Clay Crafts to Make for Decor or Gifts

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Get over 40 ideas for clay crafts, perfect for kids or adults! You’ll find lots of projects including both air dry and polymer clay. Get great ideas for decor, gifts, and more.

Clay Crafts

There are a lot of craft supplies that, over the course of time, get “typecast” into certain roles. For example, clothespins. If I think about clothespin crafts, I typically think about kids’ crafts. The same goes for popsicle sticks and pom poms.

But just as I don’t like assumptions being made about me, I think we’re being unfair to clay. Sure there are clay crafts for kids, but that isn’t the only way to enjoy this underappreciated material. There are plenty of projects to make for adults, or that both kids and grown ups can enjoy together.

Using Clay in Crafts

I think another way that clay gets stereotyped is that some crafters think using it is difficult. And what are you supposed to make? The truth is, it isn’t that difficult – and I’m about to show you over 40 ideas to show you exactly how easy it is to use.

I promise you can make any of these projects, even as a beginner!

I personally like Sculpey clay as my go-to brand, if you’re wondering. I love the colors and find it really easy to shape. You’ll find that people typically use two types of clays in their projects: air dry and polymer.

Air Dry Clay vs. Polymer Clay

The main difference between these types of clays is the drying method. Air dry clay is just as it sounds; it will dry by leaving it out. It can take multiple days – I’ve had to leave a project out for a week before.

You’ll probably want to add a polycrylic top coat (even Mod Podge will work) to seal your project. That is because air dry clay isn’t resistant to water, even when fully dry.

Polymer clay needs to be baked to dry. When it is baked, it hardens into something that is waterproof and won’t lose its shape. You can seal it to add shine if you like. But you don’t have to!

Air dry clay is cheaper and you can find it in the kids’ section of your craft store. Michaels also has an entire clay section, at least in my local stores. Polymer clay comes in TONS of colors! Air dry clay doesn’t but you can paint it – you can paint both, actually.

Tools You’ll Need

The most common tools that people use for working with clay are the following:

  • Silicone mat – for rolling out the clay on a non-stick surface.
  • Roller or brayer – just like for baking, a roller smooths your clay out and gives you a flat working surface. The clay pasta machines are really nice if you want to spend a little extra.
  • Stamps – want to put letters or a pattern design into your project? That’s what stamps will do.
  • Sculpting tools – the sets might look like they are for professional potters, but you’ll end up using the knives, smoothing tools, drawing lines with tips, etc. Get an inexpensive set with just a few tools to start.

Ready to jump into the projects? I’d love to know what you think of these clay crafts. Take a peek and let me know your favorites in the comments. And if there is something I’ve missed, let me know that too. Enjoy!

Clay Crafts

Learn how to make a bunch of clay crafts, perfect for kids or adults. You can make a variety of projects, some for decor, others for gifts. All easy enough for beginners!


DIY Stamped Clay Succulent Pots

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Learn how to make the perfect sized succulent pots using clay! Each little succulent can have their own home, no matter the size.


DIY Clay Bowls

Photo Credit: think.make.share

DIY clay bowls take just minutes to make and decorate, which means you can create a bunch and keep them on hand. Paired with simple add-ons like incense, jewelry, candles, or plants they make thoughtful gifts with a sweet, personal touch.


Clay Ring Dish with a Hand Painted Design

Make a cute little clay ring dish with hand painted accents! These darling dishes are a pretty personalized gift, and are so easy to make.


DIY Rainbow Catch-All Dish

Photo Credit: Holly Wade

Make this simple yet wildly colorful DIY rainbow catch-all dish inspired by Rainbow Brite! Made with polymer clay, this simple container is perfect for catching small desk or vanity accessories.


Clay Christmas Ornaments Look Great on a Tree

These clay Christmas ornaments are kid friendly but still look great on your tree! They are so easy to make; use your favorite paint colors.


Polymer Clay Pens Kids Will Love to Make

Kids will love playing with clay in this polymer clay pens project! They’ll learn to marble, and the pens make great gifts for friends and family.


How to Make a Ring Holder with Clay

You can make a regular ring holder – but this origami themed holder with bright yellow paint takes a plain project up a notch. You’ll love it!


DIY Terrazzo Planter with Oven Bake Clay

Photo Credit: Alexis Middleton

Loving the terrazzo trend? You can easily add some modern style to your home with this simple DIY clay terrazzo planter! This simple project is a lot of fun to make and has a beautiful, luxe look.


DIY Polymer Clay Mermaid Box

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Learn how to create your own mermaid box to keep your sparkly mermaid gems and sea treasures safe while you're on land!


DIY Trivets With a (Faux) Granite Touch

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Love creating with polymer clay? Here is a tutorial for some simple and modern DIY trivets with (faux) granite. These clay trivets are easy to make and look very cool too.


How to Make Polymer Clay Earrings

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Polymer clay earrings are fun, easy, and fast to make. Make yourself a pair of these popular and trendy designs. Create custom colors and designs like modern marble, floral and botanical patterns, abstract landscapes, and arch shapes.


DIY Polymer Clay Coasters

Learn how to make DIY polymer clay coasters with a marbled effect to add a chic touch to any room - while protecting your furniture at the same time. Great for gifting.


DIY Rainbow Cake Topper

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Make this adorable rainbow cake topper in only a few minutes. It is the cutest, and perfect for any rainbow or unicorn themed birthday parties.


DIY Clay Napkin Rings

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Clay is a fun material to work with, especially when it comes to napkin rings! This article will walk you through the steps of how to make these yourself, and you can use autumn colors for a seasonal touch.


How to Make an Air Dry Clay Wall Hanging

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Check out how to create your own air-dry clay DIY wall hanging! This project is simple and easy to create and will look so cute on your wall!


DIY Clay Rainbow Ornaments

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Remember how I said you could paint on clay? This is a great example of it. And you can make two ornaments with one round cutter!


Make Polymer Clay Crystals

I just about died when I saw this clay craft! It looks like these crystals would be difficult to make, but the steps are clearly laid out . . . and it's not hard at all. This is where a clay roller definitely comes in handy!


Clay Cactus Ring Holder

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When I first saw this I thought that it would definitely be something I might see in an Anthropologie! Such a cute little clay ring holder, and I love the polka dots.


Cute Polymer Clay Bookmark

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Cute little bookmarks always motivate me to read. This bookmark is . . . shaped like a bookmark! And of course it's made of clay.


Right on Time Clay Clock

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When I first saw this, I couldn't believe that it was made of clay. You can make a clock that looks like a moon too - what a beautiful and simple addition to your home decor.


DIY Clay Chain Link Decor

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Make your own DIY clay chain link decor with air-dry clay. This simple craft is easy and makes the perfect coffee table decor.


DIY Garden Gnomes

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Create your own little garden gnomes with the kids using this simple and easy DIY project. Perfect for decorating pots and flower beds.


Wall Planters Clay Craft

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You're going to make somewhat of a "clay sandwich" with this project, but the results are perfect for hanging succulents on the wall. These would also make great gifts for new homeowners.


DIY Marble Clay Ring Stands

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Click to learn how you can make your own gorgeous, marbled clay ring stands! Perfect for your engagement and wedding rings . . . and even better for wedding pictures!


Air Dry Clay Beads

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Learn how to make beads with air dry clay. These chunky beads are made from white air dry clay painted and varnished. Just thread onto cord for a stylish necklace!


Clay Star Garland

Photo Credit: Lily Ardor

Lily used her own salt dough recipe to make her garland, but there's no reason you couldn't use either air dry or polymer clay for this. Perfect for holiday decorating.


Air Drying Clay Cones

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This extremely simple tutorial shows you how to make your own decorative cones from air dry clay. Add some sweet smelling lavender for a beautiful decor piece.


Polymer Clay Baskets

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I love the idea of braiding clay into a cute basket or dish! There are so many great things you can make with this technique.


Leaf Clay Dish

This DIY leaf clay dish is so pretty to make! Older kids or adults will love making these clay bowls from leaves. This is the perfect fall craft!


Air Dry Clay Sugar Skull Bead Necklaces

These sugar skull necklaces are super fun to make! Kids will love to wear them for Day of the Dead or Halloween. Don't forget to use colorful paint colors.


DIY Incense Holder

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It's so simple to make an incense holder out of clay! Once you make one, you'll want to make a ton and have one in every room of your home.


DIY Clay Hair Barrettes

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Creating a marbled pattern in clay is way easier than you think; this tutorial will show you how. Then you can turn the clay into beautiful barrettes to wear in your hair.


Rainbow Galaxy Earrings

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Have you ever wondered whether polymer clay can be used with alcohol inks? The answer is yes! Use the inks along with clay to create these unique earrings.


Mini Clay Cacti and Succulents

Create miniature cactus from polymer clay for your fairy garden, doll house, or miniature collection. You can make them simply because they are adorable. These tiny succulents can easily be recreated with a little patience and lot of fun!


Use Mod Podge on Clay Gift Tags (So Easy!)

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Use Mod Podge on clay in this gift tag project, that works well for place settings as well. Perfect for fall and SO easy to make.


Whale Phone Holder Clay Craft

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Learn how to make a cute whale phone holder out of clay with this craft idea. This is a fun DIY home craft and would also make a lovely present.


Geometric Clay Necklace Pendant

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You can paint and decoupage clay - turns out you can also gold leaf it! That's exactly what Delia did to make her pretty necklace. You can make it in any shape you like!


DIY Clay Wind Chime

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It's genius how Francesca used plastic wine glasses as molds for her wind chime! This looks pretty in white, but you could paint it any colors you like to match your decor.


Geek Earrings That Look Like Nintendo Buttons

Use a Nintendo 64 controller to make the coolest geek earrings! This is one of those cool clay crafts that everyone will ask you about.


Essential Oil Storage Box in Four Easy Steps!

Do you have a collection of oils? Learn how to make an essential oil storage box that holds your bottles securely in a clay tray. This organizer looks good too!

If you enjoy these crafts with clay, I’d love for you to check out these other ideas here on the blog:

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