Monday, February 10, 2014

How to Make an Air Dry Tray

Trays are my all time favorite thing.  They "ground" your space, corral odds and ends, plus they look good.  I was needing a fat, square tray for my nightstand and wasn't having very much luck finding one that wasn't crazy expensive.  Enter air dry clay. 

What you'll need: Air Dry Clay, paint brush, something to stamp with (like a vase or a lid) liquid gold leaf (or regular), a rolling pin, straight edge, parchment paper, and a butter knife.

1. Roll out your clay to roughly the size you want your tray to be.  
2. After that use your straight edge to measure out your size.  I used a scale, which is like a 3D ruler with different dimensions on it.  You can use a flat ruler.  Cut along the side of your straight edge.  You will want to square up your tray using the straight edge as well. 
 3. With the excess clay, cut your sides.  Determine your width first, which will be how high the sides are from the base.  I made mine 1/2" because I was just using this to corral bedside jewelry.
  4. After that stamp your tray with your object.  I used a small vase to create the circles.  Be sure to overlap your stamp because thats where you get a really cool effect with the paint!
 5. Take your sides and adhere them to your base with the butter knife.
  6. Cover base with parchment paper and sit something with weight on it.  The clay has a tendency to fold up while it's drying, so the weight helps!  
7. After the tray is dry, paint the center of your pattern.  I used Martha Stewart liquid leaf in copper, brass and gold to create the effect I wanted.

** You can omit step 5 and just lay your sides down alongside the base.  Cover all of the clay with parchment paper and then place a book over it.  Flip it several times and then glue the sides to the base with hot glue.  

Look at it working its magic, holding things like a boss.  It's light weight and the perfect size for my nightstand. 

I love how organic it looks and feels.   The drying process slightly twists the edges and makes them ripple.  If you are a perfectionist, run away from this project!  

Also- Thank you to my best friend Lyndi, who doesn't question me when I tell her to come over because I need to take pictures of her hands. 

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