If you are looking for a simple air dry clay project then this beautiful DIY Clay Hearts Craft Idea is a good place to begin.
They can be used for many different purposes. For example, they can be used as hanging ornaments, bunting, gift embellishments, and tags.
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DIY Air Dry Clay Hearts
If you have never worked with air dry clay then this is an easy project that is great for beginners.
You only need a few supplies and you can quickly produce some beautiful decorative pieces that you can display around the home or give away as gifts.
Perfect for special occasions such as Valentine’s, Weddings, Mother’s Day, and Birthdays
For this project, I used the same pattern imprinting technique that I used a while back when I made my Air Dry Clay Cones (with imprinted lace pattern) which over the years has remained one of my most popular craft posts.
The clay cones can be used for displaying dried flowers or as containers for gifting purposes.
Supplies Needed To Make DIY Air Dry Clay Hearts
- Air Dry Clay
- Acrylic Paint
- Mod Podge (or any other white PVA glue)
- Rolling Pin (or glass)
- Silicone Mat (or any other smooth non-stick surface)
- Vinyl doily or placemat (or any other item that has a pretty raised pattern)
- Small bowl of water
- Small sponge or paintbrush
Instructions – How To Make DIY Air Dry Clay Hearts
First, gather all your supplies.
Make sure you have a good smooth flat non-stick surface to work on. Silicone mats, wax paper, or … work great for this.
To make imprint the pattern into the clay you need something with a pretty pattern.
I used some PVC Doilies for this but you can also use paper or lace doilies or anything else you can find with a raised pattern that you like.
I used 2 of the doilies as I wanted the pattern on both sides of the clay heart.
Tips For Making Clay Heart Shapes
Firstly, make sure that your clay is in good condition and not dried out to avoid the shape cracking and achieve the best results.
Also, the quality of the clay can make a difference to the end finish. If you would like to learn more about some of the more popular brands you can read about them over on ARTnews
To begin with, you will need to condition the clay. So you will need to spend a little time kneading and warming the clay up.
This will make the clay easier to work with and help stop the clay from cracking as it drys.
If you are doing the pattern on one side then it is a good idea to roll it out on a flat non-stick surface to work on. Silicone mats, and wax paper work great for this.
This helps a lot as sometimes it can be difficult to lift the clay as it can easily get pulled out of shape when lifting it up.
Instructions For Rolling & Cutting Out Clay Hearts
- Take a 2″ block of clay and knead until it is soft and pliable
- Roll it into a ball
- Place the ball of clay on top of the doily then place the 2nd doily on top (you can just do it on top if you just want to add the pattern on one side)
- Roll it out to a thickness of about 5mm
- Lift the top patterned doily off the clay
- Use the heart-shaped cutter to cut out the heart form
- Take a toothpick and make a hole in the top of the heart (if you are making a garland they hang better with 2 holes)
- Use a very small dab of water on your finger to smooth out the edges (be careful not to use too much water as this can cause it to crack)
- Allow the clay heart shapes to dry for 24-48 hours.
How To Paint The Air Dry Clay Hearts
Tips For Painting & Sealing Clay Shapes
You can use either a sponge or a paintbrush for painting the clay hearts.
I started using a paintbrush but then switched to using a small sponge as I found that the paint went on easier and a bit quicker.
If you are mixing an acrylic paint colour then make sure you mix enough for all the hearts you want to paint.
Otherwise, you may find that you end up with different shades. If you are using it straight from a tube then you can add it bit by bit.
I added a little bit of water to the acrylic paint to help it go on more smoothly (but not too much as you do not want to over-wet the clay).
It is a good idea to work quickly to avoid the acrylic paint drying out.
If you do need to take a break then just make sure you cover it in cling film and wash your brush to stop it from drying and going stiff.
The clay is quite porous so make sure before you go on to seal the clay that you have no white patches.
If you do just apply a second layer of acrylic paint.
Sealing them is optional, so it is up to you if you want to seal them or not.
They look nice even without sealing them but adding a layer of sealant will make them more durable and stop them from chipping so easily.
Instructions For Painting & Sealing Clay Hearts
- Once the clay shapes are completely dry you can then paint them
- Use the sponge (or paintbrush) to apply a thin layer of acrylic paint
- Allow the paint to dry for about 30 to 60 minutes
- If the paint is patchy then apply another layer and leave to dry again
- When the heart shapes are completely covered leave them for at least an hour before going on to seal them
- Don’t forget to clean the paintbrush ready for the sealant (otherwise the paint will dry on and make it stiff)
- When the acrylic paint has completely dried use the paintbrush to apply a thin coating of sealant (I used mod podge)
- Allow another hour for the sealant to dry
How To Add Ribbon To Make Clay Heart Ornaments
- Cut a 5cm length of thin ribbon or string
- Fold it in half and thread it through the hole in the clay heart
- Feed the two lengths of string through the loop that you have just pushed through the heart
- Pull tight
- Tie a knot in the 2 ends of the string
Ideas What To Do With Your DIY Air Dry Clay Hearts
As I said before you can use these for all kinds of things.
I have turned mine into hanging clay heart ornaments so that I can use them as Valentine’s Day decorations.
The Valentine’s display was very simple to create using a few curly willow twigs.
I put the twigs in a large clear floor-standing glass vase, added some battery-operated led pearl string lights, and hung the clay heart ornaments from the twigs.
If you don’t have an xl size vase you can also put the curly willow twigs (or cherry blossom twigs) in a normal-sized vase and display them on a table or on the mantlepiece
I hope you liked this air dry clay project idea and that inspires you to create more fun designs from clay.
Where To Next? Check Out My Other DIY Craft Ideas With Clay
If you liked this Air Dying Clay Project, then you may also like these other DIY projects that use air-drying clay.
This DIY Clay Earrings Idea is a quick and easy project that is perfect if you are looking for a handmade gift idea (they are super cute!).
And these DIY Patterned Clay Cones are great to use as decor accents around the home (I have displayed dried lavender stems in mine).
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