Craft Project Idea – Air Drying Clay Cones

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A while back at Easter, I used my DIY Air Drying Clay Cones in an Easter Branch Display Decor Idea, which I shared here on the blog and promised that the tutorial would follow. So here it is …

This DIY clay craft is so simple to make and I think the end result is fabulous. They make fabulous home decor accents and are perfect to give away as gifts.

This project involves an imprinting technique that is very easy to do.

Because this technique is so easy and looks so effective I often use it in various other clay craft projects such as these Air Dry Clay Heart Decorations

Decorative cones made from air drying clay and filled with lavender

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
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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.

Then I 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 around to it.

My idea just sort of evolved from there.

How To Make Decorative Clay Display Cones

Here’s how I made them;

Air Drying Clay Project Materials

Instructions To Make Decorative Air Drying Clay Cones

Rolling And Imprinting The Clay

Take a piece of clay and roll it 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).

Materials For Air Drying Clay Cones

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

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

Wooden rolling pin rolling out air dry clay.

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

Trimming The Clay Disc

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

Tutorial process image cutting our air dry clay circle with scissors

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 ensure an even thickness.

Plastic doily used to make imprinted pattern in clay.

Again trim any excess bits.

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

Process image how to imprint pattern onto clay with pvc lace doily.

Making The Cone Shape

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

Process image how to roll imprinted clay into cone.

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

To the overlapping edge of the clay.

Process image how to secure clay cones with split pins

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

Hand holding finished DIY air dry clay cone

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

How To The Clay Cone In To A Hanging Ornament

Process image how to add holes into air dry clay cones

If you 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 Support Air Dry Clay When Drying

Image showing how to support air dry clay when drying.

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

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

Finished Air Drying Clay Cone Craft Project

DIY Air Drying Clay Lavender Holder

These are so versatile I’m sure I will be changing them up and bringing them out every season.

Easter themed curly willow branches decorated with DIY clay cones and Easter eggs.

Plus I also have some really cute ideas as to how I can use them as a sort of gift container (I’ll add photos when I have made them).

Where To Next? Check Out Some Of My Other Clay Craft Projects

If you are interested in seeing some of my other DIY projects on the site that uses air-drying clay then you should check out these gorgeous Air Dry Clay Earrings.

And my Decorative Handmade Soap Hangers which Dutch people like to hang in their downstairs WC.  Obviously, they are made from soap but I have also added a clay element. I think these actually look like they are shop-bought and make really beautiful gifts to give away.

I really want to do more projects using air-drying clay and have loads of ideas running around in my head. So if you want to keep up to date with any new ideas and projects that I add then make sure you sign up for the A Happy Home In Holland – Email Subscribers List

Have you used clay to make any projects? I’d love to hear what you have come up with!

Just leave a comment below and tell us all about your projects and ideas.

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

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

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      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 πŸ™‚

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    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 πŸ™‚
    ~Laurie

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      Thanks so much Laurie πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ See you at next weeks party πŸ™‚

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

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      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 πŸ™‚

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

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

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    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

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      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 πŸ™‚

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    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.

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      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 πŸ™‚ ). 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.

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    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!

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      Super! Thanks so much Angie, much appreciated! πŸ™‚

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    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 dΓ©cor 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!

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      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 πŸ™‚

      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 πŸ™‚

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

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      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 πŸ™‚

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    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.

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    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.

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

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

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

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    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.

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

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    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_!!!!

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      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 πŸ™‚ 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.

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    Hi, I know it’s been a while since anyone last posted to this, just curious if you have had any issues with cracking? In reading a lot of the reviews on air drying clay in general there are issues with cracking. Also wondering if you tried playing around with any type of clay sealant?

    I’m super bummed, i can’t find this plastic doily piece anywhere.. Any suggestions on where I can find one similar? Amazon no longer carries this and a lot of the other vintage looking parts are square.

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      Hi Ashley,

      I made them a year ago without using any kind of sealant and they are still looking in really good shape. I’m curious too and I think I’ll have a look around if there is anything available on the market that is good for this (I’ll let you know).

      With regards to the doily, I still have a few spare doilies so if you would like me to send you one in the post you can email me with your address (I totally understand if you would rather not πŸ™‚ )

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        Hi Sam,
        Thanks so much for responding! Let me know if you find any type of sealant, i didn’t see much but haven’t had time to put a solid amount of time on investigating.. Yes, If you have spare doilies, I would love it! What is your e-mail? I can send my contact info and payment method.. Thanks!

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    I think you could also use the crocheted doilies. I haven’t tried it yet, but have seen it done on other projects. Question…do you think these could be used for actual planters if sealed? Thank you!

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    Follow-up…I made one today using a crocheted doily. It came out great! Instead of the mini split pins, I used head pins and crystal beads (I didn’t have split pins). I will be making these for Christmas gifts. Thank you!

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    These are just gorgeous! I bought some air dry clay to make these very things. You’ve definitely beat me to it. Yours are just beautiful. I can’t wait to try this myself now!

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    These are absolutely gorgeous! Does anybody know where I can get the plastic discs? I can’t seem to find anything similar where I live and that pattern is absolutely perfect for this project.

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