Air-Dry Clay Bowls – Kid-Friendly DIY

decor & DIY

Here's a little tidbit about me: I have a tendency to jump on a DIY trend bandwagon {often a little late} and then get completely obsessed. My current new obsession is air-dry clay; more specifically, using air-dry clay to make bowls. You can make your own homemade clay, sure, but store-bought air-dry modeling clay works great for quick DIY projects like this.

Make these gorgeous stamped clay bowls with no firing or baking. You won't believe how easy they are to make!

Air-dry clay is pretty much the most awesome stuff ever. It's easy to find, easy to use, and crazy versatile. If bowls aren't your thing, you can make jewelry, little figurines, ornaments ... you're only limited by your imagination, so go nuts. And the best part is, you don't need to bake or fire it -- just let it dry for about a day, and you're good to go!

In case you really don't believe me when I tell you that these are the easiest things ever, let me explain something: I made these ones while I was on vacation at the shore. Literally the only supplies I brought with me were the clay itself, a rubber stamp, and a stamp pad. That's it. I scrounged everything else up around the beach house. So trust me when I say that anyone can make these, pretty much anywhere.

Supplies for DIY Stamped Clay Bowl

Supplies for Air-Dry Stamped Bowls

  • Air dry clay
  • Rolling pin {I couldn't find one in the beach house, so I used a drinking glass}
  • Rubber stamp (You can use store-bought stamps or make your own rubber stamps)
  • Stamp pad {optional}
  • Plates, cups and/or bowls to use as molds
  • Sandpaper or an emery board

Make these gorgeous stamped clay bowls with no firing or baking. You won't believe how easy they are to make!

Creating Your Stamped Clay Bowls

To start, knead your clay to soften it up a little, and then roll it out to about 1/8" thick. I rolled mine out on parchment paper to ensure that it wouldn't stick. {Because you're going to be stamping the clay, you don't need to worry about making the top be perfectly smooth.}

Make these gorgeous stamped clay bowls with no firing or baking. You won't believe how easy they are to make!

Press your rubber stamp into the clay, hard enough to make sure you get an impression, but not so hard that the edges of the stamp get pressed down as well.

Make these gorgeous stamped clay bowls with no firing or baking. You won't believe how easy they are to make!

To make the colored bowl, first press your stamp onto a stamp pad, and then press it into the clay.

Make these gorgeous stamped clay bowls with no firing or baking. You won't believe how easy they are to make!

Continue pressing until the clay is covered as much or as little as you'd like. For both of mine, I chose to cover the entire surface.

Make these gorgeous stamped clay bowls with no firing or baking. You won't believe how easy they are to make!

Place whatever bowl, cup or plate you've chosen as your mold upside-down on top of the stamped clay. Use a sharp knife to cut around the circumference of the bowl.

Make these gorgeous stamped clay bowls with no firing or baking. You won't believe how easy they are to make!

Gently press your stamped clay down into the bowl, smoothing out any wrinkles that may form around the edges, but being careful not to damage any of your stamped surface.

Now comes the part that I am pretty much terrible at: waiting. {We're not big on patience around these parts.} Set your bowl somewhere to dry for approximately 24-48 hours. Once it's sufficiently hardened, your new bowl will pop right out of its mold.

Using your sandpaper {or emery boards, which are much easier to find in a beach house}, gently smooth out any rough edges of your bowl.

Make these gorgeous stamped clay bowls with no firing or baking. You won't believe how easy they are to make!

And that, my friends, is all there is to it!

Make these gorgeous stamped clay bowls with no firing or baking. You won't believe how easy they are to make!

I plan on using these bowls on my dresser and nightstand as a little depository for jewelry -- the yellow one, which I formed in a teacup, is the perfect size for rings -- but you could use them for anything {not liquid or food, of course}. You could even plop an empty one on a shelf, and it would still look amazing.

You could always spray paint them or hit them with a coat of clear sealant, but I love the way they look plain, like unglazed pottery.

Make these gorgeous stamped clay bowls with no firing or baking. You won't believe how easy they are to make!

Make these gorgeous stamped clay bowls with no firing or baking. You won't believe how easy they are to make!

You tell me: What would you use these bowls for?

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Hi, I’m Jenn. I’m a freelance writer and editor who lives in central Pennsylvania with my husband and three boys. Yeah. That’s a lot of testosterone in one house. I love decorating, DIYing, crafting, baking, and cooking, and I’m constantly scouring everything I see for inspiration. My ideas can come from anywhere: Pinterest, books, magazines, stores, TV shows, websites, other blogs, other people’s homes, nature. You name it, and I’ve gotten an idea from it. {Literally. I selected the color scheme for our family room from a pocket pack of tissues. Totally not making that up.} I hope to teach others that, if you really pay attention to the world around you, you can get inspiration from anything! I love to hear from readers, so be sure to leave me a comment! Or, if you’d prefer to email me, you can do that too — just visit my contact form. Thanks for stopping by!

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