This is a super fun and easy DIY project.
Trying out pottery reminded me that I like working with clay, so I decided to make a few modern hexagon-shaped photo holders out of clay to style my shelves. Before we begin, it is worth checking out my video on How to Make a Jewellery Bowl with Clay because the principles of working with the material are the same.
What You’ll Need:
- Air-drying clay
- Bamboo sticks / wire
- Crocodile clips
- Paint (colours of your choice)
- Paint brushes
- Water in a small pot
- Hexagon templates (optional)
- Plastic knife
- A steel flat tool (helps pick clay up from surface)
- Rolling pin
Step by Step Tutorial for a Hexagon Photo Holder:
Step 1: Prepare & Design
Bring together all of the things that you need, listed above, and decide on what you are going to mould your air-drying clay into. I’ve chosen three hexagons; one small and thick; one that’s large and flat; and the last is like a trinket box that’s stood on its side.
Step 2: Roll Out & Slice the Clay
Grab a slab of clay and roll it into a ball between your palms. Then smack it onto the surface (literally!) so that all of the bubbles and lines disappear. Add a tiny bit of water if the air-drying clay is too dry and if it still doesn’t seem smooth then repeat the smacking process. With a half flattened slab of clay, you can then start to roll it out. I start by putting the rolling pin in the middle and then start rolling towards me, away from me diagonally.
It’s also important to roll it out as evenly as possible. If you don’t trust yourself to do it by seeing the thickness then use two identical items on either side of your rolling pin to roll across it – the items would need to be long and the same thickness, such as long, rectangular wooden sticks or thick rulers. Both my trinket and large flat hexagon holders were half a centimetre thick, whereas the smaller thick holder was about 2cm.
Once you’re happy with the thickness, slice the shapes that you need with a plastic knife. Use a hexagon template if you need to. Remember that my trinket needed one big hexagon shape, plus six rectangles.
Step 3: Put Clay Slices Together
To ensure that your shapes stick together you need to slice a criss-cross pattern onto the edges that will be touching other bits of clay. Then add water to the edges and put the shapes together. Afterwards you need to smooth out the surface for a neat finish.
Step 4: From Slabs to Holders
Before the clay dries you must either add a hole or a dent for your stick/wire with your crocodile clip to go into. This can be tricky so take your time. You don’t want to ruin all the hard work you’ve done so far.
Making the hole in the centre of the shape was easier than making a dent in the trinket box. I held the from and slowly dug the whole side of the stick into the back. There was excess clay so I carefully removed that. Now it’s safe to leave it to the side whilst is dries.
Step 5: Paint Once Dry
I used two different paints, a matt aubergine colour and a metallic bronze. I found I didn’t need much of either of those so a tester pot would be perfect for this DIY holder. As well as the clay, I painted the wooden sticks that a couple of my crocodile sticks were on (not the wire.)
Step 6: Add Your Photos & Decorate
Create an awesome ‘shelfie’ by using your new DIY holders made from clay to showcase your favourite photos. Whether it’s a holiday or a girly fun day out they’re quirky and modern and definitely a good conversation starter 😉
I’ve used photos that my best friend and I took at a booth with hilarious emojis, oh and funky hats too!
Which one is your favourite? And, will you be trying it out?