Clay Hand Bowls

How to Make Clay Hand Bowls
Imaginative Crafts, Do-It-Yourself Projects and Video Tutorials by Robert Mahar,
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Air dry clay*
Lightweight paper
Acrylic paint (optional)
Parchment paper
*Online source for air dry clay:…

Pen or pencil
Craft knife
Cutting mat
Rolling pin
Paint brush (optional)

1) Trace your hand onto a piece of lightweight paper with a pen or a pencil. Remove your hand and connect the two sides of your outline by drawing an arched line where your wrist would normally be. Cut out your template and set aside.

2) Lay a piece of parchment paper over your cutting mat. Place a handful of air dry clay onto your parchment paper and press it down into a disk with your palms. Use a rolling pin to roll your clay out to about ¼” of an inch in thickness. Rolling your clay out on parchment paper allows you to easily reposition it and roll it out with your rolling pin in different directions.

3) Place your hand template onto your rolled clay and smooth it out — the moisture from the clay should hold the paper in place.

4) Take a sharp craft knife and cut the clay around the outer edge of the hand template. This is an adults-only step! Remove the excess clay and place it back into a covered container allowing it to remain moist for a future project.

5) Select an appropriate sized bowl able to hold your clay hand (without the tips of the fingers or base of the palm extending up over the edges of the bowl). Carefully lift your clay hand up off of the parchment paper and place it into the interior of your bowl, gently pressing it down against the interior sides. Allow the bowl to air dry for 2 to 3 days.

6) Once the clay is dry, carefully invert the bowl over your actual hand and remove the clay hand bowl. During the drying process air dry clay slightly lightens in color and shrinks a very small amount allowing you to easily remove it from the bowl.

7) Once your bowl is dry, how you decorate it is entirely up to you! You can easily carve into its surface with a sharp tool, like a bamboo skewer. It can also be painted with acrylic paint.

Helpful Tips:
•This is a great project to tackle with kids! They can assist with every step EXCEPT cutting out the clay hand with the sharp craft knife — this step is for adults only.

•Kid made bowls make excellent gifts for parents and grandparents.

•Consider carving the child’s name and date into the underside of the dry bowl with a sharp tool like a bamboo skewer.

•Be patient! Allow your bowl the full 2 to 3 days to dry.

•When rolling out your clay, it’s best not to go thinner than a ¼” or you risk your finished bowl being very fragile.

•Your finished air dry clay bowls are for decorative purposes and are not intended for heavy daily use. They make great decorative accents on your bookshelves, mantle, coffee table or desk!