Good morning, good evening and good night! The beauty of the internet!
No matter the time, there are always people who are just waking up while someone else is reading this post in the middle of the night. Isn’t this fascinating?
I guess that’s enough with my realizations… Today, we’re going to learn how to make an air dry clay picture frame with embossed design and glass effect!
Yet another air dry clay project just like the Christmas ornaments from last time.
Wondering how I thought about it?
Two days ago, I was watching Nemo with my little boy and guess what? He’s a huge fan!
I gave it some thought and I decided to make an object with a small fish to decorate it in his bedroom. Not Nemo exactly but who cares?
That’s how I ended up making this air dry clay object with an embossed fish as the main object, together with a few colorful little stones that complement the design.
Without losing any more time, let’s find out step by step how to make this air dry clay design!
Main materials that we’re going to need
Tools we’re going to use
- Various brushes
- Rolling pin
- Modelling tools for clay
- 1 small cup filled with water to wet the brushes
Let the fun begin!!!
I place both air dry clay and my tools on the table.
Once I have everything in place, I use the rolling to spread the clay just like I would do with a pie.
Tip: If there’s any air dry clay left, wrap it tightly in a plastic bag. When this type of clay gets dry, you won’t be able to use it anymore.
As I spread the clay, I make sure that it’s neither very thin, nor thick. While I spread the clay, I also turn it upside down so that it doesn’t get stuck on the table.
I use the rolling pin in such way so that the clay is spread evenly on all sides, depending always on the shape I want to get. For this particular project, I want to give it a rectangular shape and for this reason, I persist on spreading it on two sides until I get the desired result.
Now that I finished spreading the clay and achieved the desired shape, I cut it in a rectangular shape.
In order to be as precise as possible, it’s best using a ruler and make the sides completely straight.
As for the remaining piece of clay, I use the craft knife to cut it in smaller pieces in all kinds of shapes and sizes. For this project, I drew the shapes that I wanted with a small pencil and then cut it in fish and stone shapes. You don’t have to be very precise here and that’s the fun part!
Fill a small bowl with tap water.
I wet my finger and smoothen the pieces of clay by making gentle passes. I keep on doing it until the rough surface gets smooth. The texture feels like dough and it won’t take long before you make the surface smoother with a little bit of water.
When I’m done making the edges smoother, it’s time to integrate the fish pattern and the small pieces of clay, into the rectangular piece of clay. With this technique, I also give my object the embossed effect.
Once I place all the shapes on the rectangular piece of clay, I use a little bit of water to wet all of my fingers. This time, I apply pressure on the sides of the fish pattern downwards so that it blends nicely with the rectangular piece of clay.
Next, I wet my fingers again and smoothen any imperfection or rough surface.
I follow the same procedure for the rest of the smaller pieces.
The embossed effect is now ready!
While the clay is still wet -or at least moist, I need to think where and how I need to let it dry.
This is why I choose to place pieces of newspaper in such way, that my object appears to have some sort of motion.
Once I’m happy with the result, I let my object to dry for one to two days.
Two days passed and it’s time to start working on my object again. I make sure I’ve got all my materials and tools available.
I take the sandpaper and rub any imperfection or rough edges on the surface of the object.
Next thing I want to do is to take a wide rough brush and get rid of any dust that the sandpaper produced.
My little picture frame is now finished from shaping aspect.
I make one pass with gesso so that I can apply the rest of the colors on the object.
When I’m done applying the gesso, I let it dry for a while.
This step is very important since I want to give my object the glass effect.
I use any type of colors either it’s acrylic, metallic or simple.
For this object, I prefer to leave the embossed shapes uncolored. It’s up to your preference to do something similar.
I then place the glue of two components on a plastic plate. At the same time, I make sure that the amount of both glue components is the same and then mix them together.
Tip: If the amount of the glue components is different, there’s a great chance that, the glue won’t thicken.
Now that the glue is ready, I dip a toothpick in the glass color and I drip a drop of this color in the mixed glue. Steer the glue so that it until the color becomes uniform.
The colored glue is ready. I take some with the toothpick and carefully paint the embossed designs of my object.
I follow the same procedure with all three glass colors.
When I finish, I let everything get dry. This takes at least one hour.
I would say that this step is optional and you could actually end the project right here if you’re happy with the result.
I wasn’t very satisfied with my object and the acrylic colors that I chose.
For this reason, I thought about using glass colors on the rest of the object’s surface. Therefore, I dipped my brush in blue and green glass color and started painting it again.
You can see what I’ve got now!
I somehow succeeded in getting a glass effect across the entire surface of my object. A pleasant surprise, if you ask me!
The picture frame is now ready to be hanged on the wall.
Below, you’ll find more closeup pictures so that you can understand the glass effect better.
I hope you enjoyed this post and you liked the new technique of embossed pattern with glass effect. Personally, I love it and I use it very often to many objects in combination with other techniques.
During the next few weeks, I’ll show you how to make bowls, jewellery and mirrors with the use of air dry clay. They look wonderful for decorating your entire place and more importantly, your children’s bedrooms.