Ever since the first Make it Challenge, Cristina & I have been planning this next one! Quick recap on what the heck Make It Challenge is- we were looking for a way to build into the maker community, so we put out a call for DIY bloggers to create something simple and modern using the same material and asked all of you to join in on Instagram. The first challenge was raw wood, and the projects blew us away! This time, we’re tackling CLAY!
Make sure to check out what everyone made at the end and hashtag your own projects with #makeitchallenge so we can share them over at @makeitchallengecommunity!
Clay has a special place in my DIY heart. Way back in elementary school, I use to take the red wax from cheese snacks to make miniature zoos, upgraded to air dry clay to make tiny Barbie meals, and eventually found my way to polymer clay when I decided DIY novelty food earrings was the way to spice up my high school uniform.
My style has grown up just a bit since then, in part to all the amazing modern DIY clay jewelry tutorials out there. In fact, Fran’s (from Fall for DIY) clay earring tutorials are one of the first posts that got me into the whole DIY blogging world. (So imagine how excited I was when she agreed to join in on the Challenge!!) Now you can find plenty of clay projects right here, including the fan favorite terrazzos and terracotta statement earrings.
The one clay I can’t get enough of is terracotta. My Pinterest boards are full of terracotta color & texture and I love that it’s an easy, DIY-able material. I’ve been wanting an excuse to buy some Palo Santo and flex my industrial design skills so I created these Palo Santo holders with built-in match strikers.
1. Before you even touch the clay, you gotta prep the mold. Pull the cling wrap as taut as possible over your cup, making sure to minimize the creases & folds. Depending on what type of cup you use, you may have to tape the cling wrap to the inside of the cup to keep it in place. The cling wrap will make it a lot easier to pop the clay off the cup later.
2. The key to smooth clay is to first condition it then handle it as little as possible. Warm up the terracotta by playing with it until is nice and malleable. The fresher your clay, the easier this is!
3. Roll out the clay to a nice even thickness. Make sure to make it thick enough so it won’t break when you pull it over the mold.
4. Gently lay the clay over the cup and start pulling down the sides with even pressure. Flip the cup over with the clay still on and give it a few quick taps against a flat surface to flatten out the bottom.
5. Trim off the excess clay with a craft knife.
6. Take another chunk of clay and roll out a cylinder for the base. Center to the bottom of the holder and press together. (Note: 9/10 the base won’t actually stay attached after baking. That’s ok! Pressing them together before baking will still help match the two surfaces for when you go to glue.)
7. Bake according to instructions. Once cooled, glue the base to the holder.
8. The completely optional but arguably the coolest step- match striker paper! You can buy just sheets or stickers of striker paper and add them to anything. For one of my holders, I trimmed a circular piece to glue to the bottom of the holder. For another, I made a little collar and attached around the base. I LOVE the dark grey against the terracotta and now I want to hide match strikers all over the place.
One important note about terracotta clay- it is much easier to shape than regular polymer! Buttttt it does not respond to sanding. At all. You can see how sanding looks over on the terracotta reindeer DIY. Any kind of sanding will leave white makes, which can still be cool in their own way! In one version I ended up gifting, I used sandpaper to make a brushstroke-like effect just on the inside of the palo santo holder.
That wraps up my take on the Make It Challenge, now go check out the other bloggers! Their projects are STUNNING!
Spatial Dwelling | DIY Clay Planters
Shrimp Salad Circus | DIY Baby Clay Handprint Keepsake Frame
Design Fixation | DIY Clay Candle Holders
Alice & Lois | DIY Clay Wall Hanging
Delineate Your Dwelling | Make Clay Vase Wall Hanging
Bliss Makes | Make Clay Beads To Decorate A Pillow
Idle Hands Awake | DIY Clay Rainbow Photo Holder
Fall for DIY | DIY Terracotta Clay Hanging Planters
Also, be sure to tag your own clay projects with #makeitchallenge on Instagram for a chance to be featured! We’re testing out making the Challenge a bi-annual event, so be sure to let us know what you think 🙂