If you all do not know by now, I am a die hard fan of air dry clay and I use them in making all of my dollhouse miniatures. But today, I want to specifically talk about air dry clay. Probably all of you already know this, but yes there is a shelf life for Air Dry Clay – especially if you have opened the packet. There is also a shelf life for it even if you have not opened it. How can you tell? Well I mentioned this in my blog post here. You can tell by pressing onto the packet lightly. If you can press it easily, it is a fresh packet. Although this will take some experience to tell if the air dry clay is fresh or not.
I have been using air dry clay for years now, and perhaps because I use them all the time, I have not been affected by the shelf life issue. With that said, it does not mean I consume it quickly because a packet last me for a LONG time. I’ve been using my packet of Hearty clay (the largest size packet) for more than 1 year, maybe 1.5 years now. I am close to the last bit of clay in the packet, and the quality is still good. This is also why I do not buy different colours of clay and keep them. I rather buy acrylic or oil colours and knead it into the clay. Why? Acrylic and oil colours are so much easier to store and they take so much less space than packets of clay. When you live in tight living spaces like I do, you will probably appreciate this tip more ;) Besides, oil colours (as far as I know) have no expiration dates. And a tube lasts forever.
Here is how I store my air dry clay.
Every time when you take a small amount of air dry clay to work, use cling wrap to wrap the packet tightly, before putting it into a ziplock bag. Then put the whole ziplock bag into an air tight container. I've been using this storage method for years now, which helps to keep my air dry clay in great condition for a long long time.
The cling wrap tends to lose its “stickiness” after a while, so you can change the cling wrap once you find that it doesn’t cling onto your packet of clay after a while.
Practicing good storage methods can help your air dry clay to last longer. This tip should be good for all brands and types of air dry clay.
That’s all for this time! Hope this has been helpful!