Air Dry Clay Botanical Tags

Air dry clay is hand cut into tags, pressed with botanicals and then painted for a watercolor effect. Clay tags add a special touch to a favorite plant and make the perfect gift!

botanical clay tags, terracotta pots

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It's the week of clay crafts, lol! Early this week I shared the terracotta round clay herb markers that I made for some of our herb seedlings. They turned out so good! I also updated an old thrifted pot for the third time (yep, the joy of being an obsessive creative!) and turned it into an Anthro Minka pot dupe. You can see the before and after here, and if you want to watch me make one, be sure to check out this video. This is a big pot and it turned out so striking! I'm sure you'll be seeing it a lot here on my blog as I move it around my home.

Today I'm joining some sweet creatives on Instagram as their guest. We're each sharing a DIY and you can catch all the projects on my Instagram page. I wanted to share the full tutorial for these botanical clay tags here on the blog as well, as I know so many of you appreciate a step by step tutorial!

I really enjoy crafting with clay. It is relaxing and you don't have to be an expert to make something beautiful!

Let's get started.

How to make air dry clay botanical tags

These botanical tags are handcrafted. They're not perfect by any means but they turned out so pretty and colorful and I'll bet you can find a hundred uses for them! Here are a few ideas.

Ideas to decorate with clay tags

  1. Wrap them around potted plants (real or faux) as I have here
  2. Use as gift tags for a prettily wrapped package
  3. Make several and string as a garland for your mantel
  4. Bundle them in a small basket or crate, along with jute twine and these scissors and gift them
  5. Tuck them into a pretty bowl as table decor
  6. Tie them onto a wreath (see example below)
Clay tags are not only easy to make, they're very affordable and the supplies list is quite short!


Note: I did not use the lavender stamp shown below but you could try making imprints with botanical stamps like these

clay, mat, skewer, botanicals, rolling pin

I like to work on a cutting mat (you could also use a silicone mat) because it keeps my work surface clean. When working with air dry clay, it tends to be messy on your hands so I wore disposable gloves. This brand was not as wet and messy as other brands I've used.

Step 1 - roll out clay

Take a ball of clay and work it in your hands until it softens and becomes pliable* Press it flat onto the work surface and roll out to about 1/8" thick. My clay is usually a little thicker than 1/8" because I find if I make it too thin, it has a tendency to curl a little as it dries.

*if your clay seems dry you can add a couple drops of water and work it with your hands to soften it

clay rolled on mat

Step 2 - hand cut tags

If you have trouble with this step, make a cardboard tag template and trace around it. I like the imperfection of creating these tags by hand. No two are alike!

Some tips for cutting tags from clay:

  • use a straight edge (or even piece of cardboard as I did) to cut clay into a rectangle and then divide into fourths
  • add a hole for hanging using a skewer
  • use plastic knife to cut corners off the tops of tags*
  • press edges with either the knife or fingers to smooth edges
*rather than pulling the knife through the clay, which can distort the shape, use a short up and down motion to cut through clay and then pull away the excess

cutting tag shapes with plastic knife

Step 3 - stamp with botanicals

I found I got the best impressions with faux botanicals that had a stiff texture. I used a variety of pieces, just snipping a small piece off a garland or wreath. The faux boxwood (piece on the far right below) did not make a good impression so I didn't use it.


I found it easiest to simply use my fingers to press the botanicals into the clay but you could also try using a rolling pin. Experiment with a scrap piece of clay to see how much pressure gives the best results. You want to make a deep enough imprint that will last as the clay dries.
botanicals pressed into clay tag to leave impression
Set tags aside to dry, flipping them over after about 12 hours. It usually takes between 16-24 hours for smaller clay projects to fully dry.

Step 4 - sand tags and paint

Now for the fun part! Once the tags are fully dry, use a small piece of sandpaper to smooth the rough edges and even round the corners slightly, and then paint.

I used a craft brush with a very fine tip, dipped it into a glass of water, and then picked up just a little bit of paint onto the end. You're really just making short strokes to add paint to the impressions left from the botanicals.

painting botanical impression with acrylic paints
Once dry, I recommend spraying with a matte sealer to protect the tags, and then these handcrafted tags are ready to be hung anywhere you want!

lavender pot with hanging tag

I knew I wanted to use the lavender tag with a pot of lavender, but my real lavender plant only has one flower currently. But, I had a variety of faux lavender stems and quickly 'planted' them in a clay pot to create this pretty vignette. A piece of Styrofoam tucked into the pot holds the stems in place and I added moss around the top to fill in the empty spaces and hide the Styrofoam.

antique window, greenery wreath, botanical tag

I think a single tag tied onto a greenery wreath adds a beautiful yet simple touch.

greenery wreath with botanical painted clay tag

Turning a lump of clay into something pretty and useful for my home brings me joy. I hope you love this project too!


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  1. This is one of the prettiest and most useful crafts I’ve seen.

    1. Thanks Patricia, I really appreciate that and am so glad you like these little clay tags!


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