26 Jul 2019Mont Marte

How to make an air dry clay lantern

In this fun tutorial we show you how easy DIY home decor can be as we create a beautiful tea light lamp with air dry clay. So grab your supplies and let's get busy.

Step 1. Creating the wall

The first step is to open the clay, place it onto a cutting mat and cut the side off it. You can use a butter knife to do this or a wire as I have.

Next, lay the slab onto the cutting mat and roll it to a thickness of approximately 6mm with an old rolling pin or bottle. Cut the bottom of the clay with a ruler and a hobby knife and then measure 85mm from this edge and then cut the other edge so that it is parallel. Cut the side of the clay so that it is at right angles to the long edges.

Next, wrap the clay around your ‘form’ in this case a bottle. Wrap it around the bottle and mark it where the two edges of clay meet. Return the clay to the cutting mat and cut the clay to these marks. We now have a rectangular sheet of clay that will perfectly fit around the bottle.

2. Cutting the pattern

Using a hobby knife, score lines into the surface of the clay. The steps to take are outlined below. Refer to the image on page 6 for clarification:

1) Mark four bands across the clay measuring 5mm. This will give three spaces between the edges.

2) Mark a central line down the clay and mark in an oval shape. Score in lines from the edge of the oval and draw in the oval shapes below the first.

3) Mark in the semi circular shapes beside the ovals and then score the lines down the clay from these semi circles. Score the rest of the lines into the sheet and mark in the rest of the shapes.

4) All the shapes have been marked up and can now be cut out with a hobby knife.

Step 3. Applying the clay to the bottle

Coat your chosen bottle with a fine layer of Petroleum Jelly. This will work as a release agent. Wrap the clay around the base of the bottle. Join the two edges of the clay and smooth it off with water.

Step 4 Fixing the base

Roll out a sheet of clay to approximately 6mm. Place the clay wrapped bottle onto the sheet of clay and cut the excess clay away and blend the joint smooth.

Step 5. Cutting the pattern over the join

The area where the clay is joined is blank so the openings will need to be cut into it so that the perforations are consistent around the lamp. Do this in the same way by scoring the shapes first then cutting the shape out once they look right.

Step 6 Final smoothing

Although the lamp is essentially finished, it will need to be cleaned up. Any holes that are misshapen will need to be stretched out. There will also be burs on the cut outs that need to be smoothed. Let the lamp dry for at least 24 hours.

7. Removal The bottle can be removed by giving it a slight twist as you gently pull it out.

8. Repairing any cracks

Sometimes air dry clay forms cracks in the process of drying. This happens because as the moisture evaporates the clay shrinks and cracks form. If this happens wait for the clay to fully dry. Dampen the cracks and apply fresh clay over the area and smooth it in with water. It shouldn't re crack.

Material List

  • Pottery Tool Kit Signature 10pc
  • Air Hardening Modelling Clay Premium 2kg - White

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