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Shoebox: Paper Clay Pin

Learn how to create this colorful pin using paper clay and tissue paper.

Today's Shoebox project was great fun because we had viewer Marj Shipe of Grayling, Mich., guide me through it on the phone. Marj sent in a pretty pin that she had made from paper clay and tissue paper using a spoon for her mold. This is Marj's version based on the old idea of molding pins in spoons using plaster of Paris, and we wanted to try it. It's a perfect project for anyone to try, including youngsters of almost any age, because it's easy and inexpensive and the results are most gratifying.

Materials and Tools:

paper clay
teaspoon or table spoon
decoupage medium
hologram embossing powder
piece of tape
small tissue paper pieces: light, dark, patterned
craft knife
dishwashing detergent

Figure B


1. With your finger, apply a bit of dishwashing detergent in the spoon to make it release the clay more easily.

2. Remove a small amount of the clay from the package, dampen with a bit of water from the tap, and work with it in your hand a few moments. Push it into the spoon.

3. Turn spoon upside down on tabletop and push to press the clay into the spoon and to force out any excess clay.

4. With craft knife, trim excess clay from around the edges. Allow clay to dry thoroughly.

Figure C

5. Remove clay from the spoon and then carefully sand the entire surface of the molded clay to make certain it is smooth on all sides.

6. Coat top surface of clay "egg" with decoupage medium and cover with small torn pieces of dark-colored tissue. Repeat on other side of the egg.

Figure D

7. When medium is dry, cover entire piece with a layer of torn pieces of a light-colored tissue.

8. On top of this layer, Marj applied the image of a cut-out tissue paper butterfly and drew in the antenna with a marking pen.

9. Pat the entire surface with clear embossing ink and cover it with hologram embossing powder. Heat it with a heat gun to provide a sheen.

10. Add a pin backing to the back.

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