Ceramic plaques are unique pieces of art that can serve a variety of purposes. They can be used for a home's address, for special occasions or just to add beauty to a room. Making a ceramic plaque yourself gives you the freedom to customise the plaque however you want. You have the ability to add kids' handprints or footprints, leaves from a favourite tree or even a quote or saying. Making your own plaque requires some work and special equipment, but the payoff is worth the work.
Draw a full-size version of the plaque you want to make. This will be the time when you can decide the measurements and design of your plaque. Plan on using roughly 0.113kg of clay for every 8 square inches of width on the tile.
Knead the clay. Wet a handful of the polymer clay with a small amount of water and knead it with your hands on a clean, smooth surface. You will need to knead the clay until your mixture is smooth and lump free. If the mixture begins to crack from dryness, add more water a teaspoon at a time. Continue to add more clay until you have the amount you will need for your tile.
Roll out the kneaded clay on a smooth, clean surface. Begin to get the clay in the shape your tile will be, but you do not want to roll it to the correct dimensions in this step.
Transfer the rolled-out clay to a straight, wooden board, flipping the clay so the side of clay that had been on the bottom is now on the top. Roll the clay out again, getting it at least as large as the tile's final dimensions. You will want your tile to be at least 1/2 inch thick and, if your tile is larger than 15 inches by 15 inches wide, consider making it at least 3/4 inch thick. A tile that is too thin will warp during the baking process.
Cut the clay into the shape and size you desire using a ceramic cut-out tool. Use a ruler if you need help making straight lines.
Cut the design or any words into the tile using cookie cutters. You can also use small rocks or leaves to add design elements to the tile. For wording, you can either freehand the letters with the ceramic cut-out tool or use letter cookie cutters.
Paint the tile with glaze, using a paintbrush, if you want to add colour to your tile. If you choose not to glaze the tile, it will end up a terracotta colour after baking. Let the glaze dry.
Bake the tile in a kiln or regular oven set at 232 degrees Celsius. If the clay packaging has contradictory instructions for temperature, follow the package directions. The cooking time will depend on the size of the tile, but will be between 2 and 4 hours. The upper part of the tile will develop a crust coating when it is done.
Dust off the tile with a paint brush once it has cooled. Apply a coat of tile sealer to the clean, cooled tile with a cotton cloth. Allow the sealer to dry and apply a second coat.
Things you need
- Polymer clay
- Rolling pin
- Wood board
- Ruler or measuring tape
- Ceramic cut-out tool
- Ceramic modelling tool
- Cookie cutters or small rocks or leaves
- Kiln or oven
- Tile sealer
- Cotton cloths