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Air Dry Clay Ideas for Autumn: Leaves Galore!

Air Dry Clay Ideas for Autumn: Leaves Galore!

Project title

Whilst some of us might soon begin getting fed up of the carpet of leaves covering our lawns and driveways, the craftier among us see it as an opportunity! This fantastic project from Angela Finch takes you step-by-step through a beautiful air dry clay project to help you make the most of all the leaves freshly at your disposal, and get those creative ideas flowing!

Time it Takes to Make: 5 – 6 hours (plus drying time)

Skill level: Intermediate

You Will Need:

Creative Ideas for Autumn: Air Dry Clay Wall Hanging

Step 1:

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Roll out the clay on some baking paper using your roller, until the clay is approx. 7mm thick. Then place the leaves on the clay, and roll over the leaves. (Note: only some leaves will give good impressions, experiment with different leaf types!) This particular project requires 12 leaves.

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Step 2:

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Cut out the clay leaves carefully. Then place them on top of another leaf, and gently roll the leaf again. Cut off any excess from the shape of the leaf. Remove the top leaf.

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Step 3:

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Gently smooth the edges with your fingers. Then use a small round cutter to cut a hole in the top of the leaf. Follow the instructions for microwave use, or allow the clay to dry for 3 days (making sure that it is covered with baking paper).

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Step 4:

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Gently sand all the rough edges with sand paper, so that all the leaf edges are smooth to the touch. Paint the leaves using the Cadence Acrylic paints. Make sure to leave drying time before painting both sides.

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Step 5:

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Use a thick brush to apply the very chalky wash paint onto the leaves, making sure it goes into all the indentations to make them stand out. Do not worry, it dries paler than it paints! Paint both sides, allowing for drying time. Also use the white wash to paint the wooden dowel, so it matches the colour scheme of the leaves.

Step 6:

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Work out what order you want the leaves to go in. This can change, for example, the bottom level started out as 4 leaves, but worked better with 3 leaves. Then loop the hemp where you want it to go; this enables you to get a rough idea of how much cord you will need. I used 395 cm for the top row.

Step 7:

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Use a pen or pencil to write on the dowel the spacing of the top row of leaves, then apply glue to the first line. Wrap the hemp cord around it 3 times, and allow time for it to dry. Then put the cord through the first leaf twice; use your finger on the leaf to keep it in place while cord is pulled through the leaf the second time. (I used a macramé board to help in this, because of the inch squares. In this hanging there is a 5.5 inch gap between the first row of leaves and the dowel.)

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Step 8:

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Bring up the cord so that it goes behind the dowel. Make sure the tension is right by holding the dowel up and seeing how the leaf falls.

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Glue the cord into place and wrap it around once. Continue loose wraps until the next pen mark, and glue down the hemp at the pen mark. Attach the next leaf the same way as step 7. Continue adding leaves. At the end of the row, use glue and wrap the hemp cord 3 times around the dowel.

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Step 9:

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Now do the middle level of leaves. There is a gap of 2.5 inches between each level. Follow steps 7 and 8, this time adding 5 leaves. Then do the lower level. This time, make sure the middle leaf is lower than the other 2 leaves. The dowel is getting quite full of hemp cord at this point, so care needs to be taken that the cords do not tangle.

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Step 10:

Air dry clay ideas - hanging leaves decor tutorial step

Take the excess cord from the top row and put it above the dowel. Cut off all other excess cords carefully; you may need to glue them down. Now use the remaining cord to make the hanger. Position it above where the top row cord started in step 7. Attach it by using glue, and then wrapping around the dowel 4 times to secure the end.

Finished project hanging

Wait for the glue to dry… and then your wall hanging is complete!

Finished project

Looking for more awesome air dry clay ideas, and happy home decor hacks? Check out the rest of our home craft articles, projects and tutorials right here.

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