Springy Celebration Ornament

Craft Ideas Craft of the Day

Add sparkle and fun to your tree this year. This clay ornament is quick and easy so you can create a batch in many color combos!

Materials

  • Polyform Premo! Sculpey Red Glitter Oven-Bake Clay
  • Green glass crystals

Tools

  • Polyform Sculpey: Clay Conditioning Machine, Clay Extruder (with half-circle extruding disc)
  • Copy paper
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet and oven
  • Tape

Basic Supplies

wax paper

Directions

STEP 1

Preheat oven to 275° F. Run clay through Clay Conditioning Machine on several passes on widest setting. Fold clay in half after each pass; insert folded side into rollers first.

STEP 2

Create cone with sheet of copy paper; tape in place.

STEP 3

Fill extruder completely with Red Glitter clay. Extrude completely.

STEP 4

Lay extruded piece of clay down on flat side. Using fingers, create point at one end. At other end, create loop and connect back to strip.

STEP 5

Press crystals firmly into clay in random pattern.

STEP 6

Starting with pointed end of strip and small point of paper cone, wrap clay around cone.

STEP 7

Bake clay on paper cone on parchment-lined baking sheet in oven. Let cool. Remove paper and hang ornament on tree.

Tip

  • For a different look, mix two colors of clay together to create marbleized look. Run marbleized clay through extruder and follow instructions to wrap around cone.

by Polyform Products (http://www.sculpey.com/)

Cloud Clay Embellished Christmas Tags

This time of the year, I am looking to get my presents made and wrapped and to do it all in a creative way and ahead of time. The holiday season is a great time to showcase your DIY talents but, let’s face it, anything that takes hours of work probably isn’t going to get done. Today I have a quick-and-easy Christmas-themed project that combines the drying convenience of AMACO Cloud Clay – a quick-drying air dry clay – recycled clothing tags, glitter, and paint. It hits all the sweet spots: it’s easy, it’s quick, it isn’t messy, it recycles, and it has glitter!

What you’ll need:

  • Small Christmas Tree cookie cutter (mine is about 1-1/2” tall)
  • AMACO Green Cloud Clay
  • Recycled clothing tags (or hand-cut/die-cut tags)
  • Chalkboard paint or other acrylic paint
  • Ribbon
  • Your choice of decorations (I used glitter and white glue, glitter glue, and pale gold acrylic paint)

Start by pinching off a palm-sized piece of Cloud Clay and knead it to warm it up and soften it. Pull it and fold it until it is nice and supple. Roll a piece of the Cloud Clay into a long snake.

Bend the clay snake into a series of loops and push them together gently to make a lumpy rectangle of clay which is larger than the cookie cutter.

Press the cookie cutter into the clay.

Gently remove the clay shape from the cookie cutter (you can ease it out by pressing a small ball of Cloud Clay to the back of the shape – the clay will stick to itself so you can use the ball as a handle to pull the shape out of the cookie cutter.) Cut away the ball of clay with a pair of sharp scissors.

Set aside the shape to dry as you repeat the process to make more trees.

As the Christmas trees are drying, you can decorate them. Here are some ideas:

Using a tube of glitter glue, run lines of glitter along the dips in the clay.

Using white glue, dot the glue on the tree and then dredge with glitter. Wait until the glue is dry to brush off the excess glitter and return it to the tube.

Paint the tree with a generous coat of gold acrylic paint. Wait about 30 seconds then wipe the excess off using a paper towel – the paint will have settled into the depressions in the shape.

Draw on the tree – I use a Ranger Inkssentials white marker.

While your trees finish drying, coat the tags with a coat of paint – I used black chalkboard paint but you can use any color or type of paint. You may need a couple coats of paint to cover the tags.

Cut pieces of ribbon 10″ long and knot through the tags (you may need to punch larger holes in the tags to take wider ribbon).

Attach the Christmas Trees to the tags using glue or dimensional glue dots.

If you use chalkboard paint, you can write on the tags using chalk – other dark paints will take gel pens and lighter paints will take permanent markers.

by Helen Bradley for AMACO (www.amaco.com)

Great Finds Friday: New Craft Books

Welcome to Great Finds Friday, Crafters! Today’s Great Finds are three new craft books that have me so excited for holiday gift-giving. They’re all filled with inspired, creative designs that my friends and family members will enjoy and use. I’m also excited because I get to give these books away to 12 lucky Crafts ‘n things blog readers just in time for holiday crafting!

All Things Paper: 20 Unique Projects from Leading Paper Crafters, Artists, and Designers by Ann Martin, Tuttle Press, ISBN: 9780804843669, $16.95. Step inside the studios of paper artists around the world inside All Things Paper. From home décor designs like the Phone Book Letter Holder to the Citrus Slice Coasters, techniques are varied and intriguing. I think my favorite project in this chapter is the Sticky Notes Notepad Holder, which features a hand-stitched, beaded cover; no more boring yellow pads for me. Fashion accessories include a lush Tiger Lily Fascinator, those chic-and-tiny hats worn by the royals, and an eco-chic Everyday Tote Bag made from brown paper grocery bag handles. Jewelry designs include an assortment of beautiful pendant designs you won’t believe are crafted from paper, as well as an excellent quilling tutorial and a necklace crocheted from paper yarn. Who knew?! Cards and a lovely journal finish out the correspondence section.

The Sparkle Factory: The Design and Craft of Tarina’s Fashion Jewelry and Accessories by Tarina Tarantino, Running Press, ISBN: 9780762446896, $23.00. One-time model and makeup artist Tarina Tarantino is better known for her famous global jewelry, accessory, and cosmetic brand of the same name. In her new book, she shares the design secrets behind 20 of her most coveted pieces including statement earrings, cocktail rings, hair jewelry, stretch cuff bracelets, and more. As she tells her personal story, she also shares her tips and advice on everything from finding inspiration and materials, to freeing your inner designer, wearing jewelry, and displaying it in your home. Tarantino’s pieces have been worn by top Hollywood stars and featured in top women’s magazines. The Paris Apartment Cocktail Ring is one of my favorite designs for two reasons, simplicity and sparkle. Artist Tarantino describes her inspiration: “Taking a simple ball of clay and turning it into a couture fashion cocktail ring in minutes is instant fashion gratification at its best! The secret of this project is the swirling of the clay colors to create beautiful patterns and designs. No two rings are ever the same!” With just a few supplies, you can create custom baubles for all the women on your gift list.

Snowflakes, Sunbursts, and Stars: 75 Exquisite Paper Designs to Fold, Cut, and Curl by Ayako Brodek and Shannon Voigt, Kodansha USA, ISBN: 9781568365220, $25.95. From delicate, intricate snowflakes to bold, colorful sunbursts and unique stars, readers will discover countless ways to use the core techniques of origami, kirigami, and quilling to create pieces that make perfect home accents, holiday decorations, package toppers, and other personal, paper-crafted gifts. Fully illustrated in vivid color, the book provides experienced and new paper crafter alike the information, tools, and basics they need to get started, beginning with a gallery of 75 designs. Each section is ordered by level of difficulty, so you can build your skills with each new project. I am creating snowflake garlands for my living room windows now, so I’ll be ready for winter when it shows its frosty face. There’s nothing more beautiful than pretty paper snowflakes hanging in a warm, cozy room.

For a chance to WIN one of these wonderful craft books, leave a comment on this blog post before November 22nd. Tell me your favorite thing about the upcoming winter holidays. Winners will be announced in the next Great Finds Friday post then.

Good luck and happy crafting!

Dawn Gehring, Crafts ‘n things Online Editor (www.craftsnthings.com)

 

Cloud Clay Embellished Cuff

Burlap is a very popular fabric to be working with right now. It’s got a very natural feel and inspires a lot of creative possibilities. I’ve been making a lot of things with burlap and today I’ve got a project that combines burlap with Cloud Clay!

Now these are two media that you may not consider combining in the same project but, in fact, they go quite well together. One of the features of Cloud Clay is its ability to stick to itself so for this project I wanted to apply the Cloud Clay to the fabric and the solution was to sandwich the fabric between two pieces of Cloud Clay.

As soon as two pieces of Cloud Clay are pressed together they’re only too happy to stick fast. Here’s how to use this feature to make a cute Cuff with Cloud Clay accents:

To complete the project you will need:

  • AMACO Cloud Clay: White,  Red
  • Burlap
  • Felt in colors of your choice – I used grey and two shades of pink
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread

To begin, take a piece of burlap long enough to wrap around your wrist comfortably. Typically, you’ll want a little more than 8-9″ of burlap to start with. Pull some threads out of the burlap so the Cloud Clay can poke through the holes in the burlap and form a nice join with itself.

I pulled three long threads out of the middle of the burlap and then every eight threads on the short edge I pulled out another two threads. This gave me a nice even grid to work with. Depending on how coarse your burlap is, you may want to adjust the number of threads that you pull out. Basically, you need to make square holes smaller than the embellishments but large enough to get good adhesion for the clay.

Condition some White Cloud Clay so it is nice and pliable and then add a tiny piece of Red clay to it to make a pale pink color. Put some of this clay aside and add another small piece of Red Cloud Clay to the remaining pink clay and make a slightly darker pink clay. Continue until you have 3-4 shades of pink clay.

Pinch off small pea-size pieces of the colored Cloud Clay, roll them into small balls, and press them over the holes in the burlap, then flatten them slightly. Use a range of colors so you have a pattern of Cloud Clay pieces that go from light to dark and back again.

Now take some half pea-size pieces of Cloud Clay and roll them into balls. You’ll place these under the burlap directly under each of the Cloud Clay pieces and then press lightly to adhere them. Make sure the topmost flattened balls are nice and round as they’re the side that shows.

Because the Cloud Clay pieces are bigger than the holes in the burlap they won’t pull through it and the Cloud Clay pieces on the back will keep the pieces on the front in place and secure. Check that everything looks good and set aside to dry while you do the sewing.

For the cuff, take three pieces of wool felt and cut them into the lengths to use for the cuff. The inner piece (grey in this case) needs to be wider and slightly shorter than the outer pieces. You need to make the cuff large enough so that you can pull the cuff on and off your wrist without requiring a clasp but not so large that it falls off!

Start by sewing the gray felt into a circle to make the base of the cuff. Over the top of this add a piece of dark pink felt – it will be narrower and just a little bit longer than the grey felt. Sew it to the grey felt using small stitches and coordinating color thread.

On top of that, add another layer of lighter pink felt – it will be narrower and just a little bit longer than the previous piece of pink felt. Sew it in place.

Once the Cloud Clay on the burlap layer is dry, you can add it. Use small stitches and make a stitch over each of the burlap threads to make sure that the burlap won’t fray any further and to affix it to the felt layers below.

The finished cuff is a quaint and unusual mix of Cloud Clay, felt and burlap, a little bit chunky, and a lot of fun!

You could take this design idea a step further and instead of using small balls of clay, make your own molded embellishments by pressing small pieces of Cloud Clay into a mold. Place the molded shape on top of the burlap and press another piece of Cloud Clay to the back of it to make your piece is secure.

You can make your own molds using a molding compound and buttons or other found objects or you may find small molds used for candy making that will have nice design elements you can use.

by Helen Bradley for AMACO (www.amaco.com)

“If the Shoe Fits” Plaque

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

Simple clay embellishments and paint turn a wooden plaque into a fun décor piece for your home!

Materials

  • Wooden plaque, 9”x7″
  • Polyform Premo! Sculpey Clay: Black, Green, Orange, Purple
  • Black ribbon, 1/4” wide, 8” length
  • Felt, scraps

Tools

  • Scrub sponge or scruffy pad
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints: Olive Green, Canyon Orange, Saffron Yellow, Lamp Black; StarLite Varnish
  • Jacquard Products Powdered Pigments: Orange, Green, Purple
  • Dimensional paints: black, yellow
  • Gesso
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet and oven
  • Aleene’s Thick Designer Tacky Glue

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler, toothpick, paint palette, soft cloth, wax paper and newspaper (to cover work surface), fine sandpaper, transfer paper, pencil, cardstock, copy paper, paintbrush, craft knife, stylus

Directions

Size

9”x7″

Plaque

1. Print shoe patterns onto cardstock and saying pattern onto copy paper. (Note: The blue word “patterns” is a link. To access these patterns, select the link, then download and print patterns.)

2. Condition clay separately in hands until soft and pliable. On wax paper-covered work surface, roll Black clay to 1/8” thickness. Press scrub sponge or scruffy pad onto surface to make texture. Trace and cut out shoe patterns from textured clay using craft knife. Position shoes on parchment-lined baking sheet.

3. Roll Green, Orange, and Purple clays separately on work surface to 1/8” thickness. Press scrub sponge on surface of each clay to make texture. Use craft knife to cut out 1/4”-1/2”-thick strips of clay for each shoe. Follow color combinations as shown in photo.

4. Roll and flatten four 3/8”-diameter Orange balls (pumpkins) for left shoe. Use toothpick to make eye holes and smile on each flattened pumpkin. Press pumpkins, evenly spaced, along Green strip. Press strip onto left shoe.

5. Cut Purple clay strip and scallop one edge using craft knife. Gently curve and press Purple scalloped edge onto Green strip; blend edges. Press onto center shoe. Add tiny Green clay balls onto Purple scalloped edge; use toothpick to dot centers. Repeat process to add Purple/Green scalloped trim onto top of shoe.

6. Cut two Orange clay strips; press onto right shoe. Cut small diamond shape from Purple clay and smaller diamond shape from Orange clay. Press Orange diamond onto Purple diamond; press onto front of shoe. Roll skinny snake of Purple clay; form into bow and press onto back of shoe.

7. Use paintbrush to apply coordinating-color pigment powders onto each clay embellishment. Bake shoes on parchment-lined baking sheet in oven at 275º for 10 minutes. Let cool.

8. On newspaper-covered work surface, apply gesso onto front of plaque. Let dry. Lightly sand and remove dust with soft cloth. Paint edges of plaque Canyon Orange; apply second coat if needed. Let dry. Measure 1” in from orange edge; paint front 6” rectangle on plaque Olive Green. Let dry. Measure and mark off center 6-1/2”x4-1/4” rectangle on front of plaque. Paint center rectangle Saffron Yellow. Apply two or three coats for opaque coverage if needed; let dry.

9. Use transfer paper and pencil to transfer saying on top of center rectangle. Trace over saying using Lamp Black paint and paintbrush. Let dry.

10. Add alternating black and yellow dots around center rectangle and edges of plaque using handle end of paintbrush or stylus (if available). Let dry.

11. Apply varnish over entire plaque using paintbrush. Let dry.

12. Adhere shoes on plaque as shown. Let dry. Spot glue clay embellishments if needed. Let dry.

13. Turn plaque over on work surface. Adhere black ribbon ends to corners of plaque to hang. Adhere felt scraps over ribbon ends to reinforce. Let dry overnight before hanging.

by Sandy Rollinger

Under The Big Top

It’s hard to pinpoint just what I love most about the circus. Is it the color of the big top, the wonderful animals or the clowns and their antics? The circus itself is a minor miracle – it has survived the internet, the iPhone and Netflix. And while drive-in cinemas are no longer to be found, there are still circuses performing around the globe entertaining a new generation of kids.

To celebrate the circus, I have a project that you can make yourself or make with the kids. The clown and circus tent are made in AMACO Cloud Clay which is an air-dry clay that has a lovely suede-like finish and which comes in a heap of colors just perfect for this circus project. The wet clay sticks to itself so the pieces are easily assembled, and when dry, the pieces are astonishingly robust.

To complete the project you will need:

  • AMACO Cloud Clay: Green, Orange, White, Blue, Yellow, Black, Purple, Red, Orange
  • Recycled toilet roll or cardboard cylinder
  • Aluminum foil
  • Acrylic roller
  • Toothpicks
  • Scissors
  • Scallop scissors (optional)
  • Non-stick work surface

To condition the Cloud Clay, pull off a piece of clay large enough for the element you are making and knead it and pull and fold it until it is pliable and soft. Keep the remainder of the clay sealed in an airtight container. I double-bag mine, wrapping first in cling wrap, and then storing it in zip-lock bags. Start with the clown’s feet, shape some Red Cloud Clay to make his shoes. Break a toothpick in two and push one half into each shoe – you will use these to anchor his body.

Scrunch up some aluminum foil to make a sphere for his body. Cover the bottom of the sphere with an overlarge piece of Blue clay; pull some clay away from the body and cut it in two with scissors. Shape the clay to make his trouser legs. Cover the top of the sphere with a large piece of Orange Cloud Clay for his shirt. Press the completed body onto the toothpicks in his shoes, pressing everything firmly together and ensuring that everything is angled correctly so he stands upright.

Make two flattened teardrop shapes using White Cloud Clay for his hands – use scissors to cut the thumb and then curve the shapes to make one left and one right hand. Add some Orange Cloud Clay to his wrists to make sleeves and press the sleeves onto his shirt.

Roll a small egg shape from White Cloud Clay for the clown’s head. Add small pieces of Orange Cloud Clay for the nose and mouth and pieces of Yellow, White, and Black Cloud Clay for his eyes. The image shows how these pieces should be assembled. Press a toothpick into the eyes to make pupils.

Flatten pieces of Green Cloud Clay with your fingers for his ears. Cut around the ears with scallop-edge decorative scissors and press the ears onto the head. Press the head onto the body, ensuring that the clown still stands upright.

Press some Purple clay flat with your fingers to make a bow tie shape. Cut the edges with decorative scissors. Press the bow tie on the clown’s shirt. Finish his trousers with some buttons made from tiny flattened balls of Purple Cloud Clay.

To make the circus tent, roll a piece of Orange Cloud Clay flat using an acrylic roller. Cover a recycled toilet roll with the Orange Cloud Clay and trim away any excess clay. Roll some White Cloud Clay to a similar thickness and cut it into long flat strips. Press the strips of White Cloud Clay onto the Orange clay to make the stripes in the circus tent.

Roll some Orange clay flat and cut a half-circle of clay from it. Press into a cone shape, pull out the bottom edge of the cone to flute it, and sit it on the striped tent base. Make a small flag from Orange clay – roll it around a toothpick and press it into the top of the tent.

Set all the pieces aside to dry.

by Helen Bradley (www.amaco.com)

Clay-Swirled Pens

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

Don’t show up on the first day of school with the same boring pens as everyone else. Create vibrant and stylish clay-covered pens to start the school year out with a bit of flair.

Materials

  • BIC round stick pens, three
  • Soft polymer clay: red, gold, white, fluorescent pink, metallic purple, black, granite

Tools

  • Old gift card or promotional credit card (for cutter)
  • Clay-dedicated rolling pin
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet and oven

Basic Supplies

ruler, plastic tablecloth (to cover work surface)

Directions

(Note: BiC pens won’t melt when baked in the oven. Don’t substitute!)

Step 1

Cover work surface with plastic tablecloth. Use pliers to pull gold tip and ink stick out of pens. Set aside.

Step 2

To condition clays, remove from package and roll in hands until soft. (Note: For one pen, 1⁄3 package of each color is needed.) Flatten clay and fold in half. If clay cracks when folded, keep conditioning.

Step 3

For one pen, choose two or three colors to blend together. Use rolling pin to shape clays into 1⁄8”-thick flat rectangles. Stack two or three different-colored rectangles together. Use rolling pin to flatten clays into one 1⁄8”-thick rectangle.

Step 4

With hands, roll rectangle into tube. Continue rolling tube until colors blend together and clay is smooth.

Step 5

Use gift card to slice off pieces from tube. Roll slices onto pen, covering length.

Step 6

Smooth out pen by rolling on work surface.

Step 7

Place pen on parchment-lined baking sheet. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to bake clay.

by Laurie D’Ambrosio

Seasonal Decorating Success is Guaranteed!

I have a long history of good intentions followed up by last minute rushes to get things done. I love to send handmade Christmas cards, but a week before international Christmas mail closes is not the time to be making them. I also love to decorate the table for holidays but that too needs to not only be planned in advance but also executed in advance. So this year I’m combining intention with execution and getting started early.

My table project for the holidays is autumn-themed and I’ve chosen oak leaves and acorns. The oak is a wonderful tree – it looks great all year round. In California, where I live, we have them in abundance and each year I watch as they sprout small green shoots of leaves that quickly turn into wonderful canopies of the deepest green. In autumn, they turn a wonderful gold and litter the ground with acorns that get scooped up by bouncy squirrels.

This year’s holiday decorations are oak leaves and acorns fashioned into table decorations and napkin rings made from AMACO Cloud Clay. Cloud Clay is an air-dry clay that is soft to work with, it stretches easily, and it dries to a light and flexible finish that feels just a teeny bit like suede. For this project you’ll need browns and yellows, so I’d grab a 4 oz. pack of Terra Cotta or Brown, one of White and one Yellow or Orange. You will also need an oak leaf cookie cutter – or some other leaf shape cutter. While you can cut the leaves by hand, cookie cutters make the project go a bit smoother. Add an acrylic roller, thin knitting needle, and a non-stick work surface and you’re done.

Start by pinching off an egg-size piece of clay and pull and fold it until it is nice and pliable. If you like, you can mix bits of various colors of clay to get custom colors – the colors mix very quickly so you can easily get a range of autumn golds and browns.

Roll the clay to around 1/8 -1/4″ thickness and press out the shapes with the cutter. Use the knitting needle to press veins into the leaves. Bend the leaves along the middle vein and curve the ends. Set the leaves aside to dry a little.

Make the acorns from small teardrop shapes of clay and add caps made from a second color of clay. Use the pointy end of the knitting needle to texture the acorn caps.

Assemble the leaves and acorns into groups – two leaves and two acorns. If the clay is still a bit wet, the pieces will stick together easily. If not, dampen them slightly and adhere.

Napkin rings are easily made from a small snake of clay flattened slightly and twisted around to make a circle. Press the ends together to seal. You can then add a leaf and acorn combination to each napkin ring.

Plan for a napkin ring for each guest and a few extra leaf and acorn combinations to scatter around the table. Cloud Clay items are extremely durable, so at the end of the holidays, pack them up carefully and they’ll be ready for the next year’s festivities.

by Helen Bradley (www.craftinggoodness.com)

Cupcake Dreams

Cupcakes have just the right balance between fluffy, sweet frosting and cake. I’m not a big cake person, but cupcakes piled high with frosting are great in my book. Cupcakes also look pretty, so they look great regardless of whether they are edible or if they are faux cupcakes for decorating or wearing.

My cupcakes are sized according to their purpose, big ones for decorating and tiny ones for earrings. They’re all made from AMACO Cloud Clay which is light and yet very robust when dry.

You will need:

  • AMACO Cloud Clay in white and colors you can mix to make the colors you need. Or, buy a packet of white and color it with acrylic paints (think DecoArt Americana or Plaid FolkArt) or alcohol inks (think Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Inks).
  • Scissors
  • Non-stick work surface
  • Acrylic roller
  • Ranger Inkssentials Glossy Accents (optional)
  • Findings: headpins, jump rings, earring wires, cell phone charm attachment, key-ring attachment
  • Jewelry tools

Mix the white clay with the color. If you’re using colored clays, you only need the smallest bit of color to mix with the white to get dreamy pastels. If you’re using paint or ink, start with small amounts and add more if you need it. To mix the clay, add the colored clay, paint, or ink, and fold the colored bits into the white clay. Pull apart, fold over, and repeat. It only takes about 20 folds and pulls to mix the color; it’s simple to do.

Now shape your cupcake. For the big one, I used an individual silicone cupcake mold and filled it with the Cloud Clay (once the clay is a bit dry you can easily remove the mold to complete drying). For little cupcakes, just roll into a small cylinder and add dents around the edge by pressing the edge of a credit card into the clay. Set aside to dry a little while you mix the color for the icing.

For the big cupcake, I mixed a heap of colored Cloud Clay for the icing. Pull it into long strips and you’ll see it begins to take on a texture. I just placed one end on the cupcake base and started winding and building it up so it looks like piled-up icing.

For the little cupcakes, you need a much smaller amount of clay. Roll it into a long thin snake and curl it for the icing. Tuck the end of the clay back into the icing to finish.

Make a strawberry shape – basically a large teardrop – from red clay. As it dries, press small dents into it with a toothpick for its seeds. Add a small green leafy top and push it into the icing so it dries in place.

The tiny cupcakes just need a small ball of red clay and a green leaf if desired.

The large cupcake, when dry, is a fun decorative piece. The smaller ones can become cell phone charms and key-ring charms if you add the appropriate hardware. The teeny tiny ones are great earrings – I like to cover these mini cupcakes with a coat of Glossy Accents to protect them and give them a sheen.

by Helen Bradley (www.craftinggoodness.com)

Garden Pot and Thermometer

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

Transform a clay pot and plastic thermometer into outdoor art. Before Mother Nature has a chance, you can easily give your garden set a weathered appearance, making it fit perfectly with its surroundings.

Materials

  • Terra Cotta air-dry clay, 1 pkg.
  • Clay pot and saucer, 8” diameter
  • Outdoor thermometer, 2-1/2”x6-1/2”
  • Dow STYROFOAM Brand Foam Sheet, 1” thick, 6”x10”

Tools

  • Cookie cutters: Leaf, 1-1/4” across; Round, 1” diameter
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints: Light Buttermilk, Arbor Green
  • DecoArt DuraClear Matte Varnish
  • Foam cutter
  • Rolling pin or acrylic brayer
  • Leaves (fresh or artificial)
  • Woven placemat
  • Beacon Adhesives Hold The Foam! Adhesive

Basic Supplies

ruler, soft cloth, paintbrush

Directions

Thermometer

1. Center thermometer on plastic-foam sheet; trace. Cut 3/4”-deep groove into plastic foam to fit thermometer. Cut plastic-foam sheet, leaving 1-1/2” border around thermometer and rounded point at top as shown.

2. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to condition clay. Roll clay to 1/8” thickness. Apply glue to front and sides of plastic-foam sheet. Cover plastic-foam sheet with clay; trim excess. Use rolling pin to smooth surface. For texture, press woven placemat onto clay. Cover back of thermometer in same way.

3. Roll clay to 1/8” thickness. Use cookie cutter to cut out leaves. For texture, press leaves onto clay leaves; remove.

4. Press clay leaves onto outside edge of thermometer as shown. Adhere thermometer to plastic-foam sheet.

Clay Pot

1. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to condition clay. Roll clay to 1/8” thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out leaves and grapes. Create vein lines in same way as thermometer.

2. Press leaves and grapes onto pot as shown. Roll thin strips of clay and curl; press onto pot along grape clusters as shown.

Finishing

1. When clay is dry, mix equal parts Light Buttermilk and water; paint pot and thermometer. Use soft cloth to wipe excess paint. Repeat with Green Arbor.

2. Apply varnish.

by Lorine Mason