Thursday, June 7, 2012

Make clay alphabet containers

These Alphabet Containers started as an idea for a teacher gift but, we keep finding more reasons to make more of these great containers. I love presents that are personal, pretty and useful. Don't you, too?

We painted these teacher presents white, so that they could be personalised with colorful content. As always we'd love to see how you use this tutorial, too! Willowday Wishes.

How to make Clay Alphabet Containers
The first step to attaching the sides to the base is to carefully bend the sides around the base, as seen in this photo. Once the sides have been fitted, then attach them to the base by first: pressing, then, pressing with moist fingers and/ knife.
Rolling Pin

Palette Knife

Straight Edge

Alphabet Cookie Cutters

Air-drying clay

-Roll the clay about 1/8" inch or 3-4 mm thick. 

- Press the cookie shape into the clay until letter(s) has been cut. 

- Now, using a straight edge, "guestimate" the length of your sides and cut 2" (4-5 cm) lengths that will become the sides. Make sure that you have enough length. 

- Once the side strips have been cut, fit them around the edge of the letter, while gently pressing them to the base (see photo below). 

- If the clay is dry, dip your fingers in water to moisten the clay at this point. Gently pinch and smooth the seam between the sides and the bottom; then, form the corners. Dip your fingers and/or knife into water to aid with the smoothing process of the seams, if necessary. 

- Once all seams are sealed, let dry. 

- When the clay is completely dry, sand the container with sand paper until smooth. 

- Brush away any excess dust and the container is now ready for painting. 

- We wanted a clean white container that could be filled with personalized content but, these can be painted as you please. I can't wait to try a two-tone: white outside and gold inside.


52 Handmade Willowday Projects from 2014 (Click here)
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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment and I'm glad that you like these. We're coming up with endless possibilities for these. I hope you have the chance to try, too.

  2. Oh wow! This is pretty awesome and I can imagine how happy the mentioned teachers must have become! Maybe these could be made out of polymer clay too? I think I'm going to try that! Thanks for sharing this awesome idea :-)

    1. I'm so sorry that I missed you here. We've been away and I hope you've had the chance to try these, too!

      .... we honestly just don't want to stop making them!

  3. Gina, these are great! Can I ask - what clay did you use and where in Sthlm did you find it? xo M

    1. This makes me so happy. Panduro! I'll see if I can find the exact brand we used. These are an all time favorite!

  4. Your project came out really nice. Not sure if I could make this as neatly as you did. Thanks!

    1. Eden, I'm so sorry to miss this comment! When I read this I think of a comment another made about the fact that "finger prints" can be left in these for a personal touch and I really agree -- these don't have to be perfectly, perfect to be beautiful. The above containers were genuinely made by my 7 year old! (with some nice buffing and tweaking my Mom!) Happy Making!

  5. So sweet. Love this idea. I have been so busy I just realized Daddy Day is this weekend. This is very doable for my baby to give to, just to get all the supplies. Thanks for sharing such a sweet and useful idea.


    1. Felecia, thank you so much for this kind comment and I'm so very sorry that I missed it! I hope you've had the chance to make these work "Daddy!"

  6. I found you via Design Crush. I love these! Of course I love that they are homemade, but I also love that when you work in clay you're leaving your own fingerprints on the project-literally. I adore anthropologie but I would much rather make these myself than buy them mass-produced.

    How cute would these be as a shower gift?

    1. Elizabeth, I'm so sorry to miss you comment! I love that you mentioned the fingerprints -- I agree, I love the "raw" quality and ... since I'm answering this from "the future" ... I can tell you that these have truly withstood the test of time! We still spy these on teacher desks, love ours and will make them again! Happy Making and YES, I would love these as a shower gift. What a great idea!


Thank you!