dry clay users to try different materials or techniques while still producing something useful. Very little in the way of special equipment is required to make lovely coasters at home. Coasters are always useful around the house and make great gifts.
Making Air Dry Clay Coasters
Air dry clay coasters are quick to make – however don’t forget the drying time! Air dry clay requires between twenty-four and forty-eight hours to dry. This means that the creation process needs to be split into two. The first part of the process is the actual making and forming of the coaster, the second part is the colouring and sealing.
- Air dry clay – there are many different types available from craft and toy shops
- Paints – poster, acrylic and water colours are all suitable for use on air dry clay
- Varnish – a coat of clear varnish is required to seal the coasters
- Felt buffers (optional) – self adhesive felt buffers can be attached to the back of the coaster to protect furniture
- Craft rolling pin
- Sharp knife
- Old newspapers
- Template to cut around (an old coaster is perfect)
- Protect the work surface with old newspapers
- Roll out the air dry clay (a thickness of between 5mm and 10mm will work well)
- Use the template to carefully cut out the coasters
- Smooth around the edges to remove any unwanted clay
- Add surface decorations by pressing objects into the clay if required
- Place the coasters carefully to one side to dry – check regularly to make sure that they coasters are lying flat
- When the coasters are thoroughly dry, paint the surface and seal with a coat of clear varnish
- Add buffers to the base of the coasters if required
- Wrap any unused pieces of air dry clay in cling film. This will stop the clay from drying out and allow it to be used again.
- Add unusual surface design by placing a piece of lace or an old doily onto the surface of the clay. Use the rolling pin to carefully press this into the surface. This will give a very effective finish which is perfect for ‘shabby chic’ decorations.
- Use a sprinkle of glitter or glitter glue to add a sparkle to designs. Add this before sealing the coaster with clear varnish.
- These are easy to adapt to other purposes. Make a small hole in the coaster to turn it into an ornament. Simply thread some ribbon or cord through the hole so it can be hung as a decorative ornament.
- Make larger coasters to use as teapot stands
Air dry clay is simple to use and with a little care, great results can be achieved that are bound to impress!