Today we are giving new meaning to the term “fruit bowl.” We have been toying around with ceramic projects for kids for the past two months and are wrapping it up with two fun projects this week. First up are these Sculptamold Fruit Bowls molded from….well….why not…fruit! Yes, that’s right, these bowls were molded from fruit. See the second picture if you need a visual!
When I was trying to find fun ceramics products to try with the kids this month I discovered Sculptamold. Sculptamold by Amaco is a non-toxic modeling compound that is cellulose based, like paper. In fact it feels like ground-up paper. When I read the spec sheet and saw that it is completely non-toxic, I knew we hit pay dirt as far as a suitable molding compound to use for kids crafts. Typically this product is used for model set scenery, it’s consistency makes it perfect for modeling the ground, but I found that it also dries quite smooth when placed into a mold. In fact, when making these fruit bowls I loved the juxtaposition of smooth interior, rough exterior.
This is also our second post sponsored by the amazing Create For Less who was kind enough to send me plenty of Sculptamold to experiment with. If you aren’t familiar with Create for Less, you should be! Create for Less is an online supplier of all things crafty and amazing and as their name suggest, all at discounted prices. For the first post in the Create for Less Series check out our Polymer Clay Bracelets.
This post is sponsored by Create for Less but all opinions are my own!
Ceramic Projects for Kids: Sculptamold Fruit Bowls
- Large bin/bucket for mixing
- Herbs and flowers petals (optional)
- Fruit with hard rinds (i.e. citrus, melons, etc.)
- Clay or play dough
- Plastic wrap
- Wax paper
- Sand paper -100 grit (optional)
- Step One Prepare your fruit. Cut it in half and scoop out the insides to save for eating! Rinse the rind and turn over on a paper towel to let any remaining juices drain out.
- Step Two Place wax paper on your work surface.
- Step Three Take a chunk of clay or play dough and knead it. Roll it into a ½” thick long rope that is roughly the circumference of your fruit.
- Step Four Place your fruit cut side down on the wax paper. Place the clay rope around the bottom edge and gently press it into the side of the fruit to seal. The clay will prevent juice from leaking into the bowl, create a clean rim, and help you determine the thickness of the bowl.
- Step Five Mix your Scupltamold. Use a 2:1 ratio of Scupltamold to water as directed on the product instructions. For a little extra color and texture we added in a cup of herbs and flower petals. Mix with a spoon or by hand. Kids will love the feel and texture of the Sculptamold.
- Step Six Grab a handful of wet Sculptamold and smooth it over the fruit. Continue to smooth more Sculptamold over the fruit until the rind is completely covered. Use the clay to make sure your bowl is thick enough. You want the Sculptamold to be about ¼”- ½” thick. If it’s too thin the final bowl will crack.
- Step Seven (optional) Place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl and gently smooth out the outer surface of the bowl using your palms. Remove plastic wrap. If you want a more textured bowl exterior you can skip this step.
- Step Eight Let dry. Sculptamold will be dry within several hours but I recommend waiting until the clay rim has hardened a bit before removing the fruit from the bowl. Overnight is best.
- Step Nine Once the Sculptamold and clay rim are dry, peel/break off the clay edge. Gently pull on the fruit rind to loosen it from the bowl and then remove the fruit completely.
- Step Ten (optional) Sand the rim of the bowl to create a smooth, clean edge. If the bottom of the bowl is wobbly, gently sand the bottom a little to create a flat section so the bowl doesn’t wobble.
You’re done! Aren’t these fun? They would make a stellar and surprising Mother’s Day gift! And you won’t believe how light they are when completely dry.
Here are my kids making their bowls, they couldn’t wait to claim their fruit!
- THESE BOWLS ARE NOT WATERPROOF! Sculptamold will soften when exposed to water. If you wish to seal your bowl you can try a coat of outdoor Mod Podge. Mod Podge will give the bowl a slightly yellow coloring. I haven’t tested the waterproof ability of a Mod Podge coated bowl so I cannot promise it will not soften if exposed to water.
- To clean dried Sculptamold off work surfaces use water. Sculptamold dries really hard but softens fairly quickly with water.
- DO NOT pour extra Sculptamold down the drain! Sculptamold, like other clay and plaster materials can clog drains! Rinse out your bucket with a hose and pour extra Sculptamold in the trash.
- The smoother the surface of the molded object, the smoother the interior of your bowl. My daughter’s watermelon bowl had the nicest interior surface.
- If you don’t wish to mold fruit you can also use bowls for molds. Use bowls with smooth bottoms and curved shapes. We tried molding over a glass jar but the bowl cracked when I tried to remove it from the straight edges of the jar.
Jason Mecier. Jason Mecier is a San Francisco based artist who creates mosaic portraits out of food, trash, candy and more. Want to see a portrait of Kevin Bacon made out of bacon? His work is incredibly detailed and the materials he chooses for each portrait are representative of the subject itself. I love artists who think differently about materials and who have a sense of humor; Jason Mecier does both with aplomb.
Most of us don’t have access to a kiln so it was my goal during clay month to find ceramics projects for kids that wouldn’t need to be fired yet would create a durable end product. Sculptamold was the perfect product for this. Add in a little fun with fruit and you have a really easy ceramics project for kids to make. And thank you so much to Create for Less for providing me with plenty of Sculptamold to experiment with! If you are pumped to try this project I hope you’ll take a moment to hop over to the Create for Less website to order some Sculptamold and more!
For more fun with molding clay check out these Polymer Clay Bracelets we made using Sculpey.
If your child loves all things clay try these clay decorated birdhouses on for size.
And don’t miss out on more art, science, and design for kids here on Babble Dabble Do! Your child’s inner Jason Mecier thanks you! Subscribe below or follow us on Twitter!