This Cactus Clay Garden is a great project for a child to extend their skills in modeling with clay. We were a bit bored with making snakes, so the next step was to make the clay snakes into a pot and make rectangles into cactuses. We used Mont Marte air-drying clay because it is easy to use and dries within a few days, depending on the thickness of the clay object.
What you need:
First, make a clay snake. Then, coil it into a spiral to make the base of your pot.
To build the sides of your pot, add a little bit of water to the base to make it sticky. Roll another piece of clay into a snake shape, and place the clay on top of the base. Coil it around to form the sides of the pot. Keep coiling the sides and add the tiniest bit of water to join the coils together.
Place the pots aside to dry. They may take a few days to dry, depending on the thickness of your pots.
To make the cactuses, roll a piece of clay into a short, thick sausage shape. Flatten the base of the cactus so it can stand. Make two small, thick cylinders and add them to the cactus to make the branches. Smooth the branches into the clay.
Leave aside to dry overnight.
In a bowl, add a few drops of pink food coloring and a splash of white vinegar to your rice. Combine it until the rice is bright pink.
Lay the rice out on a tray to dry overnight.
The pots should be completely dry before you paint them. Paint the pots and leave to dry.
Paint the cactuses green and leave to dry.
We used sea urchins we found on the beach because their shape and texture resembled round little cactuses. We also painted them green, allowed the green paint to dry, and then painted red dots for flowers.
Pour the rice into the pots and fill to the top. Push the cactuses into the rice and add the sea urchins. Your little cactus gardens are complete to display.
In the next few posts, we will be exploring other methods of clay molding. Stay tuned!