A recent survey conducted by British cooking brand Belling found that the kitchen really is the heart of the home, and we’d definitely agree – so if you’re looking for a simple craft to enjoy over the summer holidays with the children in the kitchen, then this is it! What I really like about this craft is that it can easily be split into two sessions, so ideal to fit around other activities or, if like my two, attention spans are short.
Materials required to make cook in the oven clay leaf bowls
I always set up our crafts on an old shower curtain on the kitchen floor. It means that both the boys can dip in and out easy and the shower curtain tends to catch as much of the mess as possible.
Step by Step Method
First knead the clay so that it is ready to be rolled out. It is important when using cook in the oven clay that it has been made soft and pliable. Ideally the clay should be rolled so that it is about half a centimetre thick, any thinner than this will mean the bowls will be even more fragile.
Place your leaf on top of the rolled out clay, making sure the clay goes all the way around the outside of the leaf. We used vine leaves which make very pretty bowls but they are also a little tricky to cut round. Monkey tested the clay at certain points.
When it comes to putting the leaf on the clay then it is best to put it on facing upwards. This is because the veins are stronger on the back of the leaf. Once placed on the clay use the rolling pin to ensure that you get as strong an impression as possible.
Using an old cooking knife (or any sort of craft knife will do) cut around the edges of the leaf. Make sure you supervise any little ones for this part, or as it can be a little tricky, I prefer to do this bit myself. Once done, remove the leaf carefully, especially if you want to reuse it for matching bowls. Our vine leaves were very fragile and we lost a few edges when we removed them.
The clay we used needed the oven preheated at 130C for fifteen minutes for each half a centimetre thickness, but check the instructions on the clay you are using as this may differ slightly. Once the oven had preheated, I set the timer for 20 minutes and placed the leaf on a piece of parchment paper, which I then placed into the bowl. The bowl will ensure that the clay is moulded into a bowl shape without the need to smudge or damage the leaf in-print. The parchment paper will make sure the clay doesn’t stick to the bowl and make it easier to get the finished bowl out.
Remove the bowl from the oven (make sure an adult is doing this part and remember to use oven gloves as the bowl can get very hot) and leave to cool. If you get it out while it is hot and remove it from the mould then it’s likely that the weight of the sides will cause the leaf bowl to break.
Once cooled carefully, remove the leaf from the bowl and paint in your chosen acrylic paints. Blue is Monkey’s favourite colour so he chose the metallic blue. We only did one coat and tried not to put it on too thickly so that you lose the detail. Once the paint has fully dried use a spray gloss to seal the colour.
These are so easy to make and make wonderful gifts. I can see us making more as gifts for Christmas from the boys. Although I think I will try some more traditional leaf types which are not so fiddly to cut out!
Content provided by Mudpie Fridays for Belling's Summer Holiday Club.