The other day, a minor home-goods tragedy struck my home: One of my favorite jewelry dishes from Anthropologie fell off my dresser and shattered into a million sad pieces. I love storing my jewelry out in the open and it was truly one of those little pieces that made me really happy every time I saw it, so I knew I needed a replacement ASAP.
I was looking for something that had the effect of gold leaf, but I couldn’t find anything at my usual go-to stores. Instead, I thought I’d try my hand at making my own jewelry dish–I mean hell, I took a pottery class in high school that produced one very ugly, retched green colored “vase”, so I could probably handle this, right? Surprisingly yes–but that’s only because it was a super easy DIY, and I guarantee you can handle it too.
First, you’ll want to work polymer clay in your hands to get it warm and pliable–I used a brand called “Sculpty” from my local craft store, but any oven-bake brand will work fine! Once the clay feels like it’s loosened up a bit, roll it out on a clean and dry surface until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick. Cut a circle of your desired diameter into the clay and remove the excess surrounding the shape.
Mold your clay circle around the base of a dish that will seemingly give you your desired size bowl for your jewelry dish (this may go without saying, but using wider dishes as a mold will result in jewelry dishes with less of a “lip” on them and a flatter base). Make sure whatever you choose to mold your clay over is oven safe, as you will be baking the clay on this and a tray. Cook your clay according to the package directions–most necessitate 15 minutes per 1/4 inch thickness (not how big of a piece you bake, just how thick), and mine called for an over of 275 degrees.
Once your jewelry dishes have cooked and cooled, you can use an old nail file to smooth out the edges and eliminate any unsightly bumps or lumps. This will make a bit of a mess with the powdery clay that flakes off, so do it over a garbage!
Finally, the fun part–decorating! I opted to do one jewelry dish a deep midnight blue with copper leaf accents, one dish half copper leaf and one dish accented with copper leaf around the edges and in the middle (I originally was going to go for gold leaf, but the copper leaf was prettier and more rose-gold-y which I loved!). Allow the paint to dry completely before applying the copper leaf glue, and make sure to abide by the directions on the leafing packaging, otherwise it won’t stick!
The end result? Pretty, eye-catching jewelry dishes that took just over an hour to make and provide a special landing spot for some of my favorite rings, necklaces and other pieces. Did they come out perfectly even and professional? Of course not–but I kind of love their unusual, untamed, natural-looking finish. These would make great handmade gift, and I’m seriously considering making them for my girlfriends for Christmas–so easy!