Air-Dry Clay Kits for Aspiring Potters (No Kiln Required!)

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Air-dry clay kits for aspiring potters
Image Credit: PeopleImages/iStock/GettyImages

If you scroll through social media's craft content, you'll likely find an abundance of crafters creating their own ceramics, as pottery has quickly become one of the most trendy art forms of modern times. Despite its ever-growing popularity, pottery isn't the most accessible medium out there, especially since it so often requires the use of a kiln—and sometimes a pottery wheel—to fire and glaze pieces. However, at-home air-dry clay kits are here to shake things up and make learning how to sculpt everything from plant pots to trinket dishes fun and easy to do from the comfort of home.


Whether you're looking to dip your toes in the ancient art form of sculpting or are looking for a fun date night or team-building activity, air-dry clay kits are worth a try. Here are our top picks for the best art kits for aspiring potters.

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What to Consider When Shopping for Air Dry Clay Kits

The Pottery Kit Project:‌ Some pottery kits will include supplies and instructions used to create a variety of projects whereas others tend to focus on one specific project. If you're shopping for an air-dry clay kit and not sure where to start, it always helps to look at the project first to determine whether it's your style, something you'd be interested in making, and, of course, fits your skill set (after all, there's nothing more frustrating than starting a project that is too challenging).


Included Sculpting Tools:‌ One of the most important things to consider when shopping for air-dry clay kits is the included sculpting tools, as this will give you a good idea of what you have to work with and what you might want to pick up in addition to these tools. Kits typically come with all the tools required to make an item and, if they don't, might suggest household items such as kitchen sponges and even some manicure tools that can double as sculpting tools.


Additional Craft Supplies:‌ Air-dry clay kits should come with everything you need to complete a project, however, there are some additional craft supplies and sculpting tools you might want to consider. This includes a paint brush—not just for painting your sculpted pieces but for smoothing out seams when attaching handles or other design features—as well as acrylic paint for giving your finished pottery a pop of color. Since air-dry clay doesn't require the use of a kiln to cure, you won't need to use any kiln-fired glazes, but you can still add a glossy finish with sealant (more on that below) as well.


Sealant:‌ When you're finished with your project, you might want to consider using sealant to protect your work. Some pottery kits might already include sealant—along with acrylic paint, or another type of colorant—while others will require you to provide your own. For the most part, a dishwasher-safe Mod Podge Sealer will work well for the clay project. You can also try other forms of sealant, such as Mont Marte Clay Varnish Gloss, Liquitex Professional High Gloss Varnish, or Angelus 610 High Gloss Acrylic Finisher.



Air-dry clay kits for aspiring potters
Image Credit: Alina Bitta/iStock/GettyImages

1. Sculpd Pottery Starter Bundle

Sculpd air dry clay kits are some of the most popular craft kits for adults because they feature lots of fun and trendy projects that look just as luxe as kiln-fired pieces. If you're new to pottery and want a kit that will allow you to explore the art of sculpture while also getting you set up with all of the necessary tools, the Pottery Starter Bundle is an excellent option. This kit doesn't focus on a specific project and instead includes a 20-piece step-by-step instruction manual on how to make pottery pieces using air-dry clay. Perfect for beginners, it also comes with premium air dry clay, a paint set (in colors of your choosing), varnish, paint brushes, a sponge, and all the pottery tools—including carving and shaping supplies—needed to master the art of pottery.


2. Pottery With a Purpose DIY Beginner Pottery Kit

Whether you're searching for a fun DIY craft to do at home or a project you can work on at team events with co-workers, the Pottery With a Purpose DIY Beginner Pottery Kit is also worth trying out. This kit comes with everything you need, including shaping tools, soft clay for sculpting, and a step-by-step guide to creating your own pinch pots, which can then be used as planters, vases or even little trinket dishes. Thanks to its supplies and adorable packaging, it also makes a great gift idea for the creative person in your life.


3. Pott'd Home Air-Dry Clay Pottery Kit

Another excellent beginner-friendly air-dry clay kit, the Pott'd Home Air-Dry Pottery Kit comes with everything you need to create up to 10 mid-sized creations, including two bags of eco-friendly molding clay, sculpting tools, acrylic paint, paint brushes, varnish, and an easy to follow step-by-step guide to teach you the basics of pottery and sculpting and provide instructions on how to get started on your first few projects.



4. Sculpd Pottery Vase Kit

If you're looking for an air-dry clay kit that is a bit more project focused, this Pottery Vase Kit from Sculpd will provide hours of fun. Inspired by home decor trends, the DIY kit comes with everything you need for two people, making it a fantastic date night idea, too. It comes with light gray premium air-dry clay, carving, cutting, and shaping tools, sponges, and paint brushes as well as waterproof paint for a nice kiln-worthy finish, too.

5. Mora Approved ​​DIY Pottery Kit

Etsy is one of our favorite places to shop for craft kits because they are thoughtfully curated by fellow makers. One of our favorite clay kits on Etsy is the Mora Approved ​​DIY Pottery Kit, which comes with enough air-dry white clay for two projects and also includes easy-to-follow illustrated instructions, a steel scraper, a potters rib, a needle tool and other sculpting tools. In addition, the kit comes with pressed flowers, which you can use to create a stamped effect on trinket dishes and plant pots for a fun spring feel.

6. National Geographic Complete Pottery Kit

If you're shopping for an airy-dry clay kit for creative kids, the National Geographic Complete Pottery Kit on Amazon is one of our favorites. Most air-dry clay kits focus on hand sculpting items but this DIY kit includes a mini pottery wheel, so kids can learn to throw pots. In addition to the wheel, the kit comes with a pottery apron, sculpting tools, paints, a sponge and air-dry clay. The instructions are also kid-friendly for 8-year-olds and up.

7. Brush and Blossom DIY Pressed Flower Clay Jewelry Dish Craft Kit

One of the most beginner-friendly air-dry clay projects is trinket dishes and the Brush and Blossom DIY Pressed Flower Clay Jewelry Dish Craft Kit takes that up a notch with its inclusion of gorgeous blooms. Inspired by spring, the clay set includes everything you need to craft together a dish, including oven-bake clay, parchment paper, a paintbrush, Mod Podge, gold metallic paint for the edges and pressed flowers. And, in addition to written instructions, you also receive a link to an instructional video, making it even easier to learn as a beginner.

8. Club Terracotta Adult Clay Kit

Most air-dry clay kits include gray or white clay. But, if terracotta is more your style, the Club Terracotta Adult Clay Kit has you covered. This craft kit comes with enough supplies to create four to six small pots, including terracotta clay, paint and sealant. It also touts several trusty tools like paintbrushes, as well as sculpting, carving and cutting tools to make the process even easier.


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