This DIY homemade clay Valentine craft is the first of a series of 3 DIY Valentine projects (read about the other DIY projects here and here). This project was so much fun to do! I got the idea for clay valentine hearts a while ago when I bumped in to Christmas ornaments on Pinterest resulting in one of my most regular thoughts: ‘Hey, I can do that too!’. So I started searching the Internet for some eco-friendly white clay that could be air dried. But after a long search on the Internet I wasn’t able to find any.
Lacking eco-friendly clay, I had given up on my idea of valentine hearts but then luckily I ran in to this great homemade clay recipe from the Woodside kitchen. By following this easy recipe precisely, you will be able to recreate my valentine clay hearts easily. So what do you need to do? First, have a look in your kitchen cupboard to see whether you have any cornstarch, baking soda and baking paper left or else go out and get some (of course you could go with the eco-friendly variants).
Mix the ingredients together. I have to be honest here: I’ve made this recipe twice. The first time my clay became too thick because I was busy taking pictures for this post. Because of that my mixture was in the saucepan for too long and my clay became way too thick. So try to get it right the first time: when the mixture gets like thick mashed potato like the recipe says, get it out in to your bowl immediately. Otherwise you’ll end up with cracked hearts as I did.
Let the clay cool off underneath a damp cloth. As soon as it’s cooled off, you’re ready to go. Now another thing I discovered: make sure you roll out your clay quite thin. Too thick just isn’t pretty. I’m always a bit impatient when crafting. I always plunge into the project and make stuff without really reading the instructions. Which is silly because in this case it meant me making the clay all over. So you roll out the clay thin enough before you start cutting shapes out and make sure to make the layer equally thick everywhere. This will also enhance your result enormously. The recipe talks about 0.25 inch when you roll the clay out. That is about 6 mm for people living in the metric world. I found that 6 mm is indeed just right.
Give some thought to the hearts surface. What kind of imprint would you like to make if any? I went for the lace look and searched my closet for some lace cloth. Underneath some unused clothes I found one of my moms old blouses. It must be over 35 years old! I used that to imprint my homemade clay. As you can see it gave my clay a beautiful flower pattern. You could also consider using a plant or a flower. Anything with a nice structure really. I pressed my old lace blouse in to the clay. Make sure to give it a fairly hard press. Otherwise you won’t see the lace imprint after the clay has been in the oven.
Then think about the shape: are you going to use a heart shape as I did? For my project I borrowed one of my toddler’s heart shape clay toys. Then give some thought to the hearts surface. Cut out the hearts and get them on the baking sheet. Heat the oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit (which means 80 degrees Celsius for me).
If you want text on your heart you can use a regular alphabet stamp. You can either use the stamp before or after you bake the hearts. I tried both and found that stamping the hearts after they’d been in the oven gave a neater look (the ink runs on the wet clay). Please mind that using a stamp after the clay has hardened only works when your baked clay shape is quite flat.
You could also get your cookie letter stamps out. As that will leave no color maybe leave the lace imprint out or else you will not be able to read what it says. Finish the hearts by making a small hole in your heart so you can hang them up later (I used a wooden skewer, but a straw would also do the trick). Then al there is left to do is bake your hearts in the oven. Not too long because they’ll go yellow as I discovered my first time round. Indeed, nothing went right the first time; my hearts were thick, cracked and yellow. Not to mention that I tried to dip due my hearts: well that didn’t work either, it just made my hearts melt. If you experience any trouble: read the comments in the original recipe post: the author gives you al sorts of advice on things going wrong.
Lastly I used organic rope to tie my clay hearts to some fresh spring branches. I was quite thrilled with the results! Don’t you just love them as well?