DIY spring vase or pen pot

I’ve re-discovered modeling clay; a ready made papier-mâché that you can buy cheap online, is fairly easy to mould, and as it’s paper based it dries white and you can paint it with any paint – or even decorate your creation with marker pens (like my gold legs, coloured with a gold marker pen). Fun for kids, sure, but also fun for making personalised gifts and quirky decorations for the home – from Christmas and Easter baubles to vases, paper weights and coffee table ornaments. You could make anything you can think of – a sculpture, a faux cactus, even a miniature version of your dog. I made a little bunny vase, which although it isn’t waterproof (so not great for real flowers), it can be used as a toothbrush holder, or for pens in the study, or for loose bits on the bedside table, etc.

It took about 30 minutes (plus drying time), and is a fun little weekend project! To make one yourself, you’ll need:

  • modeling clay
  • rolling pin
  • flat surface
  • paint (I used weatherproof exterior paint)
  • paintbrush
  • glue (hot glue gun is ideal)

Unwrap themodeling clay and roll the dough as flat as a pancake.

Cut a wide and long rectangle leaving two bunny ears, like this:

Fold the two ends towards each other to create a cylinder / vase:

It can be as big or skinny as you like, but generally it’ll be stronger and easier to keep upright if it’s on the skinny side. Press the two ends together with your fingers to blend them.

Assemble the leftover modeling clay into a ball and roll it flat with a rolling pin, then place the bunny cylinder / vase on top of it and draw (using your fingertip or something sharp) around the outline.

Cut out the circle with a knife, then press the bunny cylinder onto the circle and press the sides down so that it blends together. You can always cut around the edges to tidy it up a bit.

From the leftover scraps, cut a small strip (like a plaster), then use a different piece to roll into a ball to create the bunny tail, and two smaller balls to make the bunny feet. Roll the feet into ovals / rugby ball shapes and press down to flatten them a bit, and draw toes using a knife or anything sharp.

Press the bunny feet onto the strip, then press the bottom of the vase onto the feet and strip, and squish together.

To attach the tail, you could try and squish it on, but I found it easier to let it dry separately and then glue it on once the vase and tail were both dry. Leave the vase to dry overnight.

Once it’s dry, you can glue the tail on (a hot glue gun is ideal if you have one), then get painting!

To paint the inside, pour a little paint (just a few tablespoons) into the vase and then roll it around inside until the whole inside is covered, then pour the excess paint away.

Now get painting the rest!

Leave to dry. That’s it! You might want to go over it with a different colour, or draw on a face or details, but I chose to leave mine plain.