Time to Make
2 hours + drying time for clay and glue
Adult Supervision Needed
How to Make
- Draw 2 squares 6cm x 6cm onto white card then cut them out. Use a pencil and ruler to divide both squares into 4 strips, 1.5cm wide. Draw a letter ‘M’ and a ‘U’ onto the 2 squares, using the pencil lines to help as a guide. Keep the width of the verticals, diagonals and curves on each letter at 1.5cm so the proportions are consistent. Cut out the 2 letters.
- Unwrap a block of clay. Place it onto a plastic or wooden board or use a large tile as a work surface. Carefully flatten the clay with a rolling pin. Roll over the clay to make an even depth over the whole block of 1.5cm.
- Place the card ‘M’ onto the surface of the rolled clay. Use a craft knife (or a flat ended modelling tool) to cut around the card making sure it has cut all the way through the clay. Lift up the ‘card M’, place it onto a new area of clay to cut another identical ‘M’ then cut a letter ‘U’. Lift up the card templates. Carefully remove the excess clay from around the letters with a knife or modelling tool. Don’t lift or move the clay letters as the shapes may distort. Any uneven edges can be re-shaped with sandpaper after the clay has dried. Wrap left over clay in the packaging inside a plastic bag.
- Leave the clay letters to dry overnight or for at several hours on the board. After the letters have partially dried, carefully turn them over to dry out the reverse side. Leave the letters to thoroughly.
- Carefully smooth the surface of the letters using fine sandpaper. Smooth along the edges and around the corners to refine the shapes. Brush off any clay dust.
- Cut off 8cm-12cm length strips of Washi tape to cover the letters to make a striped pattern. Wrap each strip around the letters, pressing it down so the edges are flat. Depending on how the strips are stuck down you may need to use shorter or longer strips. Use a craft knife or scissors to cut the tape so it fits neatly over the letter shapes. Trim off any overhanging or overlapping pieces of tape. Brush a sealing coat of PVA over the letters. This makes the letters harder wearing and helps to prevent the tape peeling.
The ideal tool for cutting the clay letter shapes is a snap-off knife or a disposable craft knife where the blade is long enough to cut through the 1.5cm rolled clay. Alternatively, for safety (or for children) use a flat-ended modelling tool. For paler colours - Pastel Washi Tapes AX697