How to Make Air Dry Clay Faces

Written by ashley kurz
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How to Make Air Dry Clay Faces
You can make clay faces into masks. (colourful faces image by Dumitrescu Ciprian from

Air dry clay allows craft enthusiasts to make clay pottery and decor without the use of a kiln or the expense of having items fired in the kiln at a pottery shop. This opens up several possibilities for at-home projects, including clay faces and masks. With a model face to sculpt the clay over, children can make accurate and realistic clay faces with a little adult supervision. You can display these clay faces and masks decoratively on walls or use them as functional masks.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Air-dry clay
  • Polystyrene wig head
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Clear coat sealant spray

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  1. 1

    Cover a polystyrene wig head with cling film. This will keep clay from sticking to the surface.

  2. 2

    Smooth a thin layer of air-dry clay over the face of the wig head. Use moderate pressure to press the clay into the recessed facial features. Do not cover the eyes or nostrils if the finished product will be a mask.

  3. 3

    Allow the clay to dry for the amount of time specified on the package.

  4. 4

    Sand the clay face with fine grit sandpaper to remove any blemishes or rough spots.

  5. 5

    Brush away the dust from sanding with a paper towel.

  6. 6

    Paint the face with acrylic paints and a paintbrush. Paint it realistically with skin tones and eye colours or use any colours you like for a more abstract look. Allow the paint to dry.

  7. 7

    Spray a clear coat sealant over the painted face to seal the paint. Allow it to dry according to the package instructions.

  8. 8

    Pull the clay from the wig head carefully, lifting around all the edges before pulling it completely off.

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