Craft Project Idea – Air Drying Clay Cones

A while back at Easter, I used my DIY air drying clay cones in an Easter Branch Display which I shared with you here on the blog and promised that the tutorial would follow.

So here it is ….


Air Drying Clay - This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you how you can make your very own decorative clay cones. These a super simple to make and look great as home decor accents or used as containers for home made gifts.

I love working with air drying clay as it’s really easy to use and so versatile.

It’s also pretty cheap so these projects don’t have to cost a fortune.

The clay is available in various colours such as white, stone look and terracotta. I chose plain white for this particular project.


Air Drying Clay Decorative Display Cone


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for products or services that I think you may like and find useful. Any purchases made via these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you. This helps me keep the blog up and running


Initially I didn’t have a clear idea of what I was going to make but just started playing around.

I tried out various household items to make impressions and see what different textures I could come up with.

I then had a flash of inspiration and went to find out some small round plastic mats that had I bought a while ago.  I had intended to use these little mats to make some ‘traktaties’ (favours) but had never got round to it.

My idea just sort of evolved from there.


Here’s how I made them;


Air Drying Clay Project Materials


  • Plastic mat (to keep table clean and give a smooth surface)
  • Rolling pin
  • Plastic Doilies or any other flat disc with a raised pattern (mine was 15cm/6″)
  • Small sharp scissors
  • Scrap paper or plastic (for support whilst piece is drying)


Instructions To Make Decorative Air Drying Clay Cones


Take a piece of clay and roll into a ball – I used a piece that was approximately 5 cm in diameter (you may need a larger piece if your patterned disc is larger).


Material For Air Drying Clay Cones


Flatten the ball with the heel of your hand, then roll out until the piece of clay is a little larger than your Plastic Doily.

Put you patterned disc face down on top of the clay and with even pressure use the rolling pin to press the pattern into the clay.


Air Drying Clay Cone Tutorial - Step 4


I rolled mine out fairly thin to a thickness of approximately 2mm.

With the patterned disc still on top of the clay carefully trim off the excess clay.


Air Drying Clay Cone Tutorial - Step 5


Still with the disc on top of the clay give it another gentle roll with the rolling pin – the aim here is not to make it any thinner but to insure an even thickness.


Air Drying Clay Cone Tutorial - Step 6


Again trim any excess bits.

Now carefully peel you mat/disc away from the clay.


How to make DIY Air Drying Clay Cones - Easy Step By Step Tutorial


Ensuring the patterned side of the clay is on the outside gently roll into a cone.


How to make DIY Air Drying Clay Cones - Easy Step By Step Tutorial


Use a small dab of water to help the adhere the outer edge.

Then carefully add the Mini Split Pins on the overlapping edge of the clay.


How to make DIY Air Drying Clay Cones - Easy Step By Step Tutorial


Do not open the split pins at the back (I tried this but just ended up pulling the cone out of shape)

How to make DIY Air Drying Clay Cones - Easy Step By Step Tutorial


I used the split pins to help secure the edge and for decorative purposes.


How to make DIY Air Drying Clay Cones - Easy Step By Step Tutorial


If want to hang your cones you can now use a bamboo skewer to make 2 holes in the back of the cone (make sure your holes are big enough for the string or ribbon you are planning to use)


How to make DIY Air Drying Clay Cones - Easy Step By Step Tutorial


Now tuck some scraps of paper or plastic inside your cones to prevent the shape collapsing whilst drying.

Mine were dry the following day but I left mine a few days more to harden further.


DIY Air Drying Clay Lavender Holder Project Idea - See easy step by step tutorial


These are so versatile I’m sure I will  be changing them up and bringing them out every season, plus I have some really cute ideas as to how I can use them as a sort of a gift container (I’ll add photos when I have made them). 

I really want to do more projects using air drying clay and have loads of ideas running around in my head.

Have you used clay to make any projects?

I’d love to hear what you have come up with!!!




Make sure you don’t miss any future projects – SIGN UP NOW to be the one of the first to hear about all the new projects and news from the blog!

I promise we will never share your details or bombard you with spam 🙂

31 thoughts on “Craft Project Idea – Air Drying Clay Cones

  • July 19, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    OH my word, I’m loving this. I have my harvested lavender ready and waiting. Where did you buy the patterned disk?

    • July 20, 2016 at 6:32 pm

      Hi Jeannie, yes I can’t resist lavender it always conjures up memories of a holiday in the South of France. I bought the round mats from a cheap discount store in the Netherlands (about 50ct each) and I have tried to look them up on line and the closest thing I can see are plastic doilies which are sold all over the place. Basically anything with a pretty embossed pattern should do the job 🙂

  • July 20, 2016 at 3:40 am

    This is fabulous! The best air dry clay project I have seen. I have some clay that I bought a few months ago, but never had a great inspiration on what to do with it. Thanks so much for the inspiration and for sharing your beautiful project with us at Brag About It! Look for your feature at next weeks party! Pinned to share 🙂

    • July 20, 2016 at 6:39 pm

      Thanks so much Laurie 🙂 🙂 🙂 See you at next weeks party 🙂

  • July 21, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    I never knew that you could air dry it – these are beautiful!! Pinning to try! 🙂

    • July 22, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      Hi Jamie, yes it is a special sort of clay you can buy that they call either air-drying clay or self hardening. Thanks for pinning 🙂

  • July 26, 2016 at 3:58 am

    This is such a great idea! I love it.

  • July 26, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Visiting from VMG206 party! Love this idea and have always wanted to work with clay. I plan to try these this weekend. Pinned & tweeted!

    • August 3, 2016 at 2:25 am

      Thanks for taking the time to pop over – I hope you have fun making these! 🙂

  • July 27, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Love these, so many ways the cones can be used. Haven’t used air dry clay but want to try it after seeing your project, love them. Will get some lavender at one of lavender farms here to put in cones. Would make wonderful gifts for different holidays or b/d’s. Have great rest of week and weekend

    • August 3, 2016 at 2:32 am

      Glad you like them! Yes I have had a lot of positive feedback from friends and family about these, they were surprised that I actually made them and said they looked shop bought. I thought they would look cute at Christmas with candy canes and xmas decs etc 🙂

  • July 27, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Oh my goodness, these are absolutely gorgeous! Dang, wish I had seen these a few weeks ago because my daughter is getting married next weekend and I’ve been doing all the DIY wedding decor and we are decorating with lavender. Pinning to share on my Wedding Board so others can be inspired because I think these would be so beautiful incorporated into a wedding.

    • August 3, 2016 at 2:38 am

      Oh that’s typical, it always seems to go like that – I’m sure you made a beautiful job anyway with all the decor (you always do 🙂 ). I hope everything went well and you all had a great time.

      I hadn’t thought about using these for weddings – yet another great idea what can be done with the – thanks for sharing the post.

  • July 31, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    These are gorgeous! Thanks for linking them up at Talk of the Town – I’ve chosen them as my feature pick for next week’s party and am pinning it to the Knick of Time party board!

    • August 3, 2016 at 2:18 am

      Super! Thanks so much Angie, much appreciated! 🙂

  • August 4, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Oh my goodness I love these! I just found you through the “Talk of the Town” on the Knick of Time site. I’ve subscribed and now am following your PIN boards. What a wonderful and simple project. To be honest usually something this simple tends to have the end product look like it was “easy to make.” But these look like something I would linger over at a high end décor store (and probably wonder if I could afford it). Like you, we are expats. My husband and I are Americans that currently live in Germany (for the next year and a half). The Germans don’t seems all that crafty. I think they seem to be under the assumption that crafts are just too frivolous. But I’m sure I could find some air dry clay. I MUST try this out! BTW, we have spent a great deal of time in the Netherlands. It’s one of our favorite places. Love Friesland! Very different from Germany. As soon as we cross the border we immediately just feel happier. Thanks for the wonderful project!

    • August 9, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      Hi Mary, so glad you like them! I know what you mean about them looking store bought, I’m a big fan of easy ideas and although I often pick simple projects…I have to love the end result 🙂

      So we are neighbours then! Here in the Netherlands I guess I am in the minority with all my crafts but there are also a lot of creative people here (especially with the floristry ideas) which provides a lot of inspiration. Where in Germany do you live? Anywhere near the border? If you do you they sell this all over the place here in the Netherlands, even in the toy shops. I bought mine in a shop called Action for a few euros.

      I live in a really pretty town called Kampen but am actually sitting here typing this in Friesland (we have a static caravan on a campsite here). Good luck with your project and thanks for subscribing 🙂

  • August 8, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    These are just so beautiful. Love them. I am pinning and looking for some dics to make some for myself.

    • August 9, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Glad you like them Beverly! When you start looking around you can normally come up with all sorts of items you can use as long as it has a pretty raised pattern. Good luck with your project 🙂

  • August 10, 2016 at 1:31 am

    such a great project. Love your creativity and the outcome is so pretty. I am so glad you shared this lovely project at DI&DI.

  • August 15, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Those turned out really pretty and seem really simple to make. I have never worked with clay before. Think my grandkids would have fun make these.

  • August 15, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    These are just so lovely! I’m saving the project for Valentine’s Day. I love the lavender too.

  • August 15, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I just pinned this. They are so cute and pretty easy! I can think of a place for them in my new kitchen 🙂

  • August 16, 2016 at 4:01 am

    This looks so fun and relatively easy! Thank you for sharing. I am always looking for inexpensive, fun crafts.

  • August 16, 2016 at 8:00 am

    I love the impression on the clay that makes it look like lace, so pretty! I have been wanting to make some things with air dry clay for awhile and this is making me want to even more! I think my kids would love making something with me too.

  • August 16, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    This is great! I love how it looks with the impressions, but it’s seems super easy to make 🙂 I pinned this to DIY soon!

  • December 3, 2016 at 1:17 am

    LOVE them!!! BUT Did I miss something?? — How do You SEAL them or any of the Air Dry Clay’s? I Live a Block from the ocean and it is Semi Damp — Also I would like to be able to set something out on a table without it “Sagging” by morn!
    Thanks again for al lyour ideas and projects!! LOVE THEM ALL_!!!!

    • December 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Bonnie, glad you like them! I didn’t use any kind of sealant as I didn’t think it was necessary for what I was using them for. I used scrumpled up paper to hold the shape and stop them sagging whilst they were drying – then once hard enough I took the paper out and allowed them to dry further.

      I’m jealous of you that you live near the ocean 🙂 but I am glad I don’t have the damp problem to contend with. You can always use any sort of sealant on top of the clay when finished. I think I will have a play around and see what works – I will add it to the post when I have done it.

Comments are closed.