The summer holidays are nearly here, hooray! But as the academic year draws to a close, spare a thought for hard-working teachers who help to brighten up the school day. Help your little learner say “Thanks Miss!” or “Thanks Sir!” with a Teacher’s Gift from our collection – there’s one to suit every budget – or, for a really thoughtful gesture, help them make a special teacher’s gift by hand.
We’ve teamed up with our button buddies at Little Button Diaries once more – this time they’ve dreamt up the sweetest dish for keys or trinkets inspired by our latest collection, so students can give teacher an apple that will last a lifetime! Air dry clay is a great medium for little hands to work with and kids will love rolling, shaping and painting it. They could even personalise the dish by writing a thank you message on the back before it’s varnished.
You will need
Air dry clay (about 250g)
Bowl (about 20cm diameter)
Fine sandpaper or emery board (optional)
Light and dark green acrylic paint
To make the dish
Print and cut out the template for the apple dish, or draw your own apple shape if you prefer. Roll the clay out between two sheets of cling film to a thickness of about 5mm. The cling film stops the clay from sticking to the work surface and means it can be easily moved around. Remove the top layer of cling film and place the apple template on top of the clay, then slowly cut around it using the knife.
Cut out the leaf template from the remaining clay and add some leafy details with the knife, being careful not to cut too deep into the clay (a). Use a little water to gently smooth away any rough edges on the surface of the apple and leaf (b).
Using the clingfilm base, pick up the apple and place it into the base of the bowl, pressing it down gently. The edges of the clay should curve up a slightly, creating a shallow dish shape. You might need to try a few bowls to get the right shape – the one we used was 20cm wide.
Carefully score the back of the leaf to help it stick to the apple. Add a dab of water, then press it on to the clay, just next to the stalk (c). Leave the clay for a few hours to harden in the bowl, then lift it out, peel away the clingfilm and leave it overnight to completely set. Once set, if you want a smoother finish you can sand the dish down using sandpaper or an emery board (d).
Paint the apple light green all over (e), then paint the leaf dark green. Leave the paint to dry (f). Add a little craft varnish to protect from scuffs and stains then set aside to dry completely (g).
Finished and good enough to eat (almost!)
With thanks to The Little Button Diaries.