How To Make Air Dry Clay Tiles
I used DAS air dry Modelling clay as I had used it before but there are other brands. To make two tiles approx. 7cm x 7.5 cm, you will need:
1 500g packet of clay
A modelling tool or flat knife
A large board such as pastry board
A rolling pin
Acrylic paints of your choice and brush
Rubber or acrylic stamps
StazOn Ink or other dye inks in chosen colour
Glossy Accents glue and brush
A satay stick or similar to make hole for hanging
I also used four wooden rulers, taped together in pairs as a guide to rolling the thickness of the tiles. If you're good at rolling pastry evenly (clearly, I'm not) then you may not need to do this but any other objects which help to keep the tiles even would be helpful.
- Open the clay and cut the block in half, re-wrapping one half as it starts to dry out quite quickly and working with the other.
- Begin rolling the clay, turning it round to keep the shape, making sure that the thickness is even. This really is just like rolling pastry. You will need to keep re-rolling until you get the shape you want. I chose to make square tiles and I found using the rulers like butter pats, patting the clay into shape and then re-rolling worked but it took quite a few goes. Don't give up, it will eventually look a good shape.
- If you want to stamp onto your tile you need a flat surface so once you have the shape you want choose the front of your tile and make sure you smooth the surface using either the modelling tool or the back of a teaspoon.
- I found trying to keep the edges perfectly straight and the corners right-angled very difficult because each time I tried cutting the edges, the surface crinkled so I decided that to detract the eye from any imperfect edges, I'd put a pattern round the edges of the tiles using the modelling tool, but your fingers or a fork would do.
- I chose to push two holes into the top of my tiles using the flat end of a wooden satay stick, so that I could either thread with ribbon to hang or use small nails, so make the holes now before the clay begins drying.
- Leave the tiles on the board for 2-3 days depending on the temperature, turning the tiles each day so they dry flat and evenly.
- Once they are completely dried through you can paint the tile front with your chosen colour of acrylic paint or as I did, mix two colours to get the shade you want. Leave to dry overnight.
- Choose your stamps and stamp the image carefully using a dye ink which will dry permanently.
- Finally, give the tile a coat of Glossy Accents Glue to give it that glazed look, then stand back and admire.