Prang DAS Air-Hardening Modeling Clay

Prang DAS Air Hardening Modeling Clayis available in 1.1 pound and 2.2 pound packages in either white or terra cotta. It takes approximately 24 hours for projects to dry depending on thickness and is certified non-toxic.

Ok, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. This is a fun product to play with. I think it helps that I took ceramics in high school, so the tactile part of it takes me back. It doesn’t have the same qualities of firing clay, but the beauty is that you don’t need a kiln or even a toaster oven. Just play, create, and set aside until the next day. I think the setting aside part is a real exercise in patience. I don’t have a small child here to test the product, but instead a reluctant teen who helped me with my product testing.

Here is what we discovered when working with this product. It dries out quickly if you handle it a lot, so keep the clay you aren’t using in a ziplock bag. It doesn’t work well to attach pieces together. Try to make your creation from one piece of clay. It rolls out beautifully to cut out shapes. This is what we focused our efforts on, rather than molding pieces with our hands. We rolled out the clay with a small wooden dowel on a sheet of thick plastic. A piercing tool and plastic knife worked well to help us cut out and make holes in things. It takes well to molding with various products such as cookie cutters, cookie molds, plastic molds, and even a metal charm. It stamps like a dream with a rubber stamp. I put Stazon ink on the stamp first and then stamped it. The ink didn’t transfer much, but the image is beautiful. Here is a peek of our trials and what we used to make them.

I noticed when working with this clay that it has qualities to it similar to paper. When I didn’t cut it cleanly if left little pieces similar to what happens when you tear paper. I believe there might be paper pulp in this product, but I can’t find a list of ingredients anywhere. It is lightweight after drying. It takes a very fine sanding from an emery board well. As far as painting your final project, just about any paint works well, including inks. The only thing I would avoid is anything that uses a lot of water, as you don’t want to get the clay too wet. I would seal the final product if it will be handled much. I wish we’d had this product back when we were making salt dough ornaments. This would have been so much smoother to work with for handmade ornaments. I plan to use this to make some more stamped embellishments. I just love the way it took to the rubber stamp.


  • Don’t need to heat up the house, this air dries
  • Non-toxic
  • Takes on texture and shape beautifully


  • Patience is needed to wait 24 hours for drying time
  • Difficult to attach pieces of clay together
  • Dries out if you don’t keep it in ziplock bag

I would rate this product as an 8 out of 10. I’d love to know if you’ve tried it and if you have any other tips for us.

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27 Responses to Prang DAS Air-Hardening Modeling Clay

  1. Avatar
    Mary August 6, 2008 at 8:17 am #

    Great looking projects – I just love the look of the feather…

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    Nevis August 6, 2008 at 8:33 am #

    Love the feather.

    Could you attach the product to a scrapbookig layout? How would you do so? Tacky glue?

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    Kim H. August 6, 2008 at 5:08 pm #

    I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly with you! I have used the air hardening clay before! I really like the results! Your are gorgeous as well! Attaching to a card or project was No problem with gel medium!

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    Angie P August 6, 2008 at 11:55 pm #

    VERY cool – thanks for sharing the info! My kids would love this too – but I will definatly be trying some out for charms

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    Deborah August 7, 2008 at 8:17 pm #

    Great review, LOVE the feather piece Tami! Did you add colour to the stamp before you stamped the image, or did you colour afterwards?

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    Anonymous November 6, 2008 at 2:43 pm #

    I just got 2.2lb pack for under $7 @ Art Supply on 41 & Beneva in Sarasota. I’m a polymer clay maniac & make TONS of molds. (always pressing poly clay on EVERYTHING!) It takes a lot of clay ($$$) & it has to bake. I got the air dry clay on a whim to see if it works for molds. Much less $$ than other mold making products, including polymer! I’m still waiting for it to dry but I think it’ll be great. I was surprised it picked up the tiny details. I love how cool it feels. It does dry out fast so I’ve been working water into the clay, few drops at a time. Not sure if it affects it’s strength but it works well! I also used a bit of water, smeared it around and stuck more clay to it. It worked great for sticking pieces together. Then I wet my finger to smooth out the seams. I wish there was information on the pack. Can’t find anything on the net either. That’s how I got here! I also believe it’s some kind of pulp or cellulose. It has tiny fibers. so far, it’s a blast. My son LOVES it..he’s 19.
    I LOVE your artwork. If it sticks in your push molds, spritz water in the mold.

  7. Avatar
    Coquitah November 9, 2008 at 10:25 am #

    I hated it specially the fact that you cant attach pieces together, I bough 5 packages without thinking , I guess I’m taking 4 back couse I allready opened one… 🙁

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    Anonymous December 22, 2008 at 7:25 pm #

    THis clay sucks…I thought I would be able to make pots, and other things, but it is just impossible…

    Really disappointed

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    Anonymous February 18, 2009 at 2:51 am #

    I’m an interior design student so we have to use terra cotta clay almost every month. Its perfect for projects like molds as well as creating sculpts. The review states the EXACT pros and cons of the clay. It takes quite alot of patience to sit and watch the clay dry without any cracks. The best way is to cover up the cracks every now and then with small clay bits while drying it. Awesome review and love your projects 🙂

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    jodi french paper arts February 28, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    Great write up, very informative. Got some clay, DAS Clay is DAS awesome! It does what it says it will do. It’s not meant for the potters wheel

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    Anonymous May 8, 2009 at 2:26 am #

    this clay is the worst product i have ever used!!! I knew that an air-dry clay was too good to be true. I am a traditional ceramic sculptor, and the properties between the two are night and day. it dries out with even the most minimal contact, and the product will NOT stick to it self when trying to attach parts together. i bought ten of the 2.2 lb. packs for a children project, and just threw away sixty dollars! do not buy this stuff if you plan to sculpt it. it is $*!+!

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    Bill Hollister July 4, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    Well I was thinking…if you are going to do a figurine or some other project that requires you have the pieces molded together, perhaps use a light wire frame and model around it, using light moisture at the joints.

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    Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 6:04 pm #

    I know this conversation was awhile but I had to contribute my bit. I have used DAS clay for some time now and I love it. I do sculpture work with it. I make art dolls and make heads over styrofoam balls and I make hands and feet from it. Moisten the clay as you work with it and try to work a bit quickly. You can stick bits together by smoothing with water on your fingers. I also smooth with a paint brush, Q tip and modeling tools. I have achieved some lovely results. I am still exploring its properties.

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    Marlise Guillerault, SC October 30, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    I tried a small sculpture with the DAS to get used to it, wetting it to attach parts. The clay feels puffy when working with it. I love polymer clay, but got the DAS for the air-dry quality. I got a good deal on a plaster floor lamp shaped like a tree branch with birds on it, but it had some cracks in it. I filled these with the DAS, and it looks like its going to work great. There was no way I could bake the repair and air-dry was my only choice. The Packaging is sorry– no information that is legible. I’m glad I found this page– I’ll try the cookie cutter bit and press molds for Christmas tags.

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    Marlise Guillerault, SC October 30, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    I got my 2 lbs of DAS at AC Moore in Columbia, SC for under $7– a lot cheaper than Sculpey, but I still love Sculpey best

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    Anonymous December 22, 2010 at 2:17 am #

    Wonderful review, the large scale photos really help understand what’s possible – thank you so much for posting this. And many thanks to the helpful tips from other people as well – I can’t wait to start playing with it!

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    Anonymous April 21, 2011 at 12:04 am #

    Thank you for your information and pictures of your work. It has been very helpful for me. I was going to make a toothbrush holder for the bathroom but won’t now as it might be a bit dicey being around water. The kids are looking forward to using it to make pencil holders and jewellery holders for their dressers. I also wanted to double check the drying time was the next day so thanks again for your information. Hazel.

  18. Avatar
    DS August 20, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    So how would you say this compares to paper clay? Also, is it sandable once it dries?

  19. Avatar
    Cat August 29, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    First try with DAS as a sculpting material, I have to say it’s a bit strange. I use air-drying clay as a coating for armature wire, and for bulking out figures before I use oven-cure polymer clay as a skin to hold the details. I’m used to using Newclay, (also terrible at joining), but this is something that takes some getting used to. First thing I noticed was the smell, like halfway between strong paint and almond oil. It has a puffy, papery consistency, like trying to use papier mache without any glue in it. The drying time is a bit much, even a thin layer takes a long time, and thin layers are very prone to sagging. Smoothing is difficult as it has a tearing effect because the clay’s so light.

    Definitely back to Newclay in future.

  20. Avatar
    Anonymous October 5, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    this clay is perfect for basic modeling. it can be sanded after drying as well. great product!

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    Cynthianne Neighbors November 1, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    I love this clay and also use water to connect parts together. This clay also takes a cover of polyacrylic. I have not put something made from the clay, covered in Minwax brand polyacrylic, but my wood art I have and it is nicely protected. I let my projects dry for two or three days before I put the finished coat, but I am making doll furniture, so these are a little bigger than a charm, for example.

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    Cynthianne Neighbors November 1, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    I love this clay!! I make doll furniture, trees, little baskets etc…I either paint them and then coat them with Minwax polyacrylic, or I just cover them with the acrylic, after they are completely dry. This protects the project from water and gives it a nice shine.

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    Anonymous March 12, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    I found that if you get it wet two pieces can hold together quite well.

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    Anonymous March 15, 2012 at 6:05 am #

    If you wet the clay it tends to stick better, (like if you use water-based clay you use a mixture of clay and water to help it stick)

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    John May 10, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    I tried both types: terra cotta and regular white. The terra cotta clay tends to crack a lot and is specifically designed to imitate wood patterns, though not suiting to my envisioned project. Few days ago I tried the white one to make the 3D settlers of catan game. So far, my firs hex is drying the second day. A bit more time than expected. There were many tiny pieces that I attached to the hex with just plain water and few cuts on both small parts and the base which I’ve learned from the pottery classes I took ages ago. It seems that the pieces are holding perfectly.

  26. Avatar
    John May 10, 2012 at 7:45 am #

    I tried both types: terra cotta and regular white. The terra cotta clay tends to crack a lot and is specifically designed to imitate wood patterns, though not suiting to my envisioned project. Few days ago I tried the white one to make the 3D settlers of catan game. So far, my firs hex is drying the second day. A bit more time than expected. There were many tiny pieces that I attached to the hex with just plain water and few cuts on both small parts and the base which I’ve learned from the pottery classes I took ages ago. It seems that the pieces are holding perfectly.

  27. Avatar
    June Faulkner November 1, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    Does Das Clay have wheat in it. Or can you tell me what is in it?

    Thank you