Lace Clay Bowl

We celebrated my sister’s birthday last weekend in Austin (happy birthday, Steph!). I thought I’d share how I made one of the presents I made for her here.

I got this idea from a great post at Wholly Kao. She has a wonderful tutorial there, but I did a few things differently, so I’m sharing them here.


  • Polymer clay (I used one package of Sculpey)
  • Wax paper or a smooth surface to roll out clay on
  • Lace applique or doily
  • A rolling pin
  • Round object to trace (bowl, can of veggies, cookie cutter, etc.)
  • Medium grit sandpaper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Clay glaze (in the craft store next to the clay)

First, roll out the clay. I rolled mine out to 1/4″ between two layers of wax paper to avoid getting clay on my table on on my rolling pin. My rolling pin (Joseph & Joseph) is actually really cool and perfect for this in that it has wheels on the edges that you can add/remove to keep whatever you’re rolling at your desired thickness. Then press whatever round object you’re using to trace the bowl onto the clay and use something like a butter knife to cut it out. Don’t worry about rough edges – we’ll fix those later.

Next, place your lace applique wherever you’d like it on the clay circle, place the wax paper back on top, and roll it all flat again. I had a hard time finding the right kind of lace, but Esther at Wholly Kao helped me out. I couldn’t find anything at my local JoAnn’s, Hobby Lobby, or Michaels. But, if you look online (somewhere like etsy) for either applique lace or venice lace there are tons of options. And then you’ll just have to find a shape you like. Most of them are only about $3 each for the size I used here (plus shipping, of course, so I got a few :D). And, if you’re using them for something like this, they’re reusable! You could also use something like a crochet doily for similar results.

Lace Clay Bowl

Now, place the clay in a small bowl and bake according to package instructions. When it comes out, take some medium grit sandpaper and smooth out the rough edges on the sides of the bowl as well as any imperfections on the surface.

At this point, the bowl would be lovely if you left it alone, but I wanted to add a little color and shine. I tested several methods on some spare clay imprinted with the same lace, and ended up finding what I wanted on accident. I used really watered down acrylic paint to fill in the lace detail. I found that this worked best to add color without covering the lace texture. It settles into the lowest places, so I did a few layers and let them dry with the bowl tilted to get the lace detail on the edges even colored. Then I used Sculpey gloss glaze (found at the craft store next to the polymer clay) over the whole top and edges of the bowl, which gives it a nice shine.

Lace Clay Bowl and Zipper Pouch

I wanted to give my sister a little something else too, so I made her a zippered pouch like the one I made for my stitch swap partner last month.

45 thoughts on “Lace Clay Bowl

  1. Brilliant! You are a really fun sister! I’m so copying this! Thanks! Love your pics, do you have a fancy camera? Happy Spring! New follower.

    1. Aw, thanks! I wouldn’t call my camera fancy, but its not a point and shoot either. I have my dad’s old Canon 20D that I got a couple years ago when he got a new one.

  2. I’ve seen this and have been meaning to try it. I should try it today, since it’s cold outside. I like the idea of putting it inside the bowl instead outside, like I had seen. I even have the lace appliques that I’ve had for YEEEEARS and the clay & of course, paint.

  3. What a lovely birthday gift! I really like the idea of baking it IN the bowl. I would love it if you would consider linking to Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy, a Sunday through Thursday link party for ideas that make life easier, better and more fun!

  4. Wow, that is absolutely gorgeous! What a neat trick! The lace pattern is so elegant and feminine. Thanks for sharing at Shine on Fridays!

  5. Another great project! Do you know if you can make them bigger? I’ve never used polymer clay, and it’d be awesome to have a slightly larger one.

    1. I’m sure you could make them bigger – that’d be great! You’d just need a larger circle to trace and a larger bowl to bake it in. I just meant for this to be a small jewelry holder – like on a nightstand for earrings or something. Polymer clay is super easy to work with, and is nice because you can play with it without really needing any specialized tools 🙂

    1. I’m not quite sure what you’re asking. I used a glass bowl to bake the clay in so that it would have a slightly rounded shape – is that what you were asking for? If not, comment again or email me and I’d be happy to try to help you out 🙂


  6. I made something similar today using the premo! sculpey. I did roll mine thinner than 1/4 of an inch, probably closer to 1/8. But to my dismay the sides bubbled/puckered a little while baking. Do you think it I’m having this problems because of the thickness?

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