Introduction: Master Sword Trinket Dish (Polymer Clay)
I've been seeing a lot of polymer clay trinket dishes lately on my Instagram feed and wanted to make my own. I happened to get a Hylian shield ring in a random cheap jewelry grab bag, and it was the main inspiration for this project. I also happened to be consuming a lot of miniature diorama content lately and wanted to make my own twist on it by turning miniatures into functional home-good items (a bit like a closet-cosplay to their hundreds-of-hours-thousands-of-dollars works of art).
- Polymer Clay (here I use Super Sculpey and Papas Clay in a blue and purple mix)
- Bake and Bond (liquid polymer clay adhesive)
- Acrylic Paint (in black, white, teal, metallic gold and silver, and various shades of gray and green)
- Matte and Gloss varnishes (I used varathane water-based polyurethane, but you can check out The Blue Bottle Tree's guide for options if that is not accessible)
Optional (if you want to add flowers)
- White, Green, Yellow, and Teal Polymer Clay
- Thin jewelry wire orflorist wire
- Wire cutters/Pliers
- Liquid polymer clay
- Glow powder
- Aqua/Teal pigment powder, iridescent shimmer pigment powder
- (the liquid clay, glow powder, and pigment powders can be substituted with acrylic paint, which is probably more accessible)
- Needle Tool
- Silicone shaping tool
- Craft Knife
- Cardstock and Paper to make templates
- Electric sanding tool (such as a nail art file)
- Modeling Clay (Optional. This is used to make a mockup)
Step 1: Before You Begin
- Prepare your clay by conditioning it (knead it until it is soft and workable)
- Create a mock-up to check that the sword is small enough to fit rings over.
Here I use Sculpture Pro wax-based clay (similar to Monster Clay) for the mock-up because it is malleable yet stays firm and holds its shape so it can be picked up to test adding rings through it. From this, I would know what size to make a paper template for the Master Sword. Mine ended up being 2 cm across at the largest part of the hilt, and a bit over 0.5 cm for the majority of the rest of the sword).
You can also make your mock-up from cardstock to test if rings are able to fit past the sword guards.
Step 2: Create Templates
- For the trinket dish, cut out an equilateral triangle the size of how large you want the trinket dish to be from cardstock.
- Create a template for a smaller equilateral triangle as the pedestal to hold the sword.
- Trace an image of the Master Sword onto paper. I made mine by zooming in on an image of the sword to match the size of my mock-up on a tablet, then used the tablet as a light table to copy it onto paper.
Step 3: Master Sword: Shaping
- Roll out a thick sheet of blue-purple clay
- Use the sword template to cut out the shape of the Master Sword
- Thin out the edges of the blade by flattening them, trimming the excess clay back to the template's size
- Round out the sides of the grip
Step 4: Master Sword: Carving Details
- Following a reference image, use the needle tool to indent the details of the sword.
- Use the silicone sculpting tool to shape and deepen the details on the hilt
- If there isn't enough clay to sculpt in some areas, add and blend small amounts of clay shaped similarly to the detail they are filling in (I did this by adding thin snakes of clay to the top parts of the wings on the guards, the details in the pommel, and the diamond shape on the hilt)
Once you are satisfied with this half of the sword, bake the clay following the directions of your clay packaging.
Step 5: Master Sword: Second Half
- Once the first half of the sword is baked, roll out another sheet of blue-purple clay
- Use Bake and Bond/Liquid Clay to stick the baked sword half to the sheet
- Cut out the sword shape
- Blend the edges of the sword together
- Trace out the details on this half of the sword with the needle tool
Step 6: Master Sword: Adding Details
- Like with the previous half, use the silicone shaping tool to shape and carve details, adding more clay in some areas if needed.
- Bake this a second time.
Step 7: Master Sword: Sanding
- Once your sword is done baking and cooled, use a sanding tool to smooth out some areas, such as any rough edges between where the two halves of the sword are joined and the pommel.
Step 8: Master Sword: Finishing Sculpting the Hilt
This will be for the teal diamond pattern on the hilt:
- Roll out a thin shade of polymer clay
- Cut out thin strips
- Add a thin coat of liquid clay to the grip to help the clay stick
- Use a thin strip of clay to spiral up the grip. Repeat, spiraling the opposite direction to complete the diamond pattern.
You can also use this opportunity to fill in any remaining misshapen areas. I filed and remade the pommel during this step so it would look more like one cohesive piece.
Step 9: Trinket Dish: Cutting Out the Template
- Roll out a large, thick sheet of polymer clay.
- Cut out a shape using the larger equilateral triangle template.
Step 10: Trinket Dish: Shaping
- Roll out a thick snake of polymer clay
- Line the edges of the dish, and blend the two together until the seams are gone
- Fill in any thinner sections, and continue to blend.
I found that Super Sculpey blended easily to itself, but you can add a bit of liquid clay to better hide the seams and help the two parts stick together.
This doesn't have to look perfectly smooth. Having some random lumps will help it look more like weathered stone.
Step 11: Trinket Dish: Pedestal
- Flatten a ball of polymer clay until it is large enough to fit the smaller sword pedestal template. This should be thick enough to hold the sword.
- Cut out the sword pedestal triangle
- Round out the edges (again, this doesn't have to be perfectly smooth because it should look like weathered, carved stone)
Step 12: Trinket Dish: Assembly
- Use a bit of liquid clay on the bottom of the pedestal, and glue it onto the trinket dish
- Stick the sword into the center of the pedestal. The fit should be snug, but the sword should still be removable.
- Bake the trinket dish and sword, following the directions on your clay packaging.
I did not have an issue baking both brands of clay at the same temperature but watch out for under-baking as that could make the clay fragile and brittle. Also, be careful to not overbake as that might cause scorching and bubbling.
Step 13: Master Sword: Paint
Paint on the details of the sword following a reference image:
- Add teal to the small details on the grip, gold details on the hilt, and silver for the blade
- Once the paint is dry, add a layer of gloss varnish to seal in the paint
I also had a bit of iridescent blue pigment mixed in with the glaze, to give it a bit of a blue sheen to make it look a bit more like it is glowing.
Step 14: Trinket Dish: Base Coat
Cover the entire trinket dish with a black coat of paint
Step 15: Trinket Dish: Paint
- Use a sponge to lightly layer on shades of gray paint. You can blend white and black to make different tones.
- Use the paintbrush to stipple and blend out green paint to resemble green mossy areas. Use different shades of green to give the illusion of more texture. (colors used here are Lime Green and Apple Tart from craft smart)
I tried to reference the pedestal in Breath of the Wild to figure out which corners should have the green shading. Some corners had more leaves, so I didn't blend the green out as much.
Step 16: (OPTIONAL) Flowers: Prepping Clay
I wanted to add three glowing silent princess flowers here to match the pedestal in BoTW. These steps are completely optional.
Mix Pigments (this step could completely be substituted with teal and glow-in-the-dark paint):
- Mix liquid clay with glow-in-the-dark powder and shimmer pigment powder.
- Take out a bit of aqua/teal pigment. This will be mixed with water to make a paint.
- Roll out a sheet of white clay
- Cut out 5 petals for each flower (15 in total for 3 flowers).
Step 17: (OPTIONAL) Flowers: Forming the Petals
- Get rid of the harsh cut edge by flattening out the edges of each petal between your fingers
- Pinch one corner of each petal
- Use a small ball of white clay to make a base for the petals, and arrange them in a flower shape. Use a bit of liquid clay to help them stick together.
Step 18: (OPTIONAL) Flowers: Adding the Stamen and Pistil
- Cut out two small lengths of wire (~2 cm) and shape them into two V shapes.
- Bend over the wire at the V end to make a base that can be stuck onto the flowers
- Glue these to the center of the flowers with liquid clay
- Roll out three tiny pill shapes for the pistil, and stick them together with a bit of liquid clay. Glue them to a wire with more liquid clay.
- Roll out three balls of light blue clay. Stick one to the ends of the remaining three wires with liquid clay. It might help to make an indent in each ball with the needle tool to keep it in place.
Step 19: (OPTIONAL) Flowers: Coloring the Flowers
- Paint a layer of glow-in-the-dark 'paint' over each petal
- Paint the center of the flowers with aqua/teal pigment.
Step 20: (OPTIONAL) Flowers: Leaves
- Roll out a sheet of green clay
- Cut out leaf shapes. They will be similar to the petals, but thinner.
- Like with the petals, flatten them to get rid of the harsh cut edge
- Flatten a small ball of green clay to make a base, and arrange each leaf onto the base in a flower shape.
- Use liquid clay to glue the flowers onto the leaves. They should be arranged so that a leaf would peek out between the petals.
- Repeat these steps until you have as many flowers as desired.
Step 21: (OPTIONAL) Flowers: Flower Buds
- Cut a short length of wire (~3 cm)
- Roll up one end of the wire. Form a ball of white clay around this rolled-up end.
- Flatten three small balls of white clay, and arrange them around the white ball to make a flower bud
- Cut out five small teardrop shapes to make more leaves
- Arrange these around the flower bud, folding out the ends
- Repeat until you have one for each flower
Step 22: (OPTIONAL) Flowers: Adding to the Trinket Dish
For the areas you want to add flowers to:
- Use liquid clay to glue on a small amount of green clay. This will help the flowers better stick to the trinket dish.
- Texture the green clay with the needle tool to give it a mossy texture
- Add the flower buds to the clay. Add more clay to secure them if needed.
- Use liquid clay to glue on the flowers. Blend and texture the seams between the leaf base and green clay if needed.
- Bake the dish for the final time.
- Paint the exposed wires with green paint
If the small balls of clay on the flowers seem to be too loose on the wires, they can be glued down with superglue or UV resin.
Step 23: Trinket Dish: Finishing Touches and Varnish
(optional) Stipple and blend more paint to fix any cracks that may have appeared during the final bake.
Glaze the entire trinket dish with a layer of matte varnish.
Step 24: Finished!
Once the varnish has dried, return the sword to the pedestal.
You now have a functional trinket dish.
If any rings do get stuck, they can be freed by removing the sword.
You can see a video of this dish in action linked here on TikTok!
Runner Up in the