If you follow along with me on social, you may have seen that I am currently in LA teaching a workshop of how to use air dry and polymer clay. While most of you aren’t here, I figured that shouldn’t prevent you from playing with clay yourself from the comfort of your own home! And this DIY clay balance box planter is the perfect project!
Last summer I got a balance box made from wood for my bar cart condiments. I loved the shape of the box and how it would tip to one side depending on what you stored in it. I started to think how the shape would lend itself really well to a planter, but there was no way I could DIY one out of wood, so instead I turned to my new favorite medium, air dry clay. While a bit messy, the end result is so adorable! And by using the air dry clay, I was able to create the balancing half circle shape.
Materials for DIY Clay Balance Box Planter:
–FIMO air dry clay (in the past I used Crayola clay, but let me tell you I didn’t know what I was missing, The FIMO clay is so much easier to work with and creates a very sturdy final product. Unlike the Crayola clay that tends to get super crumbly with dry).
-Acrylic craft paint and paint brushes (I used melon and cotton candy colors from DecoArt Americana)
–Outdoor Decoupage medium
Begin by rolling out you air dry clay on your work surface. You want the clay to be about 1/4-1/3” thick. Then either freehand an oval or use a large bowl to cut out a circle shape from your clay. Cut this shape down the middle to make two halves.
Remove all the extra clay from around the shape and roll it out into a long strip about 2” wide. Use a measuring tape to measure the rounded edge of one side of your clay half circle. Then use the craft knife and a ruler to cut the strip to the size needed. 2” wide by the length you measured.
Now let the clay dry out for about 30 minutes. Remove the strip from the work surface and use water to create a little slip (thinned out clay) to adhere the strip to one side of the half circle. Use extra water on your hands to smooth out the seam and help join the two pieces of clay together. Let dry for 2-3 hours.
Once the clay has started to firm up, it is time to add the other side of the clay balance box. To do this crumple up paper towels or paper and place on top of the first side of the balance box. Then lift the second side up and lay it on top of the paper and use water and slip to attach the second side to the bottom strip. Go over the seam with water and slip to remove as much of the seam as possible and create a secure bond.
Now it is time to let your clay dry out overnight. The next day, flip your box over so that the underside can dry as well. Let this side dry overnight.
The final step is to sand the box. This is to remove any lines or seams in the clay and create a smooth surface. You can also sand away any imperfections at the top of the box to create a level top. Dust off the sanded clay and then paint the box with any pattern you like. I went with a simple color blocked design. And if you are into more neutrals or modern looking decor pieces, you can definitely leave the balance box white. It looks pretty that way too!
Once the paint is dry, give the inside of the planter a few coats of decoupage medium. Then, it is ready to fill with dirt and your succulents. Of forgo the sealant and use faux succulents instead.
I love how adorable this DIY clay balance box planter is, and such a unique shape! And if you know me at all, you know my mantra is that you can never have enough planters! Hahaha!