DIY – How to Make Faux Coral with Clay. Easy process and make it with a variety of clays or clay substitutes. Originally I was going to make this faux coral with polymer clay, but my white was really quite dry and crumbly. Even my clay softener was dry and I just didn’t feel like fighting with it. I’ve heard that baby oil mixed in with dry clay helps – I will try that … later 🙂 So, what to use?
I bought this packet of Soft Clay from Daiso a few weeks ago. It’s white so I thought I’d try it out. It is not like regular clay, but easy to work with. Young kids and the elderly can use this according to the instructions.
Firstly, it is very lightweight. Then there’s the texture – soft obviously like its name, but not sticky. It’s sort of like whipped nougat and breaks off almost like cotton candy! If you look closely, it has a slight fibre texture to it too. If it dries out slightly, you can wet your fingers, but just a tiny amount otherwise it ends up slimy.
You can also roll this (my pieces were small, so I used a pen like a rolling pin) and you can cut pieces with scissors if you want very neat edges!
I rolled and moulded a small piece of the clay into a more organic ‘coral’ shape. I used some ‘tools’ that I thought could make interesting patterns and indents in the clay. I found a plastic weaving / beading needle and …
I also had this tool, given to me by someone who used to do Pergamano, or Parchment Craft. Basically paper piercing on vellum. I’ve never done this craft, but I kept the tools because you never know when you’ll need to pierce holes in things. Anyway, this came in handy (looks vicious though, doesn’t it!)
I used these and another star-shaped pattern Pergamano tool to randomly create patterns in the clay to try and resemble coral. Find pen lids, pins, even squish up aluminium foil and punch it gently in the clay to create ‘coral’ patterns – you don’t need these particular tools that I just happened to have on hand.
With this Soft Clay, it says to leave to dry for several days, then coat with water-resistant varnish to protect. Even with a coating though, it says do not place works where they are exposed to water, or the outdoors. So NO decorating your fish tanks with this and besides the fish would not appreciate the synthetic glue in the list of ingredients.
They could however be used for pendants or a mini wall hanging. I was going to leave them to dry and then try to drill a hole. If that doesn’t work, I’ll glue on a bail. I will follow-up in a few days when they have dried.
Other uses – could be glued to photo frames, or planters for a beachy theme. Glue them in a shape, like a heart, letter or number and coat for protection. I’m getting excited about the possibilities now – hurry up and dry!
This packet of Soft Clay available from Daiso, like everything else in the store (at Australia Fair on the Gold Coast and many other locations around Australia – check their store locator) cost only $2.80.
An easy recipe to make a faux porcelain-like clay that can be used for this faux coral.
1 ¼ cups of bicarb soda (sodium bicarbonate)
¾ cup cornflour (Australia – but made from wheat! huh?) / corn starch in USA / Canada
¾ cup of water
Add to a saucepan and ‘cook’ on low-medium heat until mashed potato-like.
Let cool under a damp tea towel or cloth and it’s ready. It air dries hard like porcelain.
Follow the tutorial for making faux coral as above, but still don’t add it to the fish tank 🙂