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Ali Fedotowsky-Manno shows us how to make adorable little trinket trays to help keep our important items in one place.
DIY Leaf Trinket Tray
Level:
Beginner
How-To:
Storage
Seasonal Event:
Fall

MATERIALS:

  • Airdry clay
  • Wire clay cutter
  • Clay rolling pin
  • Clay sculpting tools, one with a narrow point and one hooked “v” shape
  • X-Acto knife
  • Artist paintbrushes
  • Jar with water
  • Print out of fall leaf shape cut to size
  • Silicone craft mat or wax paper
  • 400 grit sandpaper
  • Color shift spray paint
  • Black spray primer x paint 2 in one
  • Styrofoam half spheres or small bowls in desired size of dish shape
  • Dust mask

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Use the wire cutter to cut a slab off of the clay.
  2. Roll the clay out to about ¼” thick on the silicone or wax paper.
  3. Place the leaf cut out on the slab and trace with the narrow point end of the clay sculpting tool. If you are comfortable with an X-Acto you can skip this step and just cut out directly around the leaf.
  4. Use an X-Acto knife to cut out the leaf shape, smooth the edges after with a wet paintbrush if necessary. PRO TIP: this clay softens with water so you can use a wet paintbrush to smooth the edges of cuts and a mixture of clay and water to fill cracks.
  5. Next, carve the veins of the leaf into the clay. Peel off the leaf or leaf print and lightly draw the veins of the leaf starting with the vertical ones to each point of the leaf then the small branching veins. Widen the veins with a hooked, “v” shaped clay sculpting tool. Again, if you are comfortable just going for it, skip the narrow point and go straight to carving with the hooked sculpting tool. PRO TIP: Add more pressure for a deeper and wider carve, lighten the presser as you come to the end of each stroke for depth effect.
  6. Smooth the veins or any other undesirable areas with a wet thin paintbrush if necessary.
  7. Let the clay dry for 24 hours, place the piece face down to dry if using a Styrofoam half sphere, face-up if placing in bowl to dry.
  8. Once dry, sand any rough spots or undesired spots with a piece of sandpaper. If the dish doesn’t sit well, flatten the bottom slightly by taping a piece of sandpaper to the table and rubbing it back and forth until the dish sits flat. PRO TIP: Wear a mask when sanding, clay particles are dangerous to inhale. Wet the sandpaper to reduce particle spread.
  9. Spray paint with a base coat of black. Allow to dry.
  10. Spray paint with color shift. Allow to dry in between coats according to instructions.
  11. Allow to cure according to directions on paint, place and enjoy!

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