How To Make Easy Clay Sculptures For Decor

Clay sculptures are currently all the home decor rage, and making your own can be so easy! Customize them to your desired color scheme and create as many as you want with this quick tutorial.

photo of easy clay sculptures by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

photo the different things you can make with Sculpey clay by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

You’ve probably seen all the clay knots and link chains floating around home decor stores recently. These trendy accents can effortlessly be incorporated into any bookcase or room in your home.

Rather than spending a ton of money purchasing store-bought versions, you can make your own easy clay sculptures with Sculpey!

We transformed just a few blocks of the Sculpey Soufflé Polymer Clay into a chain link decor, abstract clay sculptures, and even a simple clay fruit basket.

photo of easy clay sculptures using polymer clay by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

Tips To Prepping And Working With Clay

— Before starting any clay project, clean your hands and work surface. Unwanted objects like dust that cling are hard remove.

— To avoid staining your clay with your fingers, work with light and white clay colors first.

— The beauty of polymer clay is that it stays soft until baked. However, always condition the clay beforehand by kneading until soft and smooth. The softer the clay, the easier to manipulate.

— Do not use a microwave oven or exceed the recommended bake temperatures and time per the package instructions.

photo of how to make your own sculptures at home by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

How To Make Easy Clay Sculptures

Here’s what you need —

photo of using foil to create an armature mold by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

The trick to making clay sculptures is to either construct your shapes thin enough to bake as-is or to construct an armature. 

An armature is essentially a mold or framework of the clay form that you’re planning to sculpt. A mold utilizes less clay, making it easier to harden.

If your sculpture is too thick, it will not bake all the way through. Parts that do not harden will crack, and air bubbles can form between the clay and the armature underneath.

photo of Sculpey Souffle Clay by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

To start, use an inexpensive household material (foil is best) to design and form your armature.

Once your mold is complete, prep and soften the Sculpey clay by kneading it in your hands. Combine different colors if you want a custom marbled look. 

Next, flatten the clay with a rolling pin and shape the clay around the armature.

Bake the Sculpey Soufflé clay sculpture in the oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit per every 1/4 inch thickness for 30 minutes. (Recommended times vary depending on the clay used so reference the package instructions.)

And now recreate the popular marbled chain link decor with the foil mold method!

photo of how to make marbled clay by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

How To Make Marbled Clay

Achieving marble clay can be done so with two different techniques. You can create the effect by painting on the finished  clay.

Or the easiest method (as we did with our ceramic sculptures) is to make the marbled pattern with different colors of clay.

1– First, roll out a large piece of your chosen dominant clay color.

2 — Next, sporadically place pieces of your marble accent color on top and roll together the colors flat. If you want a subtle marble design, use a minimal amount for your accent color. For bold marble pieces like with our DIY Marbled Incense Holder, use more equal ratios with your dominant and accent colors.

3 — Then, pick up and twist the combined clay with your hands before rolling it out flat again. 

Real marble can be pricey so we love this inexpensive way to copy an expensive look.

photo of a DIY Clay Fruit Bowl by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

DIY Clay Fruit Bowl

To make the DIY clay fruit bowl, find an oven-safe bowl that you would like to use as the mold.

Lather the outside of the bowl with coconut oil (or any type of grease). This step prevents the bowl from sticking to the polymer clay.

Form strands of clay by hand and place them around the exterior of the bowl to create a clay grid. We shaped out wavy strands for a fun abstract touch.

Then, press the pieces of clay firmly together to make sure that they all stick when baking.

Bake the clay over top of the bowl in the oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit per every 1/4 inch thickness.

Once baked and cooled, remove the clay from the outer shell of the bowl to reveal your own bowl!

photo of clay home decor by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

 More Clay Projects To Try

The things that you can do at home with polymer clay are endless. For more easy projects, check out a few of our favorites from the archives —

photo of a DIY Chain Link Sculpture by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

photo of the sculptures, chain link decor and fruit bowls made from Sculpey polymer clay by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth
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5 from 7 votes

How To Make Easy Clay Sculptures For Decor

Sharing how you can create and customize your own easy clay sculptures (on a budget and without a kiln) for your home!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: DIY
Cuisine: Home Decor
Keyword: dry clay, home decor, polymer clay, sculpey, sugar and cloth
Servings: 3
Cost: $10

Equipment

  • Rolling pin or Sculpey Sculpting Tool Set
  • Oven-proof baking surface such metal, aluminum foil or clay mat
  • Oven-safe bowl to make a DIY Clay Fruit Bowl

Ingredients

  • Sculpey Soufflé Polymer Clay In varying colors of your choice
  • Aluminum foil To construct an armature mold
  • Coconut oil To make a DIY Clay Fruit Bowl

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 275 °F (130 °C).
  • Create and form your armature (a mold for your sculpture) with the aluminum foil.
  • Once your mold is complete, unwrap, prep and soften the clay by kneading it in your clean hands. Combine different colors if you want a custom marbled look. (Refer to the instructions below on how to achieve this effect.)
  • Flatten the clay with a rolling pin and shape the clay around the armature.
  • Bake the sculpture for 30 minutes per every 1/4 inch thickness. (Recommended times vary depending on the clay used so reference the package instructions.)

To make marbled clay --

  • Roll out a large piece of your chosen dominant clay color.
  • Sporadically place pieces of your marble accent color on top and roll together the colors flat.
  • Pick up and twist the combined clay with your hands before rolling it out flat again. Your marble clay is now ready to be sculpted.

To make the DIY Clay Fruit Bowl --

  • Lather the outside of the oven-safe bowl with coconut oil (or any type of grease) to prevent the bowl from sticking to the clay.
  • Form strands of clay by hand and place them around the exterior of the bowl to create a clay grid. Press the pieces of clay firmly together to make sure that they all stick when baking.
  • Bake the clay over top of the bowl in the oven at 275 °F (130 °C) for 30 minutes per every 1/4 inch thickness.
  • Once baked and cooled, remove the clay from the outer shell of the bowl to reveal your own bowl!

Notes

  • Before starting any clay project, clean your hands and work surface.
  • To avoid staining your clay with your fingers, work with light and white clay colors first.
  • Always condition the clay beforehand by kneading until soft and smooth. The softer the clay, the easier to manipulate.
  • Do not use a microwave oven or exceed the recommended bake temperatures and time per the package instructions.

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “How To Make Easy Clay Sculptures For Decor”

  1. This is such a great idea for my teens! They love crafts and bonding with each other, so this is perfect for them and gives us nice decoration!5 stars

    Reply

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