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Let's Play With Clay

Find several resources to help you work with a variety of clays.

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Learn About Clay

Learn About Clay

Daniel Pangbourne/Gretty Images
Clay is one of those things that is almost irresistible to adults and kids alike. Who can resist picking up a cool piece of clay and squooshing and squeezing it; letting it ooze between your fingers or rolling it around on the palm of your hand? Not many can deny the desire to 'play' with clay; but, in this day and age, there are so many kinds available, where do you begin?

There are clays available, Play-Doh or modeling clay, to mold and shape that stay soft, are easy to work with, and can be used over and over again. There are clays available that you can use to make sculptures that will set-up and harden without heat, such as Model Magic or Makin's Clay. There are also some made of polymer, with such brand names as Sculpy or Fimo, that are a little tougher to manipulate, but they can be shaped into finely detailed items that, once baked, will keep their shapes forever. Finally, you can also make your own clay if this is what you desire, or try your hand at ceramics.

Learn more about different brands and types of clay by reading the descriptions here and by checking out the resources provided on each page.

  • Crayola Model Magic Clay -
    This lightweight, pliable modeling material that can be used to make almost anything. When stored in air-tight containers, this clay usually lasts for a long time. If desired, your creations can also air dry within 24 hours, and can then be painted and/or decorated.

  • Makin's Clay -
    This fabulous no-bake clay is a truly revolutionary product that's fun for beginners as well as professionals. Makins' Clay is bendable, paintable, bonds to surfaces, and is non-toxic.

  • Paperclay -
    Paperclay is a non-toxic modeling material that can be sculpted, molded or shaped, and air dries to a hard finish. Find many project ideas!

  • Polymer Clay -
    This clay is a man-made material that will not dry out when exposed to air for a long period of time, but bakes in your home oven at a fairly low temperature to a hard, often pliable surface that can be painted and decorated.

  • Eraser Clay -
    This amazing product is an oven-baked modeling clay that becomes an eraser after baking. What fun!

  • Clay-Type Recipes -
    Try these free craft recipes and projects. Use these ideas to make your own clay, slime, gak, silly putty, and more.

  • Ceramics -
    In its most basic meaning, this is the art of creating items from special clay that must be 'fired', or placed in an oven, to be hardened. Learn more about ceramics with these resources.

All you really need is your own 2 hands and a bit of creativity to work with clay, but sometimes a few simple tools can add a lot of inspiration! While you can buy several fancy tools to work with clay, you can also use things you have laying around the house. Walk through your house, garage, and nearby garage sales and look around and see what catches your eye....

  • Bottle caps
  • Buttons
  • Crochet needles
  • Drinking straws
  • Film containers
  • Jar lids
  • Old tools
  • Pasta machine
  • Pencil
  • Plastic utensils
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Rolling pin
  • Scissors
  • Toothpicks

Now you are ready... Choose your clay, gather fun tools, and get creative!

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