Introduction: How to Make Clay Lanterns
I am not sure if that is the best name to describe this, but it is basically a cup made from air-dry clay in which you can place a tealight or small candle. I made an impression on the sides of the cup and then poked small holes in the clay allowing the light to pass through. I saw something similar done with a tin can and really liked how it looked. The candle light through the holes is subtle and the design impressed onto the clay looks nice even in daylight.
Step 1: What You Will Need:
- clay -any kind* or colour (I used La Doll Premier Lightweight Stone Clay)
- clay rolling and cutting tools and a mat to work on
- stamp, stencils or anything else you want to make an impression (Sculptey has texture making sheets and wheels)
- cling wrap (to protect mat)
- bottle the size and shape you want for your lantern
*check that the clay is not flammable (Crayola air-dry clay is and it warns against using it for making candle holders)
Step 2: Roll Out the Clay
- Take a hunk of clay and roll it out to about 0.5cm(1/4 in) thickness.
- Cut the top and bottom edges in a straight line with the desired height (in my case I made it about 9cm(3.5in)).
- Check that it is long enough by loosely wrapping it around the bottle and trim the edge.
Step 3: Make an Impression
I used a Christmas ornament to make an impression on the clay, stamps work nicely for this too. Or if you have a steady hand you can draw something yourself. Try to add even pressure and don't push too hard that it goes through to the other side. I made the cup large enough that I could make two impressions of the dove.
Step 4: Poke Holes
With a needle or something with a pointy end (I actually used a seam ripper) poke holes all the way through the clay along the pattern you made with the impression. Space them roughly 2mm apart and make sure the needle enters the clay vertically, not at an angle. I also used a stencil to add more holes since some areas looked a bit bare.
Step 5: Make a Cup
- Loosely wrap the clay around the bottle and connect the two ends together. With the clay I used I just wet the clay and blended the edges together.
- To make the bottom, roll out some more clay to about the same thickness as the sides. Place the cylinder piece on top and trim around the edges.
- Connect the bottom piece by blending the edges of clay together.
- Allow to dry
Step 6: Sand and Finish
Once the clay has dried you can sand it to smooth out the edges at the rim as well as along the seams.
Drop a tealight in and our done!