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Clay Transfer Window Votives

This votive candle holder echoes the sparkle and shine of stained glass windows.

Materials and Tools

4 blocks purple Premo
2 oz. translucent liquid Sculpey
2-1/2" round image *
20-gauge gold-tone wire
4 gold-tone 1" head pins
4 purple oval glass beads
tissue blade
craft knife
wax paper
toaster or convection oven
oven mitts
oven thermometer
flat baking tray
aluminum foil
5" x 7" piece of glass
2-1/4" round cookie cutter
1/2" soft brush
Pearl Ex Aztec gold mica pigment powder
Shade-Tex Rubbing Plates nature series
pattern: 3-15/16" square, 4-5/8" top center peak
clay-dedicated pasta machine (Atlas recommended)
work surface: granite, marble, acrylic, ceramic tile
clean, dry pint or quart milk carton
small votive candle in a metal or glass holder

* Such as clip art, stamped image, drawn image, etc. Must be photocopied on a black and white copy machine that uses toner. The transfer from this project is from John Leighton's 1,100 Designs and Motifs from Historic Sources (Dover Publications, Inc., 1995).


1. Texture the clay sheets: Condition one block of the purple clay. Roll out a 1/8-inch-thick sheet (#1 setting). Using the brush, powder the plastic texture sheet with Aztec gold mica powder (it does not have to be an even coat). Lay the purple clay sheet over the powdered side of the plastic texture sheet and roll them together through the pasta machine on the thickest (#1) setting. Repeat this step with the other three blocks of clay, resulting in four textured sheets.

2. Cut out the panels: Using the peaked square candle pattern, cut out the four sides, one from each piece of textured clay. Use the round cutter to cut out a circular window from each piece, centered on the pattern and 1/2 inch above the base.

3. Bake the four panels at 275 F degrees for 20 minutes. Place the panels between sheets of wax paper and set under a book to allow the panels to cool flat.

4. Make transfers: Make four copies of the transfer pattern and cut them out, leaving 1/2 inch of blank paper around each design.

5. Spread a thin layer of liquid polymer clay on a sheet of glass slightly larger than the transfer sheet. cds1643_1e Place the transfer into the clay toner side down. Let the transfer rest for 5 minutes, just until you start to see the pattern coming through the back of the paper and no longer.

6. Bake it on the glass for 15 minutes at 275 F degrees.

7. Remove the transfer on glass from the oven. Immediately peel the paper with the clay from the glass. While the clay is warm, not hot, peel the paper away from the clay.

8. Set the hot glass on a heat-resistant surface that is not cold and allow it to cool slowly to prevent cracking. Be careful of sharp edges on the glass. Cool the clay transfer on a flat surface. Make four transfers using this method. Trim all four transfers into a round shape 1/8 to 1/4 inch larger than the round holes cut in the side panels.

9. Attach transfers to panels: Squeeze a thin line of liquid clay around the window on the non-textured back of one side panel; spread the clay flat with your finger. Center a transfer over the hole (you can choose if you would like the shiny or the matte side to face out), and place the transfer onto the liquid clay. Press out air pockets between the panel and the transfer edge.

10. Bake the panel with the attached transfer textured side up on a sheet of glass for 10 minutes at 275 F degrees. Cool the panel and transfer flat. Repeat for all four sides.

11. To attach panels together: Using the excess purple clay, roll a clay ribbon 3/8" x 11-1/2" that is 1/16-inch thick (#4 setting).

12. Cut off the top of the milk carton leaving 4-inch sides. Cover it with aluminum foil. Wrap the clay ribbon all the way around the very bottom of the carton, overlapping the ends slightly and trimming off the excess.

13. Cover the clay ribbon with a thin layer of liquid clay. Carefully place each side of the candle holder against each side of the clay ribbon wrapped carton, making sure that all the sides are touching the clay ribbon.

14. Wrap a piece of foil around the entire candle holder to keep the sides in place during baking. Bake at 275 F degrees for 15 minutes. Allow the candle holder to cool completely before removing the foil.

15. Attach corner twists: Roll purple clay into two 3/16" x 14" snakes. Twist the two snakes together to form a twisted snake and cut off four 3-1/4-inch pieces. Squeeze a line of liquid clay in the corner of the candle holder and apply a twist onto it. Repeat for the other three corners. Trim twisted snakes at the top and bottom of the panels.

16. Place a dab of Aztec gold mica powder on your fingertip, and rub it over the surface of each twist to give the corners a slightly metallic finish. Carefully wrap the foil around the candle holder once again. Bake for 15 minutes at 275 F degrees. Allow the holder to cool before unwrapping the foil.

17. Attach base to candle holder: Roll out a 1/8-inch sheet of clay (#1 setting) slightly larger than 3" x 3". Squeeze a thin line of liquid polymer clay onto the bottom edge of the candle holder. Place the candle holder over the sheet, pressing it into the clay base, and cut around the edge of the base following the sides of the holder. Smooth any rough edges with your finger. Bake for 15 minutes at 275 F degrees.

18. Make wire spirals: Cut four 3-inch pieces of wire. With round nosed pliers, make a 1/8-inch loop at one end of the wire. At the other end of the wire, bend each piece into a flat spiral perpendicular to the loop at the other end, leaving 1/2 inch of wire (at the end with the small loop).

19. Attach spirals: Roll out a 3/32-inch-thick sheet (#2 setting) of purple clay that is 1/2" x 1-1/2". Cut four isosceles triangles and coat one side of each triangle with liquid clay. Place the straight end of a wire spiral against the coated side of a triangle with the curved part of the spiral extending over the center point of the isosceles triangle. Press the liquid clay coated triangle against the inside of a peak of one of the panels of the candle holder. The wire should be sandwiched between the clay triangle and the inside of the holder. Repeat for the other three spirals.

20. Bake at 275 F degrees for 15 minutes. (Note: If the candle holder is now too tall for your oven, you may need to attach only one or two spirals at a time and bake it propped to the side.)

21. Attach beaded drops: Select four purple beads for the decorative drops. Place each bead on a gold-tone headpin and form a loop with the round nose pliers. Attach a drop to each spiral.

22. Place a small votive candle (in a metal or glass holder) in the center of the candle holder.

Project by Ann Mitchell and Karen Mitchell.

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