I am so lucky to have a daughter that loves to create! She has loves to create and she loves good products to create with. She has been the best cheerleader during all the work leading up to the product launch. She has been so excited to get the chance to create with my products! Her favorite, the Dear Ruby stamp which features notes written in her great-grandmother Ruby’s autograph book.
We decided that it would be fun to use the stamp to create small air dry clay bowls and ornaments as Christmas gifts for members of our family. Emma also wanted to create one for me to display at CHA. It was so exciting for her to get to see her work on display at the show too!
We thought you might enjoy seeing how easy it is to create stamped clay projects so we photographed the process to create a tutorial. Emma is pretty excited that it is her first official turn on my blog as the creator. <3
Many air dry clays will come in a large block. Pinch off or cut a chunk of clay from the block. Check the package directions to see if it suggests kneading the clay to soften it before rolling it out. We used Sculpey/Polyform’s Model Air Clay. Emma was able to roll the clay out with her polymer clay rolling-pin without kneading the clay first.
Roll the clay out with a rolling-pin until it is about 1/4″ thick.
We used several different small bowls as molds. Place the mold/bowl rim side down onto the clay.
Use a clay knife or blade to cut around the edge of the bowl/mold.
To add a design to the clay simply press a rubber stamp into the clay. Red rubber stamps make great impressions since the designs are deeply etched into the rubber.
We used my Dear Ruby stamp without a stamp block. We left it on the storage sheet, pressed it into the clay, and rubbed over the back of the storage sheet to transfer the design.
(We also made ornaments using my embossing folders… we’ll share those later this week.)
Lift the stamp off of the clay and wash clean with a water and stamp scrubber or scrub brush (like the one you was dishes with).
Gently lift the clay piece and place it into the bowl/mold. Carefully press the clay piece into the bowl. Smooth any rough edges as needed with your fingers or with the smooth edge of a clay tool.
Air dry clay takes about 24 hours to dry. Time can vary depending on humidity and thickness. I placed our pieces near or dehumidifier, although I am not sure it sped the drying up any! After about 12 hours I was able to remove the clay bowls from the molds. I moved them to baking racks to improve the air circulation.
Sand any rough edges with fine sandpaper.
Paint with any acrylic paint.
When the main paint color is dry, use a paint brush to work an accent color into the grooves of the stamped image.
Wrap a clean dry cloth over your finger. Mist the towel over your finger lightly with water.
Buff over the raised areas to remove the accent color from the raised area, leaving it only in the recessed areas. If you rub too hard, you may remove some of your base color also. I liked the look and didn’t try to fix it when it happened to us.
As an alternate and simple way to paint the design, paint the piece with the light accent color. When the accent color is dry, use an ink blending tool with a clean foam to apply the main color. If you hold the tool level, you can skim the flat surface of the blending tool over the raised areas without getting paint into the recessed areas.
The big tip to remember is that you don’t want a ton of paint on your sponge, less is more and apply the paint in thin light layers. A lot of paint in the sponge will make it squishy and more likely to get in the grooves.
When all the paint is dry brush on a sealer. We used Sculpey’s Glaze.
Let the pieces air dry until no longer tacky to the touch.
One of our bowls didn’t have a flat bottom so it didn’t set well. We solved the problem by piercing small holes through the bowl. We placed headpins through the holes. We added bead caps to the headpins on the underneath side of the bowl. We used needle-nose pliers to coil up the extra length of the head pins and hold the bead caps in place. (Headpins and bead caps are all from Vintaj.)
The Sculpey Satin Glaze will dry with a very subtle shine. This pink bowl ended up being my favorite! We painted the bowl first with Spun Sugar Distress Paint. We sponged on a layer of Antique Linen Distress Paint over the pink to help tone it down. We dabbed in some Gathered Twigs into the grooves and then buffed it to remove the excess brown. The last step was to seal it with glaze. I love the way the finished piece looks like a piece of glazed painted pottery! You pick it up expecting it to be heavy like pottery but it is feather light!
The best part of this project? It was easy? It turned out cool? Nope, it was spending a day creating with my girl, making gifts from our hearts to give to others. #priceless