This clay house is SO CUTE, and it’s really easy to make! Place an electric tealight or fairy lights inside and turn this house made of air dry clay into a fun mantel decoration. Use it at Christmas or any time of year!
This is a perfect project for beginners to working with clay, and there’s no special tools required. Use our free printable templates to make your air dry clay house in 2 different sizes!
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How to Make a Clay House
- Nail file (or sand paper)
Check Out The Video Tutorial:
Step 1: Find what you need
- Gather your supplies and materials.
Step 2: Cut out the template pieces and roll out the clay
- Print off our clay house template (link in material list above) and cut out the pieces. Place the templates on a cutting board and use a craft knife to cut out the small windows and heart shape.
- Place the ball of clay between two pieces of plastic wrap. This will stop the clay from sticking to your rolling pin and work surface.
- Roll out the clay to about 1/4 inch thick.
Step 3: Cut out the pieces for the clay house
- Remove the clay from the plastic wrap and place it on your cutting board. Place a template piece on top of the clay and gently rub the paper to help it stick in place on the clay.Cut around the template with the craft knife.
- When cutting out the windows, try to cut into the corners well to make them easier to remove. Gently pry the windows out with the tip of the craft knife.Make sure you cut out two sides of the house (the shorter piece with the windows).
Step 4: Allow the clay to dry & then sand the pieces
- Transfer the pieces of your clay house to a baking sheet and allow them to dry for about 48 hours. Drying time will vary, based on room temperature and humidity. (Your clay might be dry in a day, or it might take 3 days.)Flip the pieces several times a day to help them dry and to prevent the clay from warping. (You will be able to see the top of the pieces drying and turning white - try to flip them when this happens.)
- Once the clay has dried completely, use a nail file (or sand paper) to sand the edges of each piece, removing any imperfections. Use a nail file to sand inside of the windows.
Step 5: Glue the clay house together
- Assemble the house using tacky glue.Add a line of glue to the right of the front piece (the piece with the heart cut-out).
- Attach one side of the house to the front.
- Once the two pieces are attached, stand them up and hold them in place until the glue is dry enough to keep the pieces together by itself.
- Next, add a line of glue to the inside left of the second side piece.
- Attach the second side to the front of the house. Again, hold the pieces in place until it stays together.
- Add glue to both sides of the back of the house.
- Connect the back of the house to the other pieces, attaching the glued parts to the inside of the side walls.
- Add glue along the pointed peaks at the front and back of the clay house.
- Place both roof pieces on top of the house making sure they line up correctly. Hold the pieces in place until they stay together.Wipe away any glue drips. Allow the glue to fully dry before moving your house.
- Your clay house is complete.
Grab the free printable house templates here:
Click the links below to open the pdf template, and then print the template on regular 8.5 x 11 inch printer paper. The large clay house is the one we made for this tutorial.
What size clay house do the templates make?
The large template makes a clay house candle holder that is approximately 6 inches tall, 3 inches wide, and 2-3/4 inches deep.
Our small template makes a clay house that is about 3-3/4 inches tall, 3 inches wide, and 2-3/4 inches deep.
The width of the house will be determined by the thickness of the clay you roll out (it should be about 1/4 inch thick).
What type of clay should I use to make my house?
We used DAS air dry modelling clay and it worked really well, with very minimal warping and no cracking.
Because it’s air dry clay, there’s no baking required and it dries at room temperature. The clay is a grey colour when wet, but it dries a nice white colour, so no painting required!
How much clay do you need to make one house?
We bought a 1 kg (2.2 pound) package of clay and we were able to make 2 houses out of it, with enough left over to make another smaller house. So you will need about 1/3 of a 1 kg package for one house.
How long does the clay house take to dry?
Our clay house took about 48 hours to dry, and we flipped it a lot (4 – 5 times per day) during the drying process. Drying times will vary, based on room temperature and humidity, but it will take anywhere from 1 – 3 days for the clay to air dry.
What type of glue holds the clay together best?
At first we tried to use hot glue to stick the house together and it didn’t stick to the clay AT ALL, so we definitely don’t recommend hot glue.
What type of knife is best to cut out the clay house’s windows?
You should definitely use a sharp tipped craft knife if you can. The pointed craft knives have precision tips that allow you to do a much better job of cutting the windows (on both the template and the clay itself).
How can I fix the cracks of where my clay house is joined?
We left our clay house “as is”, but you can definitely get rid of any gaps to create a smooth, polished look for your house. To do this, wait for the house to dry. Then simply add more wet clay in any gaps where the house is connected.
Let this new clay dry completely and then sand it down to make it smooth!
Can I paint my clay house candle holder?
We love the white “ceramic” look that our air dry clay has, but you can definitely paint your clay house if you’d like! Acrylic paint works the best on clay, or you could even use paint pens if you want to paint finer details on the house.
We love the minimalist look of this clay house, inspired by the ceramic houses you see at Christmas time. It turned out so well, and we think it would be so fun to create a whole Christmas village in different sizes!
Here’s even more clay craft ideas:
Our book Low-Mess Crafts for Kids is loaded with 72 fun and simple craft ideas for kids! The projects are fun, easy and most importantly low-mess, so the clean up is simple!