Updated: Mar 28
Also known as garden stakes, plant markers, etc. etc.
A banana slug plant stake Elizabeth made.
Hello! Welcome to Miniezshops behind the scenes with myself Elizabeth. In today's blog I’ll explain how to turn your little polymer clay creations into plant stakes, garden stakes, plant markers, or whatever you call them.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Your unbaked sculpture. Make something fun out of clay and don’t bake it yet. If you need ideas, take a look at any of my Youtube Tutorials. When you’re sculpting make sure to cover your surface with a work mat (paper will do), so you don’t ruin your table top.
An eye hook or some sort of wire. Here are the ones I use.
Some some sort of smoothing tool. Here’s what I use but this can be any sort of sculpting tool. A potter's needle or a toothpicks will work. I might earn a commission off those links but I encourage you to use tools you have on hand. You can even use a pen tip or the tip of a pencil covered with a little bit of saran wrap so the graphite doesn’t mark the clay.
A baking sheet.
Pliers are helpful if your wire gets bent out of shape but they aren’t necessary.
A photo of the tools
Once you have your materials:
Step 1. Take your unbaked sculpture and find the center of the bottom. Then take your eye pin, with the eye hook portion facing the bottom of the sculpture and press it into the clay. Make sure it goes about halfway into the sculpture.
Step 2. Next, hold your wire steady and twist the sculpture ninety degrees. This locks the eye hook into place.
If you use wire instead of an eye hook, prior to putting the wire in the clay, make a tiny bend at the end of the wire that goes into the clay. Twist the same as the eye hook and that bend will lock your wire into place so it doesn’t come loose.
Step 3. At the bottom of the sculpture, you’ll see a gap on either side of the wire. Take your chosen sculpting tool and smooth those gaps away so that the clay is pressed snug against the wire. This ensures the wire doesn’t wobble.
Step 4. Take some tinfoil and crumple it into a wad. Then press it on your work surface so that it’s nice and secure. You want a good strong base because this tin foil will go on your baking sheet and in the oven.
Step 5. Press the end of the wire, that’s now attached to your sculpture, into the tin foil. Give it a little wobble test to make sure it won’t fall over and is stable.
Step 6. Place these on your baking sheet.
*Tip Before you heat up your oven, make sure your sculpture will fit in between the oven racks. It's sad to whack your creation into the rack and damage it. I've done that in a rush.
Step 7. Once you’ve confirmed it will fit, heat up your oven and bake the sculpture according to the clay's specifications. Generally this is 275 F or 135 C for thirty minutes but clay varies from brand to brand.
Step 8. When your plant stake is done baking, let it cool for about 20 minutes, and then plop it next to your favorite plant. If you need more visuals here's my corresponding Youtube video.
I hope you have fun and make lots of cool little plant stakes. If you have any questions let me know in the comments below. I always enjoy hearing what you’d like to know about the sculpting process.
Ps. if you feel like sending a photo of your plant stake, I'd love to see what you make and can feature it at the end of my Youtube videos if you’d like. Here are some of my favorite plant stakes to inspire you.
Thanks for reading, hugs - Elizabeth (miniezshop)