Clay trinket bowls

Surprise your mom with a handmade gift – perfect for all her little knick-knacks.

By Shelly Bergh
Video Francois Oberholster

You will need

  • white air-hardening clay
  • rolling pin
  • bowls that you can use as a mould
  • lace
  • craft knife
  • paint or copper leaf to decorate your bowls
  • gilding size
  • small paintbrush


Step 1: Roll a piece of clay into a ball, press it flat with your hand and roll it out with the rolling pin until it is about 3-4mm thick.

Step 2: Cut a piece of lace large enough to cover the bowl you are using for a mould. Put the bowl upside down with the lace over it. Place the rolled-out clay carefully over the bowl and lace and press it gently so that it takes on the shape of the bowl. This will also imprint the lace pattern on the inside of your clay bowl.

Step 3: Neatly trim the edges with your craft knife. Allow to dry overnight.

Step 4: Decorate your bowl by painting a simple pattern or adorn a section of it with copper leaf.

How to apply copper leaf

Apply the gilding size to the parts where you want the copper leaf. Let it stand for about 10 minutes until it becomes tacky. Carefully lay the copper leaf on the adhesive and brush over it with the soft-bristled brush to fix it in place; brush off any excess copper leaf.

NB These bowls are merely decorative and are not suitable for food. You can also seal your bowls with a clear spray lacquer if desired.