premo! Sculpey Circus Box
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premo! Sculpey Circus Box

Turn a plain paper mache box into a vintage circus trunk with promo! Sculpey clay.
Craft Time: 60+ minutes
Uses Recycled Items: No
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Material List

  • premo! Sculpey® Oven-bake Clay – Burnt Umber (2)
  • Sculpey® Texture Wheel
  • Sculpey® Super Slicer
  • Sculpey® Style and Detail Tools, Medium Size Tool
  • Sculpey® Extruder (Small Half Circle Disc)
  • Clay Machine
  • Chipboard Box
  • Paint – Yellow Ochre, Nutmeg and Cream
  • Sea Sponge, Small Piece
  • Foam Brush, Small
  • Tags – Circus Theme
  • Scrapbook Paper – Circus Theme
  • Charm – Key
  • Tim Holtz® Idea-ology® Key Hole and Brad
  • Recollections™ Brads – Assorted Colors
  • Glue – White
  • Raw Copper Wire, 18 ga.
  • Wire Cutters
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Wire, 20 ga.
  • Tropical Drink Umbrella
  • Beads – Assorted Colors
  • Yardstick

Project Instructions


Getting Started
Start with clean hands and work surface area. Good work surfaces include wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. Knead clay until soft and smooth. For best results, clean your hands in between colors. Shape clay, pressing pieces together firmly. Bake on oven-proof glass or metal surface at 275°F (130°C) for 30 minutes per 1/4" (6 mm) thickness. For best baking results, use an oven thermometer. DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME. Wash hands after use.
Begin by preheating oven to 275°F (130°C). Test temperature with oven thermometer for perfectly cured clay. For best results, condition all clay by running it through the clay dedicated pasta machine several passes on the widest setting. Fold the clay in half after each pass and insert the fold side into the rollers first.

A tip about painting the box - Select your middle tone, two slightly lighter tones and a shadow tone. Start with the middle tone and then build the highlights and shadows from the middle tone.

Step 1 Paint the entire box with the Yellow Ochre. Mix a small amount of Cream paint into the Ochre to get a slightly lighter color. Pick up some of the color with the foam brush and brush it onto the sea sponge (this should not be a lot of paint on the sponge!) Daub across the Ochre surface, putting more paint onto the sponge frequently. (NOTE: Daub the sponge on a piece of paper first to remove excess paint.)

Step 2 Once the entire box is sponged, mix a little more Cream into the Ochre to make a lighter color than you just sponged. Put a little of the Nutmeg color right next to it. Pick up BOTH colors on the brush and apply to the sponge. Sponge this combination over the entire box.


Step 3 Use the foam brush to apply the same two colors directly to the shadow areas of the box detail and use your finger or dry brush to pull them out onto the box. You can also apply some of the Nutmeg by itself to the deepest parts of the shadow. Remember to smooth or pull it out with your finger or brush.

Step 4 Allow the box to dry thoroughly as you work on the clay elements.

Step 5 TO COMPLETE THE BOX: Drill a small hole in the front center of the box lid to affix the key hole with the brad.

Step 6 Roll the Burnt Umber through the clay machine on the widest setting. Create a long narrow strip of clay.

Step 7 Place the strip of clay on your work surface and position your strip of wood on the top of the clay. Now just run the Texture Wheel down the clay, using the wood as a guide to help keep it upright and straight!


Step 8 Remove the wood and use your Super Slicer to trim the embossed clay strip.


Step 9 Place the three strips on the top of the box, wrapping them down the front and back. Use white glue to secure them in place.


Step 10 Make two longer strips to wrap around the edge of the box top. I kept the rough ends on the edges next to the keyhole to give the appearance of wear.

Step 11 Use one more long strip to cover the front of the bottom edge and wrap it about halfway on each side. The remaining sections of the sides are pieced together.

Step 12 To create the metal corners, cut 6" sections of the copper wire and create tight pin rolls going in opposite directions. Fold these in half and secure them to the box with the brads (trim the actual brad to about 1/8"). Dip the brad in glue and press into place on the box. Repeat for all the corners of the box.



Step 13 Roll the remaining clay through the Clay Conditioning Machine on the widest setting and place your larger tags on this sheet and trim to leave just a small edge of clay. Punch out the tag hole. Bake the box and the tags for 30 minutes according to your clay package directions.

Step 14 Once the box is baked and cooled, you can begin to add your elements to the top of the box. (TOP: Lay these out before baking, take a picture and then bake the box. This way you can get things back to where you want them)


Step 15 Glue the paper tags into place on the top and the umbrella. Wrap a small length of the thinner wire through the hole of each of the clay mounted tags and add some beads and baubles to them. Glue these into place also.

Step 16 Antique the leather (clay) straps with a wash of a brown/black paint, liberally watered down. As a final touch rub a little copper stamp pad ink on some of the strap surfaces.

Step 17 Finishing the box - Select sections of the matching scrap paper to add to the front and sides of the bottom portion of the box. Glue these into place and anchor them with small dots of clay with brads embedded in them.
· Use a small cutter to cut out the same amount of clay for each.
· Roll into a ball.
· Press the Medium Style and Detail tool into the ball.
· Trim the back of the brad, dip in glue and press into place.
· Bake and glue into place on the edges of the paper.
· To highlight the long the front of the box, I extruded lengths of a half circle of gold clay and glued them into place after baking.



Take a photo of your box layout before baking so assembling is easy.

Craft Notes

Crafted for Michaels by Syndee Holt.