This post is brought to brought to you by Iron Orchid Designs (IOD). All opinions and projects are my own! 🙂 Post contains affiliate links which help support Thrift Diving.
I’ll admit–I was a little nervous about using these DIY clay molds from Iron Orchid Designs. You know how it is…any time there’s a new product you’ve never used before, there’s always some amount of hesitation, right?
You’re worried you’ll look like a DIY idiot and not be able to figure it out.
But I knew that this little thrifted IKEA box I found recently for about $6.00 was the perfect project to practice my new vintage clay mold applique skills!
Clay isn’t just for pre-schoolers, my friends! 😉
Aren’t the clay appliques so cute?!
Let me show you exactly how I created these vintage DIY clay molds!
Go and Grab These Materials
- Prima Marketing Baroque No. 6 Vintage Art Decor Mold from Amazon
- Prima Marketing Paper Clay, white
- Knife or an X-acto knife
- Wood glue
- Power drill and drill bit
- Decorative knobs
- Paint or stain
- Paint brush (along with a small detail brush)
- Something to protect the paint (wax, sealant, etc.)
The clay molds are food-grade, so you can buy one set for clay appliques for your furniture, and buy another set for making chocolate molds. HA! They actually say on their website that you can use them for chocolate, fondant, sugar paste, polymer clay, paper clay, paper machete. 🙂 Don’t you love that versatility??
You’ll need a bar of their paper clay. This isn’t the same clay your kids or grandkids play with.
This is the clay that the artists use–perfect for molds!
STEP 1: Knead It, Baby!
You don’t want to use the paper clay right out of the packaging! Roll it around in your fingers a little to soften it up. But don’t roll too much, or else it will stick to the silicone clay mold! 🙂
STEP 2: Press and Pull!
What I like about using these is that it’s something you can do right from your kitchen table. And because they’re easy to make, you can do a bunch of them at a time. All you do is push the clay into the mold, making sure it’s even and flat. You can use a knife to cut away any excess and to smooth it out. I just lumped it in there and waited until afterward to cut away the excess.
As soon as you’ve got in there firmly, remove it immediately. Especially if you’re making a lot, this will allow you to make a bunch in a short period of time.
STEP 3: Get Rid of the Excess!
As I mentioned above, it’s probably easier to remove as much of the excess that you can before pulling out the mold, especially on the back, otherwise your mold may not lie flat if you have a hunk of clay bulging up! LOL
I did it the opposite way and left some of the extra clay so that it was easier to pull out. Then I used an X-Acto knife to remove it. But next time, I’d recommend scraping some of the clay away first.
Once all the excess is removed, they should look similar to this (but probably better if you knead the clay longer than I did! LOL).
STEP 4: Paint Them!
….or stain them, or whatever you want to do to them. They don’t have to be totally dry. In fact, you want to move quickly on decorating them and adding them to your project because once they dry, they’re more likely to crack. So decorate them now!
Dark wax or stain looks really good on them because they have so many details!
For mine, though, I just went with a white chalk paint.
STEP 5: Add Holes for Your Knobs, Then Paint
If you’ve already got knob holes, yay! 🙂 But for this plain piece, I had to create them, which is simple. I could do it while the paint was drying on the clay appliques.
I used my empire square (highly recommend this useful tool!) and found the center of the drawers, marked, and drilled.
Once everything has been drilled, I used a chalk paint (Annie Sloan chalk paint in Antoinette) in a soft pink. I absolutely love this color, especially with Pure White!
STEP 6: Add Wood Glue!
At this point, the clay should still be drying. But the paint is probably dry (if not, just use a blower dryer on a cool setting to help speed the paint drying).
Turn them over gently and add wood glue to the back.
STEP 7: Drill Through Your Molds!
Another reason I wanted to use them on my project quickly is because I knew I’d have to drill through them. Doing this while they’re dry–ummm….yeah. They’re sure to crack! 🙂
Just line up the center of the mold with the hold you’ve just drilled.
Use the drill bit that’s for the knob you’re using. I just used a practice board first and tried out a couple drill bits to see which one was the right size.
Once you’re done drilling, add the knobs. I re-used some old knobs I had removed from another project a long time ago!
STEP 8: Do Some Touch-Ups!
Trust me–it’s not going to look perfect. I guarantee they will be some small spots to touch up. That’s where the small paint brush comes in!
STEP 9: Sand and Wax
I did a light sanding after my second coat of paint, and I’ll have to go back and add wax. I’m forever skipping that step. LOL
An Awesome Way to Dress Up Furniture and Decor
So here’s another shot of the boring “BEFORE” picture!
I wanted to get super crafty and add some legs to this piece so make it like a little side table, but that will be the next step, for another post. Or I’ll just add it to my pretty basement office to organize my papers!
For now, I’m loving these silicone DIY clay mold appliques! I’m just thinking of all the ways I can use them! Furniture makeovers are boring with just paint. It’s the small details that really make them interesting, don’t you think?