DIY Clay Leaf Bowls

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DIY Clay Leaf Bowls make the most wonderful gifts – we make a bunch of them every Christmas time!

This is such a fantastic little activity to do with your kiddies – or on  your own – much easier than it looks!

You can make this with salt dough, clay or air dry clay. We used air dry clay as it is easy to work with, does not need to be fired and can be painted with acrylic paint in bright colors! It is also much stronger than salt dough and does not go soggy in a humid climate!

Air dry clay is available everywhere – here are some options below to get you started:

What you need to make your own DIY Air Dry Clay Leaf Bowls:

  • Air-dry Clay – we used this one
  • Paint – we used Acrylic like this
  • Optional – I used a primer before we painted the bowls – to give it a good sealing coat first, and then I used a gloss sealant at the end – to seal it and make it shiny, and long-lasting. You can get both a primer and sealant in spray format – makes it much easier to use!
  • Rolling Pin – a smooth one like this
  • Baking paper to dry the leaf on
  • A big leaf or 10 – make sure you choose ones with big veins!

Let’s get started!

First you need to roll out your clay into a sheet about half a cm / 5mm thick…

Then you place your clean dry leaf – vein side down – over the clay and give it a good roll – don’t be scared to push a little – this imprints the clay with the leaf shape and the veins. When choosing your leaf, look for one with good veins – this really does make the difference!

rolling our air dry clay art

Once the leaf print has been rolled onto your clay, cut around the outside with a sharp knife or cutter…

I improvised a little with the stem – I thickened it…

Autumn-Fall Leaf Bowl

Time to dry your creation.

If you want a bowl shape – place your leaf on baking paper inside anther bowl – it will then take on the share as it dries!

Depending on the thickness of your leaf and the type of clay you buy – and the temperature of course, it will take a few days to properly dry…

Some air dry clay allows you to dry in the oven!

TIP: don’t dry on newspaper – the paper gets wet and sticks to the clay! Rather use baking paper.

Once the leaf has dried, if there are some rough edges you can gently sand them off.

Ready to paint!

I used a spray primer under the paint – you don’t have to. If you use a primer first it will also need a day to dry – so make sure you plan this time in!

We used acrylic paint and came up with all kinds of colors!!

We painted the front and then the back – sometimes the same color and sometimes different! A gold underside works well!!

Once the paint was dry I sprayed it with sealer. Again this is optional, however should the bowl get wet or need to be wiped at a later stage, this step protects it! Again, the sealant needs a day or two to dry!

This finishes the bowl off nicely and gives it a bit of a shine!

This was the first bowl we made years ago…

Air Dry Clay Bowls

Here are all the others…

The perfect craft activity and gift in one!

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