WHAT CAN YOU MAKE WITH AIR DRY CLAY TO SELL?
I’ve researched Etsy to find the best and most popular air dry clay projects to sell in 2022 and beyond. Even though you can make tons of fun crafts with clay, the ones people create and sell successfully are trays, kits, decorations, ornaments, jewelry, and accessories.
Do you want to make money by selling clay projects?
If your answer is yes, then this article is for you. I’ve not only collected the best ideas, but I also share a couple of tips and recommendations so you can sell them successfully from the beginning.
Selling your crafts is fun, but it can be time-consuming and heartbreaking when no one wants to buy them. So, a little market research can save you a ton of time, effort, and tears.
I’ve researched Etsy because it’s one of the biggest platforms for crafters and handmade arts and crafts. Also, it provides info on which products people buy.
These ideas are suitable for crafters who want to sell their goodies online or in-person on craft shows or booths, etc. I’ve also linked every item in the list with a bestseller or popular product for reference.
NOTE! Never copy other people’s products; use them as a reference, inspiration, or guide to make your unique creations.
Now, let’s dive into the details!
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AIR DRY CLAY IDEAS TO SELL:
1. Bowls, trays, dishes
Trinket dishes, (wedding) ring holders, jewelry trays are so simple to make. These are the easiest crafts you can make with air hardening clay. Perfect for beginners.
The simplicity of these projects makes them perfect for selling because you can easily replicate and personalize them with stamps, stencils, imprints, and paint.
Customization ideas use stamps to add a name, initials, year, symbols (for example, a heart, star, or leaf), textured rolling pins, stencils, large rubber stamps to add beautiful imprints.
Check out this beautiful personalized wedding ring holder by PurcellGreen. Other options would be adding the initials of the couple and their wedding date.
2. Jewelry and accessories
The best seller air drying clay projects in this category are earrings and pins. But you can also make rings, necklaces or bracelets.
You can easily make jewelry and accessories using simple shapes or take them to the next and make intricate and beautiful pieces. However, pick the right air hardening clay to make clay jewelry with delicate parts and details.
DAS, Crayola, Jovi, Activa will work for simple solid pieces but pick Hearty air drying clay, KMC clay, or porcelain clay for projects with thin and delicate details. They are also lighter, so I would recommend them for earrings.
I’ve made lots of clay earrings with DAS modeling paste in the past. Dangle earrings can get quite heavy, which makes them uncomfortable while wearing. They drag and hurt the earlobe. For small stud earrings, it worked perfectly fine.
Check out these lovely colorful clay pins by ForderlyArt as an example.
Handmade ornaments, especially Christmas ornaments, are popular and sell well on Etsy. They are also effortless to make and personalize.
For air dry clay ornaments, I recommend using cookie cutters. They are the fastest way to make tons of them. Also, they make a nice edge that you don’t need to smooth a lot. Instead of using a needle for the hole, use a straw for best results.
If you want to add stamped personalization or imprints, make sure to do it before cutting them out. Their shape may distort and crack if you apply the prints after cutting.
TIP! Make smaller pieces too and sell them as gift tags or keepsakes.
Check out these cute personalized dog ornaments by OpintonDesigns. They would make the perfect gift for pet owners.
Air dry clay kits also sell like hotcakes on Etsy. People love to buy them as gifts, and they were super popular during the pandemic.
Usually, an at-home pottery kit includes one or more bags of air dry clay, clay tools, instructions, or a step-by-step guide. Most of them also have a sealer and paint.
You can also see other fun stuff added to these kits, like clay ‘slip’ fabric bags, but I’ve also seen some with conversation cards and sweets for a date.
You could also make a video tutorial for one or a few easy air dry clay crafts and share it with your customers as a thank you for purchasing.
Take this air dry clay kit by JasminePotteryStudio as an example. See my other article with 10 fun air drying clay craft kits for adults for more inspiration.
5. Home decor
You can make tons of different air dry clay decorations for your home. Wall hangings, decorative pots, and incense burners are the most popular on Etsy.
I could also find a couple of garlands, fairy houses, and stunning large wall art sets (check it out here).
You can take advantage of the natural white and terracotta colors of air hardening clay. They are modern and suit most home decor styles, so they don’t need a lot of paint and personalization.
The perfect example is this beautiful moon wall hanging by ComelyFineArt. This clay project it’s pretty easy to make and looks professional.
6. Essential oil diffuser
Essential oil diffusers are fun and unique gift ideas. You can easily make them using air drying clay.
The most common ones sold on Etsy are car fresheners or necklaces/pendants, but you can also turn keychains into essential oils diffusers.
If you plan to include these in your shop or offer, I highly recommend selling them as a kit. Add at least a small essential oil bottle next to the clay item.
Let your customer pick the scent they want and make fun combinations with blends for men, women, seasons, occasions, stress relief, relaxation, etc. Find a creative or funny concept, and they will be snapped up.
This bee car diffuser by IsminiBespokeGifts is a perfect example of how you can turn this simple idea into an excellent gift.
No, I’m not talking about large detailed sculptures that talented artists make! Still, they are not as easy to make as the previous clay product ideas.
You can make tiny houses, animals, or figurines to sell as cake toppers, magnets, and wedding souvenirs.
These are perfect for personalization and selling online. People love them! They could send you an image of their friend, family member, or pet and turn them into cute clay figurines.
These air dry clay replicas by ManelynAU are the perfect examples. They are super cute!
BONUS! sell their tutorials
If you plan to open your online shop on Etsy or any other platform, you should consider selling tutorials. These digital downloads are perfect for making some extra profit passively.
You don’t have to sell the tutorials for your products, and you can make crafts dedicated exclusively to tutorials.
Even though Etsy is known mainly for its handmade goodies, tons of digital downloads are also available. Check out my other article on digital product ideas (also known as passive income products) you can make as a crafter.
Take this clay cat sculpture tutorial by Bakenekoya as an example.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND TIPS:
Pick a simple design for your clay products that are easy to replicate and tweaked with paint, stamps, stencils, molds, etc.
Don’t forget that air dry clay can become fragile. Never make it thinner than 1/4 – 1/6 inch for durability.
Also, here are a few tips for making your clay projects stronger. You don’t want to make your customers sad with and dissatisfied with a product that breaks after a couple of days.
If you are new to working with air dry clay, these are my best tips and tricks for beginners.
Dry it properly. Rushing drying may cause cracks that look ugly and also weaken your craft. (Learn how to dry air dry clay properly).
Sand your clay items for a silky smooth finish and eliminate minor imperfections.
Use quality paint (acrylic paint has the best coverage).
If you’re not the best at drawing and illustrations, you should opt for abstract designs and simple prints until you become more skilled with painting.
Seal your air dry clay projects! A coat of varnish will protect and make your product more durable. It’s best to apply one or several thin coats of sealant.
Air dry clay crafts with the proper thickness (a quarter of an inch) or strengthened with an armature are quite durable. However, if you sell them from your online shop or send them through delivery to your customer, wrap them carefully so they won’t break or get damaged.
Put them in a cardboard box, wrapped with bubble wrap or with another, a more eco-friendly option like honeycomb packing paper. You can also offer gift wrapping which comes in extra handy for customers around the holidays.
It’ll also give you an opportunity for branding and make recurring customers.
Include a thank you card in your box with your business info and social media outlets, caring instructions, you can also offer a discount for their next purchase, a tiny clay item, for example, a small heart gift tag that you can make from leftover clay (stamp on them ‘handmade’ or ‘with love’), etc.
With these simple packaging tips, your customers will remember you and return for more products when they need a gift or just something for themselves.
If you’re selling your clay creations in an online shop, or you just want a website to show your products, photos are super important.
Even though colors change based on every screen, you should always try to capture the actual colors of your project. So, you should opt for good natural lighting.
Since your customer can’t hold it in their hands you should try and capture every detail of your product, so make several photos from different angles, close-ups, ‘in use’ photos, etc. So, they would feel like they are holding the item in their hands, they can tell the size, color, etc.
Amy Eaton has a cool free E-guide on product photography and also other free product photography resources that will help you get started.
Caring instructions are super important when selling air dry clay products because they are not waterproof and food-safe. These are especially important if you sell plates, bowls, pots, and other pottery items.
Add a notice and make it clear that your air dry clay projects are ONLY for decorative purposes. They are not waterproof, sealants only make them water-resistant, so they can’t wash them. They should clean air dry clay items with a damp cloth.
Air dry clay items won’t hold water, and people shouldn’t serve food and beverages in them.
Customers love products with personalization options. Even though they mean a bit of extra work on your part, but it totally worth the effort, so I highly recommend incorporating it on some of your products.
They can be easily made with stamps, stencils, image transfer, paint, etc.
Personalization ideas: initials, names, year, colors, quotes, simple symbols, patterns, size, etc.
Other air dry clay ideas you can make and sell
I have a collection of air hardening clay projects you can check out to gather more inspiration on what can you make.
- 15 Cute Thing to Make with Air Modeling Clay
- 27 Amazing Crafts to Make out of Air Hardening Clay
- check out all my air dry clay tutorials and informational content by clicking here.
FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT SELLING AIR DRY CLAY PROJECTS
Air dry clay is a versatile and wonderful craft material. It’s inexpensive and you can make a huge variety of fun projects like jewelry, accessories, home decor, pottery, gifts, etc.
Working with air hardening clay is relatively easy. Many craft ideas are suitable for beginners too. If you know the basics of how to use air drying clay, you can create stunning items from the start.
All the personalization options make this clay perfect to create handmade products that you can sell in your shop or craft shows, fairs, and booths.
I hope you liked this post and found inspiration for a few clay product ideas.