Introduction: How to Make a Box Using Air Dry Clay

About: DREAMER. DABBLER. NOODLER. Though clay is my passion, at the core, I’m simply a maker, a builder, a creator. Making things makes me happy. I make videos about the things I dream up.

I love clay. It's been my passion since I was a child. In art school, I majored in ceramics. After art school, working with clay became more difficult for me. Owning my own kiln was impractical, so I enrolled in ceramics classes once in a while just to get my hands back in clay.

But then I discovered air dry clay and my world changed! I assumed air dry clay was a children's product and not intended for serious art projects. Happily, I was wrong. I've been working with air dry clay for several years now, and my only regret is that I hadn't discovered it sooner.

This project is a simplified recreation of a project I made in art school. My original box was very large and made from terra cotta clay. This air dry clay version is very light, but still very durable, and only takes a fraction of the time to make.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial. You can also view more tutorials like this on my website: where I make video tutorials about all the things I dream up.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

  • Creative Paperclay (or another air dry clay of your choosing)
  • clay tools
  • sand paper
  • aluminum foil and/or masking tape
  • craft knife
  • acrylic paint (gesso, paint, sealer) and brushes
  • Paverpol (or another hard coat glue of your choosing)
  • drawer pull
  • glue

Step 2: Day One

  1. I start by rolling out a slab of clay 1/4" thick.
  2. Cut out your desired shape for the base. I made a round box.
  3. From another slab of clay, cut a strip that will become the sides of the box.
  4. Fit the strip around the base to determine the length and trim accordingly.
  5. Using a serrated metal rib, score the edges to be joined. If you don't have this tool, you can use a needle tool or even an old fork.
  6. Add water to the scored edges and attach.
  7. Press the seams together.
  8. Roll out another slab of clay. This will be the lid of the box, but you can trim it to size later once it's dried.
  9. Allow to dry overnight or until completely dry.

Step 3: Day Two

  1. Sand everything smooth and trim and sand the box lid.
  2. Cover the box edge with a layer of aluminum foil and a piece of masking tape. (This prevents the new clay from sticking to the dried box as you make an edge for the lid.)
  3. Allow to dry overnight or until completely dry.

Step 4: Day Three

  1. Remove the foil and masking tape and check the fit of the lid.
  2. Sand the box if necessary to improve the fit.Use a craft knife to trim the edges of the lid.
  3. Sand everything lightly and add a coat of gesso (optional).
  4. Paint the box and allow to dry completely.
  5. With a small brush, add areas of Paverpol in your desired pattern. (If you don't have Paverpol, you can use any white craft glue that dries clear.)
  6. Allow the Paverpol to dry.
  7. Add a handle to the lid. Small drawer pulls work nicely, but you could also use old jewelry, large beads, buttons... let your imagination guide you!


About Kerrie

I'm a mixed media sculptor working primarily in clay. Though clay is my passion, at the core, I'm simply a maker, a builder, a creator. Making things makes me happy. I make videos about making things and post them on my channel KerrieLeeArt on YouTube and on my website

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