Leafy Bud Vase

Flowers can transform any environment by adding fragrance and color to the space, even if you only have one or two blossoming buds.  You could display them in a plain glass container or you can get creative and make this pretty alternative. This polymer clay project offers a new and colorful way to display those small blooms.  The clay is draped over a wood photo cube and cured in the kitchen oven.  Every detail of this vase is clay except the clear tube that holds the water and flowers.  Make a vase for yourself or one for a very special friend.

Before you begin, condition all clay colors.  Cutting should be done on plastic film which will allow you to easily rotate the work when necessary.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE - Setting numbers vary on clay conditioning machines.  On my machine the thickest setting is 1 and the thinnest is 9.

Directions

step 1 - Remove the wire from the cube.  With a marker, trace the tube size onto the center top of the cube.  

step 1 - Remove the wire from the cube.  With a marker, trace the tube size onto the center top of the cube.  

step 2 - Cut a hole for the vase in the center of the top panel using a box cutter, craft knife, or saw.

step 2 - Cut a hole for the vase in the center of the top panel using a box cutter, craft knife, or saw.

 
A
B
C
 

A                                               B                                          C                               

Step 3 - To create a blended clay piece (Skinner Blend) with olive and white clay, roll each color on the thickest setting of the clay conditioner.  Cut one 4” square of each color.  Slice each on a diagonal setting it a little off center (A).  Match the diagonal line of the smaller green piece with the larger white piece and push the edges together so they bond.  Do the same with the remaining two pieces then stack them with the top and bottom layer colors matching.  Fold the edges together (B) and place the clay in the conditioner with the fold first (C).  Fold the same edges together again and feed the clay fold first into the machine. 

step 4 - It will take about 11 feeds through the machine to produce this Skinner Blend with solid green on one end and and solid white on the other.  Pass the clay through the machine on the #2 setting feeding the blended edge first.

step 4 - It will take about 11 feeds through the machine to produce this Skinner Blend with solid green on one end and and solid white on the other.  Pass the clay through the machine on the #2 setting feeding the blended edge first.

step 7 - Press the texture sheets onto the clay side panels as desired to create an overall pattern.

step 7 - Press the texture sheets onto the clay side panels as desired to create an overall pattern.

step 5 - Cut blended panel squares to the size of the wood sides.  The white clay end should always be at the top of the box.  Also cut one plain white panel for the box top.  Cut a hole in the center of it to accommodate the bud vase.

step 6 - Create positive and negative texture sheets for your box images. You’ll find complete instructions on my page, Stop Paying For Texture Sheets and Rubber Stamps.

 
step 8 - Join two panels by overlapping them slightly and pressing them together.

step 8 - Join two panels by overlapping them slightly and pressing them together.

step 9 - Make leaf impressions on the joined panel seam with a leaf pattern texture wheel.

step 9 - Make leaf impressions on the joined panel seam with a leaf pattern texture wheel.

step 10 - Continue joining panels together and rolling over the seams until you have three joined seams.

step 11 - Apply a bead of liquid polymer to the side, top and bottom edges of the wood.  Cover the wood with the joined clay panels.  Close the last vertical seam and roll over it with the texture wheel. Add the white top panel and pinch the top of the side panels to it.  Smooth the seam with your fingers.

step 11 - Apply a bead of liquid polymer to the side, top and bottom edges of the wood.  Cover the wood with the joined clay panels.  Close the last vertical seam and roll over it with the texture wheel. Add the white top panel and pinch the top of the side panels to it.  Smooth the seam with your fingers.

step 12 - Use the texture sheets you created in step six to cut leaves from scraps of the blended clay.  Press them onto the clay covered box as desired.  Apply mica powder to the outer edges of the leaves, rubbing and blending it with your finger.

step 12 - Use the texture sheets you created in step six to cut leaves from scraps of the blended clay.  Press them onto the clay covered box as desired.  Apply mica powder to the outer edges of the leaves, rubbing and blending it with your finger.

 

A                                       B                                        C                                      D

step 13 - To create a small flower cane roll yellow clay into a log measuring about 3” long and 1/2” thick.  Make three slits along the length of the log as shown (A).  On the machine, roll a small piece of green clay extremely thin and tuck it into each slit (B).  Trim away excess.  Roll white clay on the #5 machine setting.   Wrap the white clay around the log once pressing the seam together.  Roll the log evenly on the work surface to reduce it to 1/4” thick.  Cut the log into five equal lengths.  Roll another piece of yellow the same length but 1/4 the thickness.  Group the five logs around the thin yellow one and squeeze them together equally from all sides (C).  Roll the joined pieces across the work surface until it shrinks to the size flower you want. Using a knitting needle, press down on the length of the log between the five yellow rolls to create petal definition (D).  With a tissue blade, slice off thin flowers from the end of the log and press them onto the clay box.

step 14 - Insert the plastic vase in the center of the cube.  In your palms, roll a thin strand of excess blended clay and wrap it loosely around the base of the bud vase.  Press in place and remove the vase.

step 15 - Bake the project in the oven at 275 degrees for 30 minutes.  Allow it to cool.

step 16 - Replace the vase and fill it with water and a flower.


Supplies

At Amazon

  • Sculpey Clay - 2oz. Spanish Olive, 2 Oz. White, 1/2 oz. Yellow, 1/2 oz. Leaf Green
  •  Sculpey Clay conditioning machine
  •  Sculpey Super Slicer blade set
  •  Sculpey Acrylic Roller
  •  Sculpey Liquid Polymer
  •  Sculpey Texture Wheel
  •  plastic storage tube
  •  Ranger White Perfect Pearls

Miscellaneous

 

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