Q&A: Hi,I’m new to the clay craft. Please guide me as to how to make a votive holder using air dry clay.?

Question by Shweta: Hi,I’m new to the clay craft. Please guide me as to how to make a votive holder using air dry clay.?
I’m desperately looking for help in making air dry clay/ terra-cotta clay votive holders.this is the first time I’ll b making anything with clay. Any help is much appreciated.

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Answer by mischiefinthemoonlight


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15 thoughts on “Q&A: Hi,I’m new to the clay craft. Please guide me as to how to make a votive holder using air dry clay.?”

  1. Not sure if you’re talking about real terra cotta (which is technically an air-dry clay, but is an earthen clay that must be fired to a high temp in a kiln to be very strong) or just a terracotta-colored “clay” of any kind.

    So first you need to decide which “clay” you’ll be using. You could use one of the types of air-dry clay or use a polymer clay to make “holders” for glass votives, but their characteristics (strength, color, ability to take detail, etc) will vary.
    Most “air-dry” clays you’ll find at craft stores will be based on paper products mostly and vary in quality/smoothness…from the “best” like Creative Paperclay to the lowest like PlayDoh and Celluclay (add water to that one).
    There is an air-dry clay at craft stores too called Mexican Pottery Clay which is basically an earthen terracotta clay which would be much heavier and perhaps not as strong if stressed since it’s not usually kiln-fired after drying.
    You can also make your own air-dry clays at home, mostly based on grains/flours. The best one is probably bread clay, but salt dough clay would be fine for most things too.
    Be aware that all air-dry clays shrink some while drying, and must be sealed (or painted with permanent paint) after drying to seal from later humidity and bugs in the case of grain-based ones.

    “Polymer clays” include bulk ones like original Sculpey (white or terracotta colored) and SuperSculpey (translucent-flesh colored). Polyform/Sculpey also puts out small bars of Sculpey III in many colors. Those are all lines of polymer clay that are weaker after baking** in -thin- or projecting areas than most other brands and lines of polymer clay though, just so you know.

    Polymer clay also comes in small packages (or larger bars online) of many colors in other brands like Premo, Kato Polyclay, FimoClassic, and Cernit…FimoSoft is in-between those two groups in strength. The colored clays can be mixed together for new colors, and/or various colorants can be mixed into the clay (like artists’ oil paints and various powders), and/or any polymer clay can be painted on (usually with two coats of acrylic paint) after they’re hardened.
    Polymer clays are actually plastics so most are quite durable, and many many patterns and effects can be achieved with them too.

    **polymer clays never “dry” in the air… they must be heated to harden (actually a chemical reaction) which is usually done in a home oven or toaster oven:

    As for “how to make a votive holder” in general, there are loads of different ways no matter which clay you use. Be aware though that almost none of the clays will be okay with too much heat, and none of them should be placed directly over a flame–though Mexican Pottery Clay wouldn’t burn; it might get a soot spot though.

    So generally, the clay itself will be “covering” or embellishing a container of some kind (like a glass votive, for example), or it will just be placed around or under the candle base so that it would never come in direct contact with hot wax.

    My site is primarily about polymer clay, but you can find lots of ideas, lessons and examples of various votives, etc., featuring clay on this page at my site (many of the ideas would work with air-dry clays too, though not most of the fancy patterns and effects):
    http://glassattic.com/polymer/covering.htm (click on the category GLASS & CERAMIC)
    And check out some of these possibilities:

    Diane B.

  2. This is actually a great video even if the first three layers are a fail. The concept is really good and this looks like it would be fun to do with a box of crayons and some bored kids on a rainy day. Then you could decoupage somthing on the outside of the glass with the ModPodge idea from the other video and then wrap the rim with a length of wire with some glass beads on it randomly.

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