I've been trying to expand my creativity and my art skills a bit, and I knew I wanted to try something I've never done before. I bought my metal stamping kit last year in hopes that I would learn how to stamp metal. (It's a lot harder than you'd think) So today I decided to try stamping clay instead.
You will need:
Air dry clay
Stamping kit (Regular stamps would probably work just as well)
Non sticky surface - I used a food tray we had in a cabinet
Wood stain or distressing ink
I bought my clay at Joann's, it was $10 for a ten lb box. It's going to last me AWHILE. But with a toddler, I figured it would be great for future crafts! It was a small selection of clay, but there were various sizes to choose from. I just happened to want the biggest box.
With your string, slice a thin layer of clay off of your block. If you have a small amount of clay, a knife should work too. Use your rolling pin to flatten it out on your surface.
Note: I first tried wax paper under the clay, DON'T do that! It will stick to your wet clay and start shredding. I learned the hard way. After that I went with a simple cutting board and had no issues.
Once it's flat and pretty even, take a round cookie cutter, or whatever shape you'd like, and cut your clay just as you would while making cookies. Keep in mind that clay can easily become knicked so try your best not to move it after you have it shaped the way you want.
Grab your stamps and get to work! I have metal stamps, which I'm still getting the hang of. You can find a good quality stamp kit on Amazon for under $20 and they last forever! Click on the link below to find a stamp set like mine!
Once I wrote out each word I went back and smoothed the clay with my fingertip. Once you're done writing all of your words, go back and smooth it all out one more time, then use the skewer and poke a hole through the top for string. This is where I transferred mine to the plastic tray, so it would not dry and get stuck on my cutting board. I used a spatula to slide under each shape and move to the tray. (Btw, the tray idea was BRILLIANT. I had no problems with stickiness) Then let it dry for several hours. I read somewhere that you have to wait 24 hours, but I waited about 4 and they were rock solid.
After they are completely dry, CAREFULLY pick each one up and paint them with the foam brush. I picked two matte colors and the others were gloss. Sadly, the very first one I picked up, cracked right in half. You can use a coat of Poly after the colored paint dries, if you want more durability and shine. I chose not to, only because I wanted to see the difference. I will make a few more this weekend and test the Poly method out.
Lastly, take your skewer and dip the end of it into your stain or distressing ink, and fill in the letters. I had to wipe away excess stain off the top of each shape. This step gives the letters a darker tone and they become more readable. I messed up on another shape, with the stain process. The stain is more difficult to use with matte acrylic paint, so I might stick to gloss. Although I really liked the raw look of the matte paint.
I left mine to dry for about a day, just for extra reassurance that they wouldn't break when I tried to pick them up. Also, any indentation or fingerprint on the clay will STAY once it's dried. It shows up pretty well, but I kind of like the added character! I added some string and I'll use them as ornaments on my Christmas tree around Christmas! You can also make a handful of these for stocking stuffers, or even as keychains if you add a key ring. Just know that they might break easier if they are carried around on a set of keys all day! :)