Celebrate Autumn: Delicate Clay Leaf Decor You’ll Love
There’s no denying the colour of falling autumn leaves is spectacular to behold… but it must be incredibly hard to reproduce when you’re crafting, right? Wrong! Angela Finch is here with a gorgeous home decor project… and a clever clay craft hack that will enable you to produce bold and beautiful autumnal clay leaf decorations with ease… no painting skills required! Check out her step-by-step tutorial below, and bring the beauty of autumn indoors.
Transform polymer clay into a beautiful Maple leaf tea light holder! Learn the Skinner blend technique to create a beautiful colour palette with ease.
Time it Takes to Make: 2 – 2 and a half hours
Skill Level: Intermediate
You Will Need:
- Polymer clay in 3 colours
- Copper Wax
- Fine sand paper
- Satin Varnish
- Clay Tools
- Maple Leaf
- Glass Bowl
Step-by-Step Autumnal Clay Leaf Project:
I used half a block of Cadmium Red Hue, a quarter of a block of Raw Senna, and finally a quarter of a block of Orange polymer clay, cut using the blades. To begin, you will first need to condition the clay. To do this, roll the polymer clay into a snake.
Next, twist the snake, as shown above. If the clay cracks, repeat the roll and twist. Depending on the age of the clay, this can take quite a few goes. (Note: the tile is used as the work surface!)
Next, roll out sheets of clay with the conditioned clay. Cut the clay into right angle triangles with a blade, and fit together as shown. These will be the colours that will blend into each other. Note that the stronger colours like brown do not need as much clay to make an impact.
Bend the clay mosaic in half. Carefully put it in a clay roller with the bend at the bottom. This means all the air will be taken out of the clay. Once rolled, fold the clay in half again from the bottom to the top, and repeat until you are happy with the blend. This can take quite a few rolls.
Reduce the clay roller to a thinner setting, and put the flat piece of clay through it.
Place the leaf onto the clay. If the polymer clay is not big enough, put it through the roller on a higher number. (I recommend the highest to go up to is 4) Next, use an acrylic roller to roll the leaf into place. This also helps the leaf pattern transfer to the polymer clay.
Cut around the leaf; be careful, the leaf may move and have to be re-rolled. The cutting can take some time depending on the complexity of the design. Carefully remove the clay while you are cutting.
This can be re-used for other projects if stored in a sealed clear plastic bag.
Carefully remove the polymer clay leaf from the work surface. This can be tricky as the polymer clay will be slightly sticking to the tile. Use a tissue blade underneath the leaf to lift it. Carefully arrange the leaf face down on a glass bowl. This will provide the shape of the leaf. Put the glass bowl on an oven tray covered with tin foil. Follow the instructions on your clay for heating instructions. I baked it for an hour.
After baking, wait for the polymer clay to cool. Then carefully prise it off the bowl. There may be some sharp corners on the leaf, use a fine sandpaper to gently get rid of them. At this point you may wish to use a wax gleam or an acrylic paint to highlight the veins of the leaves. Finally, paint both sides of the leaf with Satin Varnish. Wait for it to dry, and there you have it: a beautiful tea light holder!
You could display your gorgeous autumnal clay leaf on its own as an eye-catching table decoration, or add a tealight to create a cosy atmosphere on a cool autumn evening.
Love this beautiful clay leaf project? Discover lots more home craft projects, articles and tutorials right here on the Create and Craft blog.