For those of us who love to work with our hands and get stuck into as many different crafts as possible, working with pottery and ceramics can be a wonderfully creative adventure to undertake. The Great Pottery Throwdown has completely inspired us to start making with air dry clay and we love how easy and affordable it is.

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You can make almost anything from air drying clay, and one of its best properties is just how easy it is to use. We show you just how easy it is over in our how to use air dry clay tutorial. Unlike polymer clays or traditional fired ceramics which need to be heated and cured in the extreme heat of a kiln before they will harden and set, air drying clay simply does what it says, and cures at room temperature. It’s also non-toxic, which makes it the ideal medium for creating projects at home – and also for small children to use and experiment with. It can take a little time for air dry clay items to set (thicker, larger projects may take up to a week to be fully dried), but once hardened the items should last for years to come.

Once set, air dry clay is wonderfully versatile and can be decorated in a variety of ways, including by painting, rubbing and filing, or even creating a faux glaze effect with a varnish. You don’t necessarily need any fancy tools to work with air dry clay, though having a few on hand will certainly make things easier. For those new to the craft, a kit may be the best way to try out new techniques – which is why we’ve put together a round-up of 15 of our favourite clays and kits below, to guide you on your way.

Once you've picked up your air dry clay why not make a few of our projects! We have air dry clay vases, air dry clay Christmas decorations and 31 more air dry clay ideas for adults and kids. But first, it's time to buy your clay...

Where to buy air dry clay

All these online retailers sell air dry clay for competitive prices. There's also plenty of craft stores around the country that sell air dry clay so it's worth checking your local store.

15 of the best air dry clays

From basic clay packs that you can use to mould your creations from scratch to all-singing, all-dancing colourful kits, we’ve scoured the web to bring you the best air dry clay products from across the UK.

1. Noah Home Air Dry Pottery DIY Kits

NOAH clay kit

Buy it now from Amazon

For those looking to get stuck into air dry clay modelling straight away, the range of beginner’s sets available from Noah is a fantastic place to start. There’s four different kits to collect – with the choice of white clay only, primary colours, pastels, or metallics – and each one comes pre-packed with everything you will need to start your new hobby, including 2kg of ready-to-use clay, eight wooden carving tools, white foundation paint, and a bottle of varnish, so you can give your new creations that extra-special glossy finish. Each kit also comes provided with full beginner-friendly illustrated instructions and easy-to-access videos to guide you through making your first pottery masterpieces.

2. DAS Air Drying Clay

Where to buy the best Air Dry Clay DAS clay

Buy it now from Hobbycraft

Of course, we can’t put together a list of the best air dry clays without including one of the industry’s biggest names, DAS. Available in a variety of different colours, sizes, and finishes, DAS air dry clay is simple to work with, moulds easily, and dries to a firm and strong finish. As with all air dry clay there’s no baking required; simply design your model and then leave it to dry, allowing 24 hours per centimetre of clay. DAS air dry clay can be coloured and decorated with poster paints, acrylics, and varnish, which will give it a glossy, professional finish.

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3. Clay Club Air Dry Clay Kit

Where to buy the best Air Dry Clay POMPOM clay kit

Buy it now from Pompom

This imaginative kit from Clay Club is great for kids and adults alike, coming fully supplied with everything you’ll need to get stuck into the craft right away. Each box contains 1.5kg of air drying clay, as well as a selection of eight wooden tools and a handy instruction booklet. Ideas and illustrations are given for a range of projects including pressed clay flowers, Christmas decorations, birthday presents, pots, vases, and more. Once dry, the projects can also be painted and decorated with acrylic paints, a range of which are also stocked in Pompom’s store priced from £19.99 per set of six.

4. Joules Air Dry Clay Kit

Where to buy the best Air Dry Clay JOULES clay kit

Buy it now from Joules

Let your kids bring all the fun of the great outdoors inside the house (but without the risk of mud and other mess) using this colourful craft kit from Joules. Each box contains eight different colours of air drying clay, three simple tools, and a fun-packed guide to modelling an entire collection of creepy crawlies. The super-light clay needs no baking to dry and doesn't stick to your fingers, making clean-up quick and simple, even for the most chaotic of makers.

5. Create Your Own Air Dry Clay Craft Gift Box

Where to buy the best Air Dry Clay CURIOUS clay

Buy it now from Curious Universe

This gorgeous air dry clay kit from Curious Universe teaches you how to make thoughtful, original gifts for others or surround yourself with your own unique ceramic pieces. In this kit author, jewellery-maker, and crafter Sophie Splatt shows how to create a range of exquisite pottery projects, including an elegant golden bowl, a glowing tea-light house, intricate marble coasters, festive lace-look bunting, and more. Each box contains everything you’ll need, including a 24-page book, 300g of air dry clay, two sheets of rose-gold foil, two paints, glue, and a paintbrush.

6. SkandiHus Deluxe Clay Kit

Where to buy the best Air Dry Clay SKANDIHUS clay kit

Buy it now from SkandiHus

Born out of lockdown but hopefully here to stay, ceramics studio SkandiHus’ home Deluxe Clay Kit is ideal for beginners with absolutely no prior experience necessary and full written, illustrated and video instructions supplied. Each kit includes 1kg of air dry clay, a wooden modelling tool, a paintbrush, a heart-shaped sponge, an incense stick and a tea-light, six pots of paint, and a pot of gloss, to give your finished pieces a freshly glazed look. SkandiHus founder Stine Dulong’s snazzy instruction manual contains a step-by-step guide, links to a stylish lookbook, and even a specially-curated SkandiHus clay kit playlist to listen to as you work.

7. Sculpd Pottery Kit

Where to buy the best Air Dry Clay SCULPD clay kit

Buy it now from Sculpd

This cute pottery kit from Sculpd contains everything you'll need to sculpt, carve, paint, and seal your own pinch pots, succulent plant pots, trinket dishes, vases, candle holders, sculptures and everything in between. Each box contains 2kg of premium British air dry clay, a 20-piece step-by-step beginner’s guide, a selection of carving, shaping and cutting tools and a little bag to store them in, white acrylic eggshell paint, waterproof glossy or matte varnish (your choice), two ultra fine bristle paintbrushes, and finally a potter's sponge, for smoothing. Once you’ve made your creations, be sure to share them on social media – at the end of each month the company picks its Sculpd of the Month member from their tagged posts and sends them out a new pack of clay, so they can continue creating.

8. Cocoboo Air Dry Clay Kit

Where to buy the best Air Dry Clay COCOBOO clay

Buy it now from Amazon

This fantastic kit from Cocoboo is perfect for introducing kids to pottery, with 24 different colours of air dry clay included alongside a range of different tools and accessories. Creative play has been proven to be hugely beneficial for childhood development, and air dry clay is the perfect medium – through rubbing, pinching, tearing, twisting, and pressing, kids can practice their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and stimulate their imagination and creativity. This kit even includes a collection of jewellery-making supplies, so your little ones (or perhaps, just yourself!) can get stuck into making stylish accessories straight away.

9. Make Your Own Pottery Kit

Where to buy the best Air Dry Clay LONDON WILDFLOWER clay kit

Buy it now from London Wildflower

The gorgeous at-home pottery kits from London Wildflower provide all the tools you need to get creative with clay, and they also make wonderful gifts. There are three to choose from, with a basic option, a large-size version, and even a couples’ kit, allowing you and your beloved to get creative together (who else is thinking of that scene from Ghost right now?!). Each one contains everything you need to get started, including a range of professional metal tools, non-toxic air dry clay, a wooden board, and a full instruction booklet.

10. Fimo Air Basic Modelling Clay

Where to buy the best Air Dry Clay FIMO clay

Buy it now from Amazon

You’d be forgiven for assuming that Fimo only makes polymer clays, which need baking in an oven before they will set and cure. However, that’s not actually the case – the company also make high-quality air drying clay too. It’s made from at least 95% natural ingredients and is ideal for art, recreation, and hobby projects, as well as for educational purposes in schools, kindergartens and in the home. Once hardened this clay can be filed, sanded, drilled, painted, and varnished, and the clever foil packaging prevents leftovers from drying out too quickly, meaning the raw product lasts longer, too.

11. Pott’d Air Dry Clay Kit

Where to buy the best Air Dry Clay POTTD clay kit

Buy it now from Amazon

Kit-creators Pott’d describe this product as giving you some much-needed quality time to get your hands dirty and your mind clean, and we couldn't agree more with that sentiment. Sculpting clay with your hands can be wonderfully therapeutic and relaxing, and this pastel-coloured kit is the ideal way to while away an afternoon and clear away those creative cobwebs. Each kit includes everything you’ll need to get started, including two packs of premium air dry clay, a quick-start guide, a set of eight acrylic paints, two brushes, a white base paint, a sealant, and a set of five wooden sculpting tools and smoothing brush.

12. Hobbycraft Superlight Air Drying Clay

Where to buy the best Air Dry Clay SUPERLIGHT clay kit

Buy it now from Hobbycraft

Priced at just £1 per 30g pack, this superlight air dry clay from Hobbycraft is the perfect material for creating colourful models, sculptures and more. It’s easy to work with and as the name suggests, extremely lightweight, which makes it extra malleable and perfect for smaller hands. It’s available in a broad range of colours, with a free mixing guide included with each pack to help you create the perfect shade. Take the customisation one step further by decorating your makes with poster paints, acrylics, and varnishes, to give them a ‘just glazed’ look.

13. Knead & Sculpt Air Dry Clay Kit

Where to buy the best Air Dry Clay KNEAD clay kit

Buy it now from Etsy

We adore the gorgeous range of craft gift boxes available from The Crafting Cartel on Etsy, including this Knead & Sculpt air dry clay kit. Each one contains more than enough clay for one or two people to make up to ten pots, dishes, or bowls, including finishing touches. It also includes a full step-by-step decorating and care guide, making it an excellent gift for someone special, or to indulge in your new hobby by yourself. A range of tools are also included, making sure that you’ll be creating professional-level projects from your very first make.

14. Kids Air Drying Clay Modelling Kit

Where to buy the best Air Dry Clay COW clay

Buy it now from Jumping Clay

Each of these fun make-your-own-toy kits from Jumping Clay comes complete with everything you need to make your own colourful clay character. There’s six farmyard animals to choose from as well as dinosaurs, pets, a bakery, and more. Each one comes supplied with all the air drying clay colours needed to create your chosen character, as well as a selection of tools, full instructions, and a cardboard cut out that pieces together to create a farmyard scene. Jumping Clay is non-toxic, kid-friendly and best of all, jasmine-scented – we can’t get enough of it!

15. Scola Air Drying Modelling Clay

Where to buy the best Air Dry Clay SCOLA clay

Buy it now from Hope Education

Once you’ve fallen in love with creating your own pottery, you’ll want to really get stuck into the hobby – and what better way than by purchasing a whopping 12.5kg of all-natural air drying clay to work with? Scola air dry clay is a natural product that’s mined in Staffordshire, the home of the Potteries, and can be moulded, shaped, and stretched into any shape you like. The addition of Nylon fibres to the mixture gives your models and creations extra strength, and any dried parts can be reconstituted and reworked by covering with a damp cloth overnight until they re-hydrate, ready for use the next day.

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We hope you've managed to pick up some air dry clay! For more pottery goodness head over to our best pottery kits and pottery painting ideas.

Authors

Sophie TarrantWriter and sewing pro

Sophie is a Colchester-based writer and lifelong craft enthusiast with over 15 years' experience in the UK publishing industry. She worked on the launch of Let's Knit and Sew magazines, where she ran the sewing machine reviews section during her time as Deputy Editor. She loves dressmaking, embroidery and collecting way too much fabric and also worked for 6 years as Craft Editor for Hubert Burda Media, on titles including Your Home, Wedding, Wedding Flowers, Christmas Made Easy and HomeStyle magazine. You can follow her latest creations in needlework at @SeeSophieStitch on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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