Anyone else shocked that the holidays are right around the corner? Claire here, and this year I’m vowing to not find myself in an end-of-the-year frenzy, so I’m getting a head start on my gifting. From hostess presents to party favors, my list seems to get longer each year. These do-it-yourself clay bowls are good for nearly everything… a catch-all by the door, a jewelry holder near the sink, or a vessel for Halloween candy, they can always be put to use! Since this is a small scale project that everyone can enjoy, I invited a few girlfriends over for a fun afternoon of bowl-making, bites and sips. Keep reading to see how to make your own!

  1. Tear off a chunk of the white clay and knead with hands until soft. Roll with rolling pin until 1/4″ flat.
  2. Place a bowl upside down on the flattened clay. Cut with the knife around the edges, leaving a perfect circle.
  3. Stamp/imprint into the clay circle, pressing carefully and firmly.
  4. Remove stamp.
  5. Place imprinted clay circle in the bowl, and mold to the shape of the bottom as pictured. Dip your fingertip into the dampened sponge and smooth any rough edges or cracks in the clay.
  6. Leave in the bowl to harden overnight. Once dry, use a knife to loosen the clay and pop out of bowl. With the paint brush and gold leaf paint, accent parts of your clay bowl with a metallic touch.
63 comments
  1. 1
    All in a Soiree | October 17, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    One of the things I loved doing while taking art and sculpture courses was working with clay. This is such a great diy idea that is so creative.

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | October 18, 2013 at 9:43 am

      Thank you! Kate Stafford took a ceramics class in school and felt the same way. She loved doing this DIY with me.

      Reply
  2. 2
    Supal {chevrons and éclairs} | October 17, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    These would make such beautiful presents! x

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | October 18, 2013 at 9:43 am

      Thanks! My mom already has her eye on one of them for her Christmas present 🙂

      Reply
  3. 3
    Camille Styles | October 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I am so obsessed with these… delicate, handmade and beautiful. I want to have a few in every room of my house!

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | October 18, 2013 at 9:44 am

      Thanks Camille! That can definitely be arranged!

      Reply
  4. 4
    Delia | October 17, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Ooh this calls for a weekend project! Love it.

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | October 20, 2013 at 10:34 am

      Yay! Let me know how they turn out!

      Reply
  5. 5
    kelsey | October 17, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    this is amazing! i am making these
    kw Ladies in Navy

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | October 20, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Thanks Kelsey! I can’t wait to see how they look!

      Reply
  6. 6
    Megan | October 17, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    I really love this!

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | October 20, 2013 at 10:36 am

      Thank you Megan!!

      Reply
  7. 7
    Lindsay {Everistta} | October 18, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Oh Wow! These are awesome!

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | October 20, 2013 at 10:37 am

      Thanks Lindsay! 🙂

      Reply
  8. 8
    Ana Perkins | October 18, 2013 at 9:37 am

    So cute, Claire! These would make the perfect gift.

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | October 20, 2013 at 10:37 am

      Thank you Ana! Hope to see you soon!

      Reply
  9. 9
    Meg Sylvia | October 18, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Claire, these are beautiful!!! Never would have thought how easy these are by looking at them! Definitely want to give this a try.

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | October 20, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Thank you Meg! They were so easy and so fun! Can’t wait to see how yours turn out!

      Reply
  10. 10
    Carrie | October 18, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Lovely, delicate and so simple. Such a wonderful idea!

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | October 20, 2013 at 10:39 am

      Thank you Carrie!!

      Reply
  11. 11
    Jeanine | October 18, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Love!! I will never have too many little bowls… Buying clay now 🙂

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | October 20, 2013 at 10:40 am

      I’m glad you agree with my thinking 🙂

      Reply
  12. 12
    Alexa | October 20, 2013 at 9:39 am

    This is on my short list for crafts. I’ve started gathering all the supplies! Thanks, Claire, these are beautiful!

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | October 24, 2013 at 10:47 pm

      Hooray! So glad to hear! Can’t wait to see how they turn out!

      Reply
  13. 13
    Marsha | October 23, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Could you use various colors of paint? If so, what kind of paint? Thanks!

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | October 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      Yes you sure can! I would suggest acrylic paint!

      Reply
  14. 14
    Valerie Painter {Greyson Design} | October 23, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Love these! So simple and beautiful!

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | October 24, 2013 at 10:51 pm

      Thank you so much Valerie!

      Reply
  15. 15
    Heather kenley | October 27, 2013 at 7:04 am

    These are beautiful!! I bought the clay you recommended. How many small plates would a 1 lb block of clay make?

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | November 1, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Thanks Heather! Well it depends on the size of bowls you are making but we used almost a whole block and made 13 bowls. Let me know how yours turn out!

      Reply
  16. 16
    Jessica (Coco/Mingo) | October 29, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    SO in love with this!! I was going to buy this jewelry tray but I think I’ll just make a bowl instead! Love it, great DIY!

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | November 1, 2013 at 10:21 am

      Thank you Jessica! I use them for all my jewelry!

      Reply
  17. 17
    Vanessa | November 1, 2013 at 3:47 am

    Pretty! I esp love the snowflake one~

    http://cafecraftea.blogspot.com

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | November 1, 2013 at 10:21 am

      Thanks Vanessa! They really are so wonderful because you can make each one look so different!

      Reply
  18. 18
    Sol de Dezembro | November 1, 2013 at 4:11 am

    Wow! Such a cool DIY.
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | November 1, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Thank you! It was such a fun one to do.

      Reply
  19. 19
    clairezinnecker | November 1, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I love seeing your completed projects once you do one of these DIYs! Always tag me (@clairezinnecker) in your instagram and twitter photos of the final product!

    Reply
  20. 20
    Ann | November 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Thanks for the beautiful inspiration! Did the bowls last weekend (with a dove stamp and tiny stamped letters PEACE) , painting this weekend! Made ornaments, too, as gift tags for these gifts. I didn’t smooth the edges enough for my liking, so I’m going to try fine sand paper before I paint them (art teacher friend said that should work, though she’s never worked with air dry clay).

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | November 24, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      Thanks, Ann! Those sound beautiful! I would imagine sand paper would work well as long as you smooth it gently. Good luck and let me know!

      Reply
  21. 21
    Dana | December 18, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    I tried making these bowls for a secret santa exchange I do with my friends every year (the gifts must be handmade) but after letting them dry overnight the bowls still feel soft… Have I not let them dry long enough or does this type of clay never really harden?

    Reply
    • clairezinnecker | December 18, 2013 at 11:26 pm

      It should be dry, unless your bowl is a bit thicker than mine were. You could let it sit for a while more or maybe stick it in the oven for a short amount of time? Hope this helps and let me know!

      Reply
  22. 22
    Penni | June 14, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    I love that this uses air dry clay, since we don’t have a kiln. My school-aged campers will love this idea, and their parents will be so impressed.

    Reply
  23. 23
    leah | December 14, 2016 at 9:17 am

    When dry does the bowls feel like ceramic? I tried a couple of different clays air dry and oven baked, they all felt like plastic clay. I know the clay has plastic in it but will it feel and sound like bisque/ceramic?? I love it and it is sooooo easy. I just wish it felt like ceramic. I was wondering if I am doing something wrong. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
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