Monday, 24 May 2021

How to create your own celestial clay wall decor {DIY Project}

 This year I really wanted to start finding my creative streak again. I enjoy the feeling of starting a project, getting my hands on the whole process and having a finished product. Towards the end of last year I found several celestial style clay wall hangings and I knew I wanted to create my own for our bedroom. I had a few ideas but in particular I wanted something with the various stages of the moons cycle.

I decided I wanted to create several wall hangings ranging in size and shapes for our bedroom that followed a celestial theme but would work together to create one piece that would hang on the wall over our bed. I knew that I wanted to use air dry clay to create the piece and I had a firm idea in my mind to get me started. The piece would be three different sized garlands to hang in a set. 

To create the garlands you will need:

  • Air Dry Clay 
  • Acrylic Paint in your choice of colours
  • Paint brush 
  • Circle & Star cutters or templates
  • Rolling pin
  • large lolly pop sticks
  • Nice, string thread, twine or similar cord
  • Ruler
  • Water
  • Nails or Command hooks

The first step will be to create a plan for what you want your set to look like. Sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil, start with the garland that will be the smallest first. You can create the shapes you like or you can just follow the same design I created.

I wanted the smallest size garland to have the moon phases in a small scale, the full moon in the middle would hang lowest with each phase having a matching height either side. My second garland would have stars of three different sizes in three sets with the stars hanging rom biggest to smallest with  matching height for the biggest, a shorter height for the medium and an even shorter height for the smallest. The final garland would have another set of moon phases that are bigger, thicker and more polished with rounded out edges. This garland would hold the moon phases side by side instead of hanging below the garland. 

Once You have a plan on how you want your finished set to look you need to get started on softening up your clay by rolling it round and using the heat in your hands to make they clay more malleable. When your happy with the clay you need to roll out your clay to a nice even size. I used 1 lolly pop stick to get the right height for the small moon phases and the stars. However I stacked and taped 3 sticks together to get the right height for y larger moon phases. 

In your design you will know how many of each shape is needed. To create one set of moon phases you need 4 full circles. Once you have all four, set one to the side as your full moon. Cut the next circle in half with a ruler to get your half moon phases. The final two pieces will be your crescent and gibbous phases, using the circular cutter or template place it on the circle with enough space to create the crescent moon shape you want. The end result will be one full set of moon phases. Repeat this step for the other set. 

Remember to also cut out your star shapes in their different sizes. I used a set of three small cutters to create my stars. I wanted to have three of each for a total of 9. 

After each piece had been cut out I used a straw to make a hole in all the pieces where I would want them to hang. The small moon phases and the stars had this at the top of each shape while the bigger set had one on each side of the moon phases. This is where you will add the thread or twine to create the garland. I also smoothed out the sides of all the pieces by using my finger dipped in water. You can then round the edges out to create a more cohesive shape like my larger moon phases by working the smoothing over each side until your happy, I only did this on one side but you can create this on both side of the piece if you want.

Allow all the pieces to dry on a flat surface for around two days. After a day go back and turn the pieces over so the back can also dry. As they dry you will see they clay go from a light grey to a white. The whole piece will be entirely white when dry and will be hard. When your pieces are completely dry you can move on to the next step.

Now is the time to paint everything, I wanted to stick to a metallic theme to mimic the moon shining so I went with a silver and gold acrylic paints. You can choose whichever colours you like, match it to your other d├ęcor in the space it will go or perhaps you want a boho look, which you could use more neutral colours for. I used just one coat on each moon and two coats on the stars for an even coverage. Remember to allow each to dry and to paint the backs too.

When it comes to the assembly it is probably the most technical part of the project so I will lay out each of the garlands assembly as one paragraph. I used my Gutermann Metallic thread in gold and silver to create the garlands. I wanted something thin but still noticeable and it fit the metallic theme well. However you can  use whichever thread or cord you like. 

The smallest garland was made by putting all the clay moon phases onto the tread in the right order. Once everything was on I tied small loop on the end which will be used to hang the piece up. Working from that end you will have all the pieces attached to the thread with one end tied off and the other still on the spool. Work your way along starting with the waxing moon closest to the tied off side, leave enough space to be the hanging part of the garland and enough again for the cresent to hang down a shot distance. Tie a knot right above where the crescent moon now sits. Then gather the thread above the moon phase to where you had wanted the hanging distance to start, tie another knot and you will have made the first hanging crescent. Move over 2-3cms and again add how much distance you want the next phase to hang down ensuring it is lower than the previous one. Repeat this step for the remaining phase and the full moon. To do the final stages you will want to match the length each phase hangs at with the ones you already created. I simply folded the piece in half and matched each up before I tied the thread off at the end. 

The medium garland with stars did follow a similar motion, I added on all the star pieces in the right order they would hang with three sets of large, medium and small. Once attached I tied the end and followed the pattern. This time I wanted the large stars to hang longest, the medium to be a smaller height and the small to be the smallest height with a 3-5cms in between each star. I used the same technique from the smaller garland by tying off the various heights to get the hanging star effect. 

For the final garland I used several lengths of thread, each doubled over and then tied once it had been looped through the two moon phases I was joining together. This created a large loop in which both pieces joined together, I then hid the tied off piece behind the moon phase. Repeat this until each phase is connected. To finish this garland you need to a long loop attached to each end moon phase so that this can be hung up. You can tie a smaller loop on each end if you like, it makes it easier to hang up. 

All that is left is to hang the piece! I used small nails which I added to our wall but you can use the command hooks if you'd prefer not to or if you are renting. Start hanging with the smallest which is easier to centre on the wall or in my case, above our bed. You can then add the other two below with however much space between as you like.

I am really pleased with my finished result and I enjoyed working with the clay. Now as you can see our bedroom wall is currently grey however I will be changing that to a dark blue or black colour sometime in the future which will make the piece pop so much more! 

I already have a few other celestial themed clay ideas I want to create for our bedroom. I have since created another star garland, in a rainbow colour scheme for Scarlet's all above her bed. It is very fun and perfect for a child's room.

Where would you hang a Celestial Clay Wall Hanging in your home and what colour scheme would you go with? 


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