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How to make a toadstool tea light holder

How to make a toadstool tea light holder

The perfect DIY clay craft project for any fairy tale fan! Take a look at the video above from design team member Heather Robertson and see just how she's made this woodland themed LED tea light holder using Air Drying Clay.  Complete with woodland embellishments like oak leaves, mushrooms and nuts and berries.  All made from the selection of moulds below.

Moulds you will need:

Other items you will need:
Or take a look at these step by steps below to see just how design team member Heather Robertson created this fairy tale themed woodland tea light holder.

Step 1 - Base

Lightly dust the Medium Log Slice Mould with corn flour and tap out the excess. Fill the mould with medium brown Hearty Air Dry Clay, roll flat, and pull the clay away from the edge of the mould. Carefully remove the log slice from the mould and set aside to dry overnight.

When the log slice is dry, draw around the rim of a small glass jar, on the underside of the log slice. Carefully cut out the centre of the log slice with a craft knife and remove (this can be saved for another project), and ensure the rim of the jar sits inside snugly.  A battery operated tea light will fit in place underneath.

Tree stump top

Cover the base of the jar (this will be the top of the tree stump) with PVA glue and spread thinly. Flatten some light brown air dry clay and press onto the top of the jar. Line up the centre of the Medium Log Slice Mould with the centre of the jar and press down on the top and sides. Gently remove.
Cut off the excess clay with a craft knife and smooth the edges. Carefully glue the medium log slice base onto the jar and set aside to dry. Next we'll add the tree bark.

Step 2 - Bark

Roll out a strip of dark brown air dry clay and press into the Continuous Bark Mould. Check the impression and press down again if needed. Roll out a snake of dark brown Air dry clay, and glue the snake around the base of the glass jar to even out the edge. Lightly cover the jar in PVA glue and wrap the clay bark around the jar. Trim off the excess and gently press in place. Tear off the extra clay at the top to create a rough bark effect, curling some pieces.
Extra texture can be added by pressing the Continuous Bark Mould into the clay. Cut out windows using small circle cutters, and a door with a craft knife, peeling some bark back. Wipe off the excess glue with a damp cloth and continue to shape.

Using snakes of air dry clay, add roots and bulk out the tree stump.
Add a hollow branch with a ball of clay and use the Continuous Bark Mould to add texture. Use the back of a pencil to create the branch hollow, and continue to add clay and texture where needed. Use glue to add wet clay to dry clay.

Check the size of the doors will fit into the door opening. These were made with a stash of bramble leaves made using the Blackberry and Oak Leavesbut the large rose leaves from the Rose Leaves Mould will also work.

Set aside to dry overnight.

Step 3 - Dry Brush Tree Stump

When the clay tree stumps is dry use acrylic paint to highlight the raised areas of the tree stump. Load a flat paintbrush with paint and remove most of it on a paper towel (scrub), to create a dry brush.  Lightly brush/scrub the tree stump with paint and let dry. Keep adding layers as needed. Add shadows in black.
Heather used light brown, unbleached titanium, white, raw and burnt umber, yellow, green and black paint.

Add watered down brown paint to the top of the tree stump to fill the crevices and wipe off the excess with a paper towel. Add further highlights where needed. Heather added yellow around the windows and door to mimic the light glowing from inside the tree stump.

Step 4 - Embellishments

Using the Blackberry and Oak leaves create a pile of leaves in shades of green and orange. (The Rose leaves Mould can also be used) Heather used the small and medium oak leaves and the small bramble leaves to make the door.

Condition the mould with little white fat or lip balm to help hold the clay in place.
Place the leaves onto some paper towel to dry.

Using the Nuts and Berries Mould create acorn caps and acorns using light brown/cream air dry clay. Use tacky glue to hold acorns together and remember to remove excess glue from the mould. Smooth the edges with tweezers and the Flower Pro Companion Tool (included with the Flower Pro Filler Flowers Mould or the Flower Pro Card Plastic Size Guide, Companion Tool and Flexi Scraper set)


Heather used watercolours to cover leaves and acorns in a darker shade of paint and leave to dry. When dry, wipe off the excess paint with a damp cloth to reveal highlights.

Step 5 - Mushrooms (Flower Pro Mushroom & Toadstool Mould)

Decide where you want your mushrooms to go. Heather used yellow clay for the red mushrooms, as this will make the mushrooms glow when you start to add thin washes of red paint. Use white clay for other mushrooms.
Using the Mushroom and Toadstool Mould create mushrooms and trim one side to stick to the tree stump. Using Extra Heavy Gel medium or thick glue, gently stick in place. Make the mushrooms any size you want. Add extra clay to the base if needed and add texture.

Create your Mushroom gills using wedges of clay and the Gill Veiner which comes with the Mushroom and Toadstool Mould.  Position and stick leaves and acorns in place, including the leaf doors and remove any excess glue.

Leave to dry overnight.

Step 6 - Paint and Varnish

Heather used watercolour paints to paint her toadstool house, but acrylic paints can also be used. Heather would recommend watercolours as they can be layered and built up. Wipe off paint from the edges with a damp cloth. This is best when the paint is dry for watercolour paints and and wet for acrylic paints 

Add white spots with acrylic paint. Add extra colours and highlights to acorns, leaves and tree stump with acrylic paint.  Add gloss varnish to acorns, the tops of some mushrooms and a few highlighted spots. Add extra yellow for light glow.  Place a battery operated tea light inside.

Sit back and enjoy the glowing light shining from inside your own little fairy house!
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