This is a tutorial for making polymer clay trinket dishes with a cutting machine like the Cricut.
It is totally possible to make this without a cutting machine which is probably I will do next time I do this. You will just have to cut out the template by hand and have a sharp knife on hand.
These are the perfect little handmade gift for a friend or a family member. Everyone can always use an extra trinket dish for their jewelry especially when its made with love.
So this round of trinket dishes were not perfect but I decided to post about it anyways because hey, that’s just how crafting goes. Your first try is likely not going to come out right.
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Materials for DIY Trinket Dishes
Polymer Clay – I love using Sculpey III clay because it seems to be the easiest to work with and can actually withstand cutting after it’s been baked. This doesn’t apply for this project, but its great for small intricate clay projects like earrings. Depending on your dish size, you will need at least 1oz per dish. 1oz is the same as one bar in the sample packs. I used about that much to make mine in the photos which are about 3-4 inches wide.
Deep Point Blade or Knife Blade – If you are using the Explorer, I would recommend the Deep Point Blade. If you are using the Maker, use the Knife blade.
Oven Proof Bowl – You need to something to create curvature in the clay.
Cutting Machine – I use a Cricut. Check out my recommendations for Cricut machines and accessories for beginners for more info.
Alternatively, you can use a sharp knife.
Template – I’ve included all 3 leaves SVG templates in my resource library for free. The printable versions are there as well.
Tips for Making the Polymer Clay Dish
First condition the clay with your fingers by just squeezing it a few times.
I like to roll out the clay on a blue mat. If I am cutting polymer clay with the Cricut, I try to keep it on the thinner size, like no thicker than 2mm.
Polymer clay does leave a slight film. You will need to dedicate a mat to this and wash your hands afterwards.
If you are using a Maker, I like the craft foam setting. The explorer will have to use an equivalent custom setting.
I did a little manual embossing with a fondant tool but that part is optional.
When baking the clay, place it in a bowl or equivalent so there is curvature to the cutout.
I found this canning rings for mason jars to be the perfect little rack for my trinket dishes.
Sculpey III for this thickness requires about 12mins of baking at 275 deg F.
It cools in about 15 minutes.
So I made my batch with this hot pink clay thinking I would paint it anyways. As it turns out, it the clay its self is quite beautiful so next time I would just use the color I intend on having in the end.
I painted mine with some acrylic paint. I didn’t love the results because I couldn’t find a way to make it streak free beyond just dipping the whole thing which is kind of a mess. The makeup sponge seemed to work the best with acrylic paint on these dishes. I made 3 coats.
A metallic sharpie market also works great especially around the lip of the dish. Another thing to try next time.