habitatathome, howto, crafts, diy, kids

A Father's Day Craft

This was the first time I've worked with clay since I can remember, and it was so fulfilling!  The feeling of using your hands to mold clay, just can't be beat.  The world is your oyster with the things you can create.  Plus, there are so many easy clays to work with, right out of your home.  No need for a kiln.

This project is so simple, it's a great one for children too.  It got a 5 star revue from Daddy!  He genuinely loves it, and finds it very useful.  A great success all around.  It's our 'Habitat at Home' clay catchall tray, for his change, keys and phone.  A little reminder of his family's love.  The perfect father's day present!

'Sculpey' is a polymer clay, that can be found at the craft store.  It can be kneaded into shape, or rolled out on a cutting board.  It has directions for baking in the oven on the packaging.  The packaging states 275 degrees F, for 15 minutes per 1/4 inch.  I found that this still left the clay quite soft.  I left mine in the oven at 275 F, for an hour and a half, to allow it to harden more.  You can easily lengthen the time when baking with this product, but do not raise the temperature.  Keep the kitchen ventilated when baking, as the clay will release an odor.

1 8oz package white polymer clay
Pointed clay tool, or other household pointed object
Polymer clay gloss
Acrylic paint (colors of your choice)

1. Knead the clay in you hands to soften, then roll it out on a cutting board.
2.  Mold it into a bowl.
3. Remove excess clay from around the edge to make it circular.
4. Work it into the shape you desire.  I just pressed the edges up a little with my thumb and fore finger.
5. Write "daddy" or "dad" with your pointed utensil. 
6.  Carefully fill in the letters with black paint,  using the pointed utensil. 
7.  Bake in the oven at 275 degrees F (130 C) for 1 hour and 30 minutes.  (This is much longer than the package instructions.  I felt it needed this extra time to harden more).  

8.  Take it out of the oven to cool.  
9. Once cooled, paint it the colors of your choice.  I chose a light gray for the inside, let it dry.  Then, a brilliant blue for the outside, (painting the blue over the lip a little).  You can paint anything you'd like to make it your own.
10.  Once the paint dried, I applied 2 coats of gloss to the interior and outside edge.  I didn't gloss the flat base.  I followed the gloss instructions.  Let the first coat dry for 30 minutes before applying the second coat.  Then let it dry for 24 hours.  

Project done.
It's so simple, that it makes you want to do more clay projects as soon as possible.  I can't wait for the next clay project already!


  1. Do you remove the clay mold from the bowl before baking?

    1. Hi Islandgal,
      Yes, I did remove the clay mold from the bowl before baking.

  2. After baking, if it is still bendy will it harden as it cools or do I need to put it back into the oven?

    Also, I read online that the fumes are toxic and it shouldn't be baked in the same oven you cook your food in. Is this true?

  3. Hi Elizabeth,
    After the 1 hour and 30 mins of baking, the tray was still slightly soft. It just had a little give to it. However, it did infact harden more over time. After a couple of days it got harder, and is now solid as a rock! A year later we still have it and is in fine shape. Daddy still uses it too! As for fumes, it definately was a harsh smell when cooking. I had all the windows open. I would certainly leave the oven open for a while after the project. Perhaps then even blast it at a high temperature before cooking your next meal. I can't tell you for sure, if the oven will still be toxic, but we are still alive and healthy. : ) I hope this helps. Good luck! - Jen

  4. Do you have to bake or will it just harden over a couple days

    1. Hello! Yes it should be baked at that low temperature. It does release a lot of odor though, so be sure to open windows. It then also continued to get even harder and more ceramic-like as it air-dried over the following week. I hope that helps!