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jewellery dishes how to the red thread

TUTORIAL :: How to make jewellery dishes with copper trim

I’ve had some air dry clay in my craft stash for a while but hadn’t thought much about what I’d use it for. Then after misplacing yet another earring I had the idea to make little jewellery dishes – one each for my desk, the bathroom and my bedside table. I’m always taking my rings and other jewellery off while I’m working at my computer, or at various random places at home. Do you do that too? They sometimes get knocked onto the floor or otherwise misplaced and it’s so frustrating. Now I automatically put things in one of the three dishes and I always know where to find things. Genius!

This tutorial on how to make petite dishes also incorporates my current love – and a major trend – copper.


make earring dishes the red threadjewellery dish tutorial the red thread

Click through for the tutorial.

All you’ll need is air dry clay and a copper metallic marker – and/or copper leaf, sizing, a paint brush and a spray sealer.

Knead the clay and roll out a long sausage about 1 cm (three eighths of an inch) thick. Remember making coil bowls at school? That’s what’s next: make a small coil bowl. Initially you need to make a bowl shape, not a dish shape.

Smooth out the inside and outside of the bowl.

Now start thinning out and shaping the bowl by gently pinching it between your thumb and fingers. Be gentle so that you don’t make deep thumb imprints. As the bowl gets thinner start shaping the walls outwards to form a dish shape. Keep pinching and shaping until the clay is a couple of millimeters (less than an eighth of an inch) thick. We are aiming for an organic free-form shape with some parts of the side wall higher than others. If you like you can smooth out the surface by adding a small amount of water to your fingertips and rubbing them gently over the bowl.

Allow the dish to dry thoroughly according to the instructions on the clay packaging.

jewellery dishes steps the red thread

I used a Sharpie to color around the rim of one of my dishes and it went on easily and allows you the control to draw any sort of pattern or decoration you like. The other two dishes are embellished with copper leaf which has a gorgeous finish and looks like a true metallic compared to the Sharpie. To compliment the organic shapes of the dishes I wanted a finish that wasn’t neat or uniform. When using any sort of metallic leaf work in an area without a draft – it’s so light and can easily get everywhere. Follow the directions on the pack, applying the sizing first, followed by the copper leaf and finally the sealant.

make jewellery dishes the red thread nesting jewellery dishes the red thread earring dish tutorial the red thread

These sweet copper trimmed jewellery dishes would make a lovely gift too, so if you’re thinking about handmade for Christmas get onto this and get a head start!


This tutorial originally appeared in my monthly Make Me column on decor8 on 09 October.

  • http://moniquesmess.blogspot.com.au monique smith

    ooh this appeals to me very much. i love playing with air dry clay and was toying with the idea of doing this with gold leaf but yummmm! love the copper effect. Love it!

  • fariba

    That’s great ,I love it ,I try to make it . Thank you very much 😉

  • Suzanne

    This is gorgeous!! Must try this too! xx

  • http://onelmon.com/blog onel

    Pretty! I love the imperfect look on the edges. Great job with the copper color too!

  • jet

    wooow this is beautiful, i love and like it, thank you for the great tute and of course the sharing. I think it’s as well a lovely gift for others when i have made one;-D

  • http://typicalhousecat.com Kristiina

    Love how these turned out. I am loving copper lately so I’ll have to try soon.

  • http://www.thehomeyowl.blogspot.com Stacia

    What a clever idea. I totally leave my jewelry all over the place, too. I may just have to try this!

    P.S. The earrings in the last picture are adorable!

    • the red thread

      The earrings are lovely aren’t they? They are from polli.com.au

  • http://www.jewelsberry.com/ herveywilna

    Above images are so lovable . This kind of concept is such a very great sample of creativity. The use of copper trim with jewelery and egg and for making a surprise dish ….. i like it so much . After reading this blog no one can stop themselves to try for it.

  • Suzanne

    Hi Lisa

    Where in Sydney can I buy the copper sharpies!! I have made the bowl!!

    • the red thread

      Hi Suzanne – I got it at Officeworks.

  • http://goodthingsneverend.blogspot.com.es/ SUSANA


  • Casey


    I love this idea! It is amazing! I was wondering if you think it would work on some old white dishes I have lying around.



    • the red thread

      Hi Casey, yes I’m sure it would… just read the instructions on the gold leaf pack.

  • http://OmbreLox.Com Missy K.

    I love your blog and I was lucky enough to find it just now via Pinterest. I have a quick question though…Where on earth can I find the exact same dishes that you used in this tutorial? I don’t want just any old random dishes, I’ve gotta find THOSE! ❤️*swoon*

  • http://coffeewithbrittany.com Brittany

    What a great idea. Definitely going to try this on my day off!

  • http://social.xfire.com/blog/quaintgovernor134/12281615 Airport Transfers Cuffley

    Thanks for any other wwonderful post. Where else could
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  • http://www.veryvie.blogspot.com Avery

    This is gorgeous! I love copper too – but I swear the colour looks like a lovely shade of rose gold in your photos! :) Definitely going to try this. I adored this tutorial because most that I find online use oven-bake clay, which I find more troublesome, since I don’t have an oven for baking clay (only cookies and cake and edible things lol!). So your version with air-dry clay is wonderful!