Clay

Stamped Clay Christmas Boxes

By  Kathy Post  for  Safire Stamp Designs

  • Stamped Clay Christmas Boxes
  • Top of Butterfly Box
  • Top of Holly & Candy Cane Boxes
  • Holly & Candy Cane Boxes
  • Lady Bug & Heart Boxes
  • Top of Lady Bug & Heart Boxes

Materials

  • Papier-mâché boxes
  • Holiday-theme patterned papers
  • Decorative beaded trims
  • Decorative buttons, shanks removed
  • Silver brads
  • Tiny crystal gems
  • Craft wire (for insect antennae), 16- to 18-gauge
  • Gold cord

Tools

  • Premo! Sculpey oven-bake clay, 2 oz. bars, assorted colors (Polyform Products Co.)
  • Studio by Sculpey accessories (Polyform Products Co.): Bake & Bond; Chocolate Brown Antiquing Medium
  • Studio by Sculpey tools (Polyform Products Co.): Acrylic Roller; Lift ‘n Scrape
  • Oven and baking sheet
  • Stamps (Safire Stamp Designs): Candy Cane Box: Candy Cane; Holiday Set; Mini Holly Swirls; Holly Berry Boxes: Lg. Holly Swirl; Snow Butterfly Box: Points Snowflake; Lace Snowflake; Mini Snowflake; Snowflake Shadow; Butterfly Wings 2; Mini Butterfly Heart Box: Mini Butterfly; Heart Floral; Ladybug Box: Love Bug; Windy Leaves; Mini Daisy
  • Adirondack Metallics Acrylic Paint Dabbers (Ranger): Gold; Copper
  • Embossing powders: silver; white
  • Pearl-Ex Watercolors (Jacquard Products)
  • Stickles glitter glues, assorted colors (Ranger)
  • Matte spray fixative
  • Small water mister
  • Heat tool
  • Waxed paper
  • Wooden toothpicks
  • Craft knife
  • Wire cutters and needle-nose pliers
  • Smooth ceramic tile, 12”x12”
  • Adhesives: super glue gel; Aleene’s Tacky Glue (iLoveToCreate); hot glue gun
  • 1. Use acrylic paint dabbers to paint boxes and lids; use a pouncing motion to create texture. Leave surface of lid that will be hidden by clay unpainted. Let dry.
  • 2. Cut patterned paper pieces to fit box sides and inside box bottom. For butterfly box, heat emboss white and silver snowflakes on paper panels; insert brads in all corners of each paper panel. Adhere paper pieces to boxes.
  • 3. Follow manufacturer's instructions to condition clay. Designer Tip: Clay will not dry out or harden until baked so projects may be completed over a number of days.
  • 4. Working on waxed paper-covered ceramic tile, use acrylic roller to roll desired clay into 1/4"-thick sheet large enough to fit box lid.
  • 5. Mist rubber stamp or clay surface with small amount of water and press desired stamps firmly down into background clay; use more pressure than with ink stamping for best impression. Use photos as guides. Cut clay to desired size using craft knife. Carefully transfer clay to ceramic tile or baking sheet using Lift ‘n Scrape.
  • 6. For holly boxes, roll small red clay balls for dimensional berries, brush a little Bake & Bond on bottom and press firmly to small holly clusters. Designer Tip: Let Bake & Bond dry 3 hours before baking.
  • 7. Condition more clay and roll out to 1/4" thickness as before. Stamp and cut out individual layers of insects and candy cane images; use craft knife with new blade for best results. See Steps 8 and 9.
  • 8. For butterfly box, stamp and cut out two full sets of butterfly wings and one set of upper wings only. Apply Bake & Bond to backside of one whole butterfly and press to snowflake clay panel. Cut second whole butterfly in half down center of body. Place thick line of Bake & Bond down center of body on first butterfly. Press one half of wings to first butterfly at a time, pressing cut edges into Bake & Bond and using broken bits of toothpicks to prop up wings to desired height during baking. Press toothpick ends firmly into clay to prevent collapse. Repeat for half wings. Roll skinny Black body and adhere to butterfly with Bake & Bond. Roll clay balls and adhere to clay panel with Bake & Bond.
  • 9. For ladybug box, stamp and cut out one whole ladybug and one set of upper wings only from red clay. Adhere whole ladybug to clay background using Bake & Bond. Using photo as guide, adhere upper wings slightly spread apart to lower wings using Bake & Bond. Cut body only from thinner black clay; adhere to red body using Bake & Bond. Roll black dimensional oval and attach to bug for head using Bake & Bond.
  • 10. Cut wire antennae and twist ends with pliers; push into clay insect heads. Designer Tip: If antennae become loose during baking, glue into holes once cool.
  • 11. Bake lid pieces according to manufacturer's instructions. If baking many layered pieces at once, bake for 60 to 90 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet.
  • 12. Follow manufacturer's instructions to apply Antiquing Medium to stamped clay. Immediately wipe away excess from top surface using paper towels; let medium collect in stamped lines for aged look. Let dry completely.
  • 13. Highlight top surface of stamped clay with watercolors; let dry and spray with matte fixative. Highlight berries, leaves and other desired areas with glitter glues, using photos as guides. Let dry completely.
  • 14. Super glue clay pieces to box lids; let dry. Starting at center front, hot glue trim around lid edges. Hot glue buttons over trim seams. For butterfly box, glue gold cord around edge of clay panel. Tie bow and glue to lid as shown. Glue gems to bug bodies.