HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN DIY GLAZE FOR CLAY CRAFTS.in air dry clay, craft, diy
One of questions I get asked the most in emails is how do I glaze my air dry clay craft projects and up until now the answer has always been that I don't. I really love the chalky, matte finish you get with the clay so in the past I've always liked to leave mine as they are.
Last week I shared a round-up of some of my favourite clay crafts and I fell in love with number one, the faux glazed pot. It looked so good it made me rethink my love of the chalky matte finish and made me want to glaze everything I've ever made using air dry clay. I decided to do a quick search for a diy glaze recipe and came across this tutorial for a tinted glaze you can make yourself quickly and cheaply. All you need is some glue, clear nail varnish, water and the paint of your choice.
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I made my clay discs the same way I made my stamped clay magnets but instead of making a random pattern I lined up the center of the stamped design with the center of the round cutter. If you're going to use your glaze on stamped clay like I did make sure to press firmly with the stamp. I found the glaze worked best when the stamp had left a good solid indentation behind for the glaze to fill.
Making the tinted glaze:
1. Pour the whole bottle of clear nail varnish into a bowl.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of clear craft glue, 3 tablespoons of bottled water and mix together.
Don't worry if the mixture looks lumpy to begin with, keep mixing and everything will come together.
3. If you've already painted your clay or maybe stamped it like I did with these bowls and want a clear glaze then stop now. The glaze looks a little cloudy but does dry clear.
4. If you want a single colour tinted glaze add 1 teaspoon of your chosen colour.
I decided to separate my mixture and make 3 different colours. For the pink and orange glazes I added about 1/3 of a teaspoon but for the yellow glaze I added 1/2 a teaspoon. The yellow glaze didn't look any different from the other 2 but it needed less layers for a more opaque finish so try playing around with it and see what you prefer.
If you're not sure how transparent you want your glaze try adding a small amount of paint at a time. It's always easier to add more paint rather than trying to dilute your mixture back down.
Glazing the clay:
1. Sand down any rough edges from your clay and wipe away any dust.
2. Apply a first layer of the glaze. The glaze will flood the indentations and leave a thin layer over the raised design letting the white of the clay show through. Air dry clay is porous so the first layer will soak into the clay and dry quickly.
3. Build up the layers of glaze making sure the previous layer is dry first. I used 3 layers of the yellow and 4 of the pink and red.
4. To paint the sides of the discs place them on a piece of scrap paper and raise them up using small balls of sticky tack. You don't want your glaze gluing your clay to your work surface.
5. Leave to dry for a glossy finish.
I know some people have asked about making their clay food safe and while this diy glaze isn't right for that there's a brilliant tutorial over on Design Sponge for a clay cheese platter using Decopatch varnishes that I suggest you check out. It's got some great tips for making your clay both food safe and wipe proof. Another alternative would be this dishwasher safe mod podge that I've heard good things about.
Happy glazing lovely people.
Want more? You can find the rest of my air dry clay projects here.
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