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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

DIY digression

As most of you know, I very rarely write about DIY projects on this blog. It's not that I'm uncrafty. In fact, I'm reasonably handy with tools and art supplies, and a few people have suggested that I start another blog about my DIY projects. As busy as I stay writing about all things mid-century for this blog, that's not likely to happen, so I usually just pin photos of my projects on Pinterest.

However, not long ago I featured air plants in another post about plants that look good in mid-century homes. These plants range in size from 1/2" in diameter to the fairly rare 10-12" size. While planters and pots from the 1950s and 1960s for the larger plants are relatively easy to find, locating miniature pots and planters from that era can be next to impossible. That's when it helps to have an Etsy account...or to be crafty.

A month or so ago, I discovered a polymer clay that can be fired in the kitchen oven, and I'm hooked. If you drop by my house, I'm more likely to be baking clay than a cake. The kind I've used for my projects so far is Premo! Sculpey®. It is available in an extensive palette of saturated colors, a number of which are perfect for a mid-century home, such as Rhino Gray, Spanish Olive, Blush, Wasabi, Black, Orange, Turquoise, Burnt Umber, Raw Sienna, as well as several metallic and pearl colors. I chose white for its stark simplicity, which I think always looks good with modern design.

It's easy to work with, it doesn't dry out when stored, and it bakes firm but retains enough flexibility so that it's not fragile. It's also inexpensive and readily available at local hobby stores or online.


Premo! Sculpey®
sculptclayandtools.com
Color chart
bijoux-sucres.com
Metallic colors
hancockfabrics.com
Pearl colors
amazon.com

You don't need special tools to work with this clay. A regular kitchen rolling pin, an X-Acto knife or improvised cutters work well. I used the metal cap of a Lampe Berger and a much smaller plastic cap from an eyeliner as cutters for a plant hanger project. Many pieces, such as the mini pots, can be shaped by hand without using tools at all.   Here are a few of my recent projects.


DIY miniature pots for 2" plants
Close-up of  my DIY miniature wall pocket
Close-up of my DIY wall hanger

20 comments:

  1. Oh Dana, you crafty devil these are wonderful!
    I could so do this, mind if I copy? (or use them for inspiration)
    Now to check out your other crafty projects.

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    1. Copy away, but I warn you...it's easy to get hooked! :)

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  2. Same, I'm loving the miniature pots! ;)

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    1. I think the little pots are my favorites too.

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  3. Wow! These are great Dana! I really love the look of the white clay against the plants. Blogger extraordinaire and crafter! Man, I'm impressed.x

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    1. I may try some colors, but I'm partial to the white too.

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  4. Brilliant. We used to do Sculpey all the time when my kids were little but haven't used it in a while. Mini mid-mods are fab. Can't wait to try my own.

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    1. I have a feeling that there's a lot of Sculpey in my future with the grandsons! :)

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  5. They look really great, Dana. Nice DIYing!

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  6. These would be fab in a modern mini setting!

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  7. Nice, now a use for my oven! How about a bird feeder?

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    1. There you go...Show us when you're done. :)

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  8. OoOoOhhh wow I had not a clue you made those when I seen your post about air plants. I was admiring those little pots.
    Looks like it would be a fun project. =D

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    1. It's a lot of fun...and after seeing your necklace and finding out how crafty you are, I think you should try it. You could have little pots everywhere! :)

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  9. Bravo for these Dana, very creative! What's the next project?

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    1. I'm not sure. It's taken me a whole week and six repairmen to get my a/c working, so projects have been the last thing on my mind. Once my house gets really, really cold, maybe my creative juices will start to flow again. They just left an hour and a half ago, and I'm going to have to see icicles before I'm convinced!

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  10. Fantastic job on those mini pots! I could go crazy buying up airplants because while they are a bit needy in the sense that they need frequent watering, I cannot seem to kill them. However, I can't seem to keep succulents alive, so this may be my justification for buying more airplants to replace the sickly succulents :-)

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    1. I'm going to have to move my air plants, because I actually have killed two in the last couple of weeks, and I think it's because they are right under the a/c vent.

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