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Having 3 children can often make it difficult for me to have time to myself but when those rare opportunities do occur I like to make use of my creative talents, one of my current hobbies is customising damaged My Little Pony toys for my daughters collection, I've done several in the past but have never been able to add extra features, it was when looking for a suitable product to sculpt some wings from that I discovered Crayola Air Dry Clay.
Crayola Air Dry Clay comes in sealed tubs of 2.5lb/1.13kg (net weight) the clay itself comes inside a plastic bag for extra protection against air that's got into the tub, it's a thick white clay that needs quite an amount of pressure to mould, but once it's warmed in your hands it becomes a lot easier work with, adding water will also make it easier to work with but it also makes it incredibly sticky! Like Play Doh the clay can be moulded into whatever shape you fancy however left in the air to dry it goes hard and can be kept for as long as you wish without it cracking or going off colour, there is no need for firing or baking and I've never experienced shrinkage with the dried project. You are also able to carve into the dried clay for adding extra details, or if you're not much of a wet clay sculptor.
The clay can used for all sorts of projects whether it's something more unusual like pony customising or a little more regular like making your own Christmas tree decorations, small gifts or statues........... you can press sequins or little beads and stones into the clay and they will be fixed in place as the clay dries, once dry the clay can be painted (acrylics work best) and sealed however you wish, it's a great product for creative activities with an older child who'd like to be able to keep the fruits of their labour or give a gift to someone special, it may prove to be a bit too hard for younger children to work with easily though, my 4 year old can manage the clay well but my 2 year old struggles, it's not advised for children under 3 to use the clay but with strict supervision they should be ok.
The length of time the clay takes to dry will depend on the size and thickness of the piece you've made, a small feather shape I crafted for the back of a pony foot can take as little as 15 minutes to dry but the thicker the piece becomes the longer it will take, the wings I made for example took several hours before they were dry and this would be the same for a figure, animal, pen pot..............whatever your mind and fingers have enabled you to create. The thickness of your creation will also effect how strong the clay will be when dry, like any piece of pottery there will be a level of fragility to the creations and small thin pieces are at a much higher risk of snapping then a thicker piece.
What can be moulded by the clay is really only limited by your imagination, you can use traditional sculpting techniques, different tools, you can score and weld pieces together, create textures, make beads...........there are so many possibilities. My choice for the clay is not exactly ordinary but it serves its purpose and I've been able to expand my options in customising the ponies, I recently gave one a dragon like image with sculpted horns, wings and chest plate and am currently working on a Pegasus with feather look wings and detailing. In the past I've also used air dry clay to make special tree decorations for my children and it's great for taking impressions of their hands and feet to keep as a memento of when they were babies.
Crayola Air Dry clay is around £4.99 for a tub which, depending on what you use it for, will last a long time, it can be found in craft stores as well as some toy stores, I purchased mine from Amazon.com. I would highly recommend it for those who enjoy crafting or whose little ones like playing with Play Doh but would like a project to keep, it can be tricky to work with at first but you can quickly get the hang of it, just be sure to seal the container tight after use otherwise you could find yourself left with a heavy round door stop!
Not suitable for children under 36 months due to potential small parts.
Do not expose to open flame.
Authentic clay, that looks, feels and performs like traditional clay, but requires no oven or kiln! Allows finer detail and more solidity than other air dry compounds.