One of a Kind DIY Wall Art

I just made this gorgeous one of a kind wall art from air dry clay and I could not possibly be more pleased with myself! I don’t know what it says about my character, but for me the season’s must-have are always my least desired. So making something unique to hang on my wall is pretty exciting for me.

It all started from my efforts to make clay succulents.

Like this one I ruined with paint. Is it flower or succulent? You decide.


  • Air Dry Clay in Terracotta. I used Sculpey’s Polyform Model Air, a 2.2lb brick of it was $17.99 at Michaels in Canada.
  • Foil – to make drying forms.
  • Rolling Pin
  • Crochet hooks or sculpting tools.
  • Leaf or Petal shaped cutters.
  • A frame – mine was from a second-hand shop, at $6.99 a bit more expensive than usual but it had that MCM flair to it.
  • Heavy cardboard or similar
  • Permanent glue such as crazy glue or glue gun.

How I made it:

From trial and error, I figured out that a foil ring was the perfect way to support my clay petals/leaves while they dried. Without it, they sag until they’re flat again.

I cut all of my petals with the wider cutter. I just trimmed them shorter as I got closer to the center of the flower.

After cutting out the petals, I flip them and use a moistened crochet hook to smooth away the crumbly parts the cutter leaves behind and to add texture. It’s easiest to smooth and texture a few at a time, they need to dry a bit before handling them because the water makes them slimy.

Starting at the outside of my clay dot, I add the petals one layer at a time. Pinching the tip of them gives some shape.

Once it’s done, I pop it in the oven at 170 to dry.

Painting the flowers:

After the clay succulent, I learned my lesson. Once you paint air dry clay, you can’t take it back.

So I made some test pieces to try different colors before committing to another mistake. The slab was a piece I rolled out but couldn’t use – an untended table does not remain cat hair free.

The chalks give a nice soft all over color on the slab, but did not work very well on the shaped pieces. The leaf dry-brushed white with a magenta tip is interesting but the finished flowers have so many spots that can’t be reached with a brush, I decided to just dry brush white on my flowers. I used the light turquoise color to paint the boards I glued the flowers to.

I intentionally made the flowers a little larger than the frame opening, so I put the boards in first, then glued the flowers in place.

One of a kind DIY wall art

I’m impressed at how well this wall art turned out.

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Author: The Shade Gardener

Hi there! I'm Vanessa, the Shade Gardener. I live in a tiny little house in Ontario with my 2 grown boys, 2 dogs and a cat, where I do my best to grow plants in a heavily shaded yard and soil like cement. I am passionate about my family, my pets, MCM furniture and cheese. When I'm not in the garden I do a bit of crafting and sewing. Sometimes I build topiary animals from chicken wire for fun.

4 thoughts on “One of a Kind DIY Wall Art”

  1. Hi Vanessa… I love this idea and even more that it’s made from clay with the three dimensional effect. I can imagine your wall trio will look good anywhere you place it. Pinned for future inspiration 🙂

    1. The Shade Gardener says:

      Thank you, I really am pleased with it.

      1. Faye Dalrymple says:

        You do such fun project and I just found the one with the succulent turtle I am so making it for my sunny side of my Hosta gardens. i have several concrete turtles but a hen and chick Fred will add to them

        1. The Shade Gardener says:

          Thank you! I hope you enjoy your Fred as much as I’ve enjoyed mine!

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