Was wanting to decorate some bottles I have here and thought I would try the Crayola air dry clay. Unfortunately, my designs seem to be cracking as they dry. Anyone have any tips or suggestions? Is there a better no-bake clay alternative?
Yep! Apoxie Sculpt all the way! Try it once and you will never go back to other clays. It's available at Amazon and you can start out with a one pound size. (However, you will wish you had gotten the four pound once you try it.)
I used crayola's air dry clay to make a hand of glory. In that case the cracking wasn't a big deal. I corpsed it using saran wrap and a heat gun. I've also made small (about the volume of a lemon small) with out cracking. But for something like decorations or embellishing something i would go with the apoxie sculpt. There is something called Amaco Mexican Pottery clay that is self hardening, and then there's Polyform air dry clay all at Michaels.
I don't know the length of working time you need so it's hard to suggest, but I work almost exclusively with air dry clay. If you're willing to order online (etsy is full of them) Japanese brands really are the best. You can make them any color by mixing in a little acrylic paint or pastel shavings. Mermaid puffy and Hearty in the above video are light weight and have the consistency of foam when dry, very much like the crayola, though the puffy is my preferred for being stronger than hearty. My personal favorites are the resin types that are water resistant. Grace and cosmos are the most popular, but I find they have too much bounce back and too short working time for my liking. My preferred is Modena which also comes in colors and a paste.
I do have a blog post comparing many brands though I have since tried exoak and luna since then ( great for flower petals and plants) http://kuroiaisu.livejournal.com/185189.html