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Just Craftin' Around

Post Date:11/27/2017 3:36 PM

On Friday, November 17, 2017 the South San Francisco Public Library hosted a crafting program where attendees made small clay bowls. The bowls were decorated with an impression of a leaf before the clay was cured, and then painted. Participants not only got to practice a new crafting skill, but also had the opportunity to make new friends and really get to know their fellow community members. In addition, studies have shown that crafting and being creative helps people deal with stress and exercises the brain.

Adult Crafternoon occurs one Friday a month at 1:00 p.m. Check the Library’s Event Calendar to find more information.

Leaf 1Leaf 2Leaf 3

Here’s how to make stamped leaf clay bowls at home!


  • Polymer Clay
    • We used Original Sculpey, but any type polymer clay will work, including air-dry clay
  • Oven proof dish
  • Acrylic paint


1. Using a rolling pin, shape clay into a circle. For the dishes we made, each person was given about 1.5 oz. of clay. We also used a paper circle with a diameter of 3.5 inches as a guide to get the approximate shape we wanted.

2. Firmly press your leaf into the clay and then remove. During the program, silk leaves were used, but could easily be substituted for fresh. If you do choose to use fresh leaves or flowers, you may need a pair of tweezers to pull them out of the clay.

3. If desired, use a cookie cutter or sharp knife to even out the edge of your project.

4. Place clay in an oven proof bowl, gently pressing down the center to form a dip in your once flat clay. Make sure that the bowl is small enough to shape your clay (if the bottom of the bowl is too wide, the clay will just lie flat). If you don't have a dish that will work, aluminum foil can be used as a mold instead.

5. Bake clay in bowl per manufacturer's instructions. Original Sculpey bakes for 15 minutes per 1/4 inch thickness at 275*F.

6. Let clay cool before removing from the bowl. It should just slide right out. To hasten the cooling process, I did remove the clay while it was still warm. If you choose to do this as well, just make sure that you do so carefully, and you may need use a knife to loosen.

7. Once clay is cool, paint imprinted area with acrylic paint. To just get the deep impressions colored, wipe away excess paint with a damp paper towel.

It’s not necessary to add a glaze to your work, but if you’d like to, it is recommended that you use a glaze made specifically for polymer clay (like Sculpey Glaze) or a sealer like Varathane Polyurethane. Do NOT use nail polish or Mod Podge, and avoid spray-on products.
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