27 Apr 2016

Make it: Make-up Brush Pot

I am one of those people that needs a place for everything and so mugs, jugs and pots get used for everything in my house.  I like to keep everything in some kind of order and so when thinking of a project for the blog, I thought about making a pot out of air dry clay for my make-up brushes.  It could also house pens or a plant, whatever you want to really.  So, here is how I made it.

You will need: Air dry clay (I used Das, but there are loads on the market) Cutting/modelling tools (mine were from Tiger), cling film, newspaper, a mat/surface you don't mind getting dirty, rolling pin, straight edge (you could use a ruler but I decided to use some off cuts of wood to get the right length/width), a pot for water, Acrylic Paints and paint brushes (not shown, sorry).

If you haven't used air dry clay before, there are a few things to note; It does dry out and so if you have any left over make sure you wrap it up well to keep it fresh, make sure your hands don't dry out too much when using it (you can have a damp towel next to you to help), but don't make it too wet or it will become slippery and unmanageable, it should dry in a few days (you may have to turn it over to make sure it dries on all edges).
Step 1:  Cut off the amount you think you may need, you can always cut off more though.
Step 2:  Start rolling out your clay, make sure to try and roll it to the same thickness all over and think about the shape you want to make.  I wanted to make a long rectangle and so I rolled out to make that shape.
Step 3:  Using your straight edge, cut off any excess.  You can use this clay and roll it out again perhaps once more, but after that it tends to get a bit dry and cracks easily.
Step 4:  Using some water to moisten your fingers, smooth off the rough edges on all sides.
Step 5:  If you want to give your pot a texture, you can use lace/textiles or objects to roll a pattern into the clay.  Try not to push down too hard with the rolling pin, but the pattern should come through onto the clay.
Step 6:  Using another pot or glass, cut out a circle of clay from any leftovers from the side or fresh clay.
Step 7:  To add the clay together you will need to cross hatch into the clay with one of your tools, to make a rough edge on both sides of the edges you want to join.  Also add a bit of water here to give it some extra stick.  You may need to smooth out the clay together also, to ensure that both pieces of clay join.
Step 8:  I wanted to make a fold over flap design on my pot and so cut out another piece of flattened clay that was thinner to fold around the pot joining the circle.  Add the clay pieces as in Step 7, making sure it feels secure.
Step 9:  You may need to smooth off the edges again with a moistened finger to give a nicer finish.
Step 10:  The clay may take a few days to dry, depending on the weather.  Leave it in a well ventilated room and let it dry naturally, so a bit of patience here I am afraid.  Add some newspaper wrapped in cling film if you like so that the pot stays in shape as it dries.  The colour starts to get brighter when it is dry and so then you could always turn it upside down to dry the bottom of the pot aswell.

Now you have a lovely dry pot, you can paint it! yey.  I decided that I wanted to use the same colours as my room and I just love this Fluorescent Yellow and Phthalo Turquoise I had in my stash.

I decided to go a little different (as I always go for blue first on everything) and paint the blue on the inside, I did add a little white to the turquoise to make it a bit lighter.  I made sure I kept the paint quite thick so that it gave a nice bright bold finish.  Acrylic paint also gives a nice sheen to air dry clay, but you may also want to consider a varnish or using a PVA wash if you would prefer a shine to the surface.

I then painted the yellow on the outside, adding it to the top lip and bottom.  I made sure the top lip was dry first and then tipped it over to paint the bottom.

Then another wait for it to dry and voila, it was finished!  I could put my make-up brushes and a few other bits in it on my shelf!  I think it looks great in my room and is just an excuse to add more pots to my room really!  ha, ha.
The great thing about this is that you could scale it up or outwards depending on what you wanted to use it for.  I have tried to make sure all my edges are sealed, but I think if I was using this as a plant pot I might add the plant in a little plastic pot or something, just to make sure.  But for me, it works just as I like it.

Don't forget that if you try out any of our tutorials please add a picture and #livelovemake on twitter or instagram as we would love to see them.

H,xxx

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