Welcome to my hand-built pottery mugs 101 post! I just finished my second batch of hand-built bugs using low-fire clay. I love how they came out perfectly imperfect! I’m still steep on the learning curve but thought I’d share my journey.
It is definitely a process. I look on Instagram and get inspired – and then depressed. I still have a long way to go – you know, that 10,000 hours thing that makes you an expert? But the only way to get there is to keep practicing!
If you are a newbie like me to hand-building mugs, let’s do this! And if you are a pro, then please don’t judge. We’re getting there, okay?
I don’t have a wheel or a slab roller, but lacking tools never stopped me before. But I do have a kiln! If you don’t have a kiln, check out your local pottery studio or even community center for ceramics classes.
SUPPLIES for hand-built pottery mugs
Ceramics 101: Handbuilt Cups - YouTube
Craft knife or scoring tool
4″ round cookie cutter
Two wood rulers, flat
Cooking cooling rack
The first step is to cover your work area with canvas. Then set down the two rulers (mine is a yardstick broken in half). Condition a ball of clay and then press it flat between the palms of your hands. Set it down between the rulers and roll it flat.
TIP: It cannot be thinner than your pinky, it will be too fragile and break. And it can’t be thicker than your thumb because then it will need a hole for moisture to escape and it will expand and break. I always use these sticks and have never had either problem.
Use the cookie cutter to cut out a base.
Repeat the above to create a 3″x12″ slab that will be the wall of your mug.
Smooth it out!
At this stage, if you want to use cling or rubber stamps to make impressions on the outside wall for your mug, do it now. It will press out your clay, so you’ll need to cut a bit off in the next step.
There are two ways to go about this. I’ve done both and can’t decide which I prefer.
The first way is to score the outer sides of the base and the lower inner side of the wall. Use a paint brush dipped in slip and add it to the scores. Then carefully wrap the wall around the base until the two ends meet. Cut away excess. Score the sides of the ends and mesh them together carefully and neatly.
The second method is to score the outer top area of the base and the bottom of the wall slab. This will make your mug more narrow.
At this stage, you can score other small pieces to add on or let it dry a bit and then carve into it. It will take several hours to cure to a leather stage. I usually cover mine with plastic for a bit and then make roses and leaves and then go in and add them. Again, scoring and slipping along the way – if you do not properly score and slip, your pieces will fall apart as they dry. I’ve experienced this!
Always keep your pieces covered with plastic, otherwise, they will air dry too quickly and curl and bend.
You can insert a plastic cylinder to help it keep a round shape.
Ceramics 101: Handles 3 Ways - YouTube
Eek! Handles are the most troublesome. But there are ways to make it easy. Pinch off a piece of clay and roll it into a narrow piece. Use wet fingers to pull the clay to the desired look for a handle. Once you have a handle you like, audition it on the mug to check for height, and if your fingers can fit through nicely. Attach it the same way to you connected the slab to the mug base.
TIP: Do not wait too long to attach the handle or embellishments. If you add wet clay to dry clay, it will crack.
Let your mugs rest under the plastic for a bit, then take them one by one and use water and a sponge to shape the top ridge. You want it to be round and smooth and soothing to drink from. Also clean up where you handle it, and where all edges connect.
Wait until they are bone dry to greenware stage, then fire in your kiln at cone 04 on slow speed.
After they are cooled, remove from the kiln and now you have bisque mugs! Use your favorite underglazes to add color, then clear glaze. Fire again at cone 06 on medium speed.
Here is another version of making hand-built pottery mugs!
What do you do when you are an appliqué hoarder? You shut it down, that’s what you do! But, what happens when you love all of those appliqués? That was my dilemma with my fabric stash and appliqués. I decided instead of tossing them I would glue them all on one tote bag! It created one bright bold statement that really represents my personality! I’m really happy I tried this idea! You just have to use Aleene’s fabric fusion and put on some fun music and enjoy the therapeutic process of choosing designs and gluing them down.
Aleene’s Fabric Fusion permanent adhesive
One prewashed canvas tote
Assorted fabric appliqués
One piece of freezer paper to put between the layers of the tote
Iron the tote bag so that it is nice and flat. Then set out all of your appliqués and place them on the tote in different arrangements. When you get in arrangement that you like, you are ready to glue!
Make sure to put the freezer paper inside the tote bag in case there is any glue seepage. You don’t want to glue the two layers of the bag together!
Here is a tip on configuring the layout. Separate your appliqués by size. You will want to first affix the larger appliqués, and then fill in with the smaller appliqués. This will create volume and feel negative space. If you want you can add some sparkle by incorporating fabric glitter puffy paint or crystals!
Let it dry for one hour and you are ready to use your tote!
Everyone loves a good party. Whether you’re halfway through college or heading toward your 50s, there’s nothing better than spending some quality time with your best friends. Unfortunately, hosting a party in 2019 is a bit more difficult than it used to be; approximately 66% of Americans are currently on a diet, meaning you need to bend over backward to meet their needs. If you’re looking to host a party that will be talked about positively for the next few months, catering to your friends’ specific diets is step one. Here are a few ways you can ensure everyone is happy.
If you want to please everyone, it’s best to offer a base dish that consists of food that everyone eats, then build out from there. You’re going to want to avoid meat and fish in this area; you’ll be forced to substitute options or take things away entirely, which makes the whole experience much more difficult. Vegetarian food is the best way to go, but many won’t be able to tell the difference between vegetarian and vegan; if you’ve tried your hand at vegan dishes and consider yourself to be well-versed, even your friends on strict diets won’t be able to resist.
Grains Go With Everything
Grains work as an anchor; because they go with essentially everything, they can very easily bring the entire meal together. They’re also quite filling. If you’re throwing a party comparable to a catered event (which sees between 100 and 250 guests), offering a grain dish can serve to satisfy those hungry bellies without too much effort. In the summer, grains can be served with salad; in the winters, stewed and roasted vegetables are ideal. With so many gluten-free options now available, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something that people can’t (or won’t) eat.
Consider The Meal-In-Bowl Solution
If you’re looking for extreme flexibility, structure your dinner around a bowl. Start with a base — such as rice, quinoa, bulgar, or just good old fashioned greens — and then add a sauce. Whether you favor flavorful red sauces or thick and hearty cream sauces, they should be able to coat your grains with ease. Next, you simply add vegetables, a nice dressing (olive oil and vinegar are light and very popular options), top off the dish with some texture; from pumpkin seeds to alfalfa sprouts, the final product will be something that your entire circle will be happy to consume.
As your college roommates and fellow neighbors eat their specified dishes around the pool, you’ll be more concerned about their meal satisfaction than the whether or not your pool fencing is up to code (most require pool fences to be four feet high). Before you know it, everyone will be enjoying their unique servings and applauding your creativity in bringing it all together without a fuss!
These Green Tea Paletas are the perfect summer refresher! They are light, cooling, and will give you that green tea buzz! But, I have a special trick to making these!
I made these as a contributor to #PaletaWeek! Every year, Lola’s Cocina organizes an EPIC Paleta Week blog tour of food bloggers and chefs to come up with new and creative paleta ideas. This is my first this year, I’ll have another one in a couple days!
I didn’t use a tea bag or even loose tea for these Green Tea Paletas. I used MyTeaDrops – have you heard of these? This isn’t a sponsored post, by the way, it’s just me showing a short cut! I first discovered MyTeaDrop a couple of months ago when my friend Eliana came to visit. She brought a box to share for the week, and I came down sick.
Every day she made me a hot cup of tea using these!
Photo from MyTeaDrops.com
They are compressed tea shapes that dissolve in hot water and are completely consumable. No tea bag, no string. They dissolve!
Supplies to make green tea paletas
SUPPLIES for Green Tea Paletas!
Green tea – if you don’t use MyTeaDrops, you can use tea bags, loose tea, or just buy a large cup of green tea from your local drink shop.
Molds. I love these because they are easy to pop out!
Sugar if you love sweet
I wish I had added mint leaves. I’m going to do that next time! And you don’t have to stick with just green tea, there is a sampler pack from MyTeaDrops and it comes with Citrus Ginger, Matcha, Sweet Peppermint, and Rose Earl Grey.
Okay, let’s make our paletas!
Prepare hot water and steep your tea.
Let your tea cool to room temperature, then pour into the molds and freeze for several hours.
I wish I had added mint leaves! Next time for sure!
After they are frozen, remove from the molds. Alrighty, time to test them out. My son, DeAngelo came to hang out with me today and I had him be my taste tester. He had so many emotions, I put all of them here for you to see!
At first, he was like, “Green Tea Paleta? Wha??” Then he goes, “Okay, I’ll give it a try!” The taste test, then – “DEAR LORD! THIS IS SOOO REFRESHING!!”
Yes, I coached him, lol! My family is so dramatic! LOL!
One of my contributions to Paleta Week!
Thanks for checking out my Green Tea Paleta idea! I know there must be other tutorials out there, feel free to adapt and change it to your liking!
And visit #PaletaWeek on Instagram to see all the other delicious ideas from other bloggers!
I’ve had this little laptop roller case for a few years and have always wanted to chicafy it up. My first thought was glitter, but I knew it wouldn’t last long after all the wear and tear. BUT when these new “safe sparkle” Tulip glitter products came out, I knew the time had come!
DIY Glittered Suitcase Supplies
Fabric paint – Shimmer paints, 3D puffy paint
Optional: Iron-on glittered vinyl
Paint the areas that you’ll want to glitter. Let dry and add a second coat for good coverage.
Apply the shimmer fabric paint over the painted areas, it will intensify the color and add lots of sparkle. The more you add, the more sparkle!
Cut out your designs and shapes from the Shimmer Sheets. Peel off the top plastic protective coating, set in place, cover with a thin cloth and and iron on high for about 30 seconds.
Use the Tulip Black Slick 3D Paint to add swirls and designs all around the background. Add #D paint to outline and add more dimension. Let dry.
This is a small carry-on suitcase, which means it won’t be tossed around by bag handlers. I’m pretty confident it will stay in great shape! Hope you enjoyed this DIY glittered suitcase tutorial!
I thrilled to announce I finally have printed shirts to sell! I’ve used print-on-demand for years, I do still have some of those for sale, but I’ve always wanted to have screen printed designs as well.
All these shirts are $24 each and have free shipping within the United States. Enter FREESHIPPING in the promo code area.
Here we go! First up is the Crafty Chica shirt, to represent all of us who love to make all the things! You can see Carla repping it in the above photo!
This shirt runs a size small, so order up one size.
Junior fit sizing
A signature style from Next Level, this super-soft boyfriend tee is instantly loved by all who wear it. Coordinate: Adult 3600, Youth 3710
100% combed cotton jersey
Screenprinted with love in Phoenix, Arizona.
Enter code FREESHIPPING upon check out (United States orders only).
I made this DIY glittered wrist cuff from my very own glittered fabric (click here for the tutorial). I cut a swatch for my wrist, sewed on a fabric image of La Virgen and seamed the edges with a tight zigzag stitch.
SUPPLIES for a DIY Glittered Wrist Cuff:
Swatch of canvas fabric that fits around your wrist
White craft glue
Fabric picture, sewing machine
Velcro or elastic and button
Start by painting the cuff in a base coat, then let dry.
Add a coat of white craft glue and pour on the glitter. Pat it into the glue. Let dry.
Spray with the sealer, let dry.
Use a heavy-duty machine needle to sew on the fabric picture.
Add trim if desired.
I added rickrack and stitched on some matching elastic at the end of the bracelet. That big yellow piece is not a button – it is a vintage clip earring. I glued the clasp down and then stitched through the opening. I added a milagro charm too.
If you’re looking for a bit of extra excitement for you and your family during your summer vacation, you’ll want to pick a destination that has plenty of activities to offer. On average, every day more than 8 million people fly, many of them for vacations and family adventures. For the thrill-seeking family planning this year’s summer vacation, check out these activity ideas that are sure to get your blood pumping.
For a high-flying idea that’s great for families with teens, look no further than skydiving. This can be a great opportunity to knock something off your bucket list without taking too much time away from the rest of your vacation. A typical altitude for skydiving might be around 13,000 feet, which gives the jumper about 60 seconds of free fall. This will leave plenty of time in your day for other fun with your family. However, if you’re traveling with younger kids, you might want to wait on this option. Younger kids won’t be able to safely participate in this thrill-seeking activity.
Not all adventurous vacations need to be strictly adrenaline-based all the time. Adventure can still be fun even if you’re just exploring a fascinating historical landmark. 78% of Millennials want to learn something new while traveling, so why not schedule time to check out the local historical areas? Visit Egypt and climb the Pyramids, or make a hike through the Amazon rain forest. There are plenty of unique destinations with fascinating landmarks you and your family can visit and learn from.
Scubadiving And Underwater Adventures
If you’re looking for a warm and sunny destination for you and your family, you don’t have to have a calm, boring vacation on the beach. For your tropical beach vacation this year, schedule time to swim with the whales, dolphins, or other native wildlife. Many tropical destinations will have a variety of underwater adventure options available for family members of all ages. This will give your family a great learning experience as well as a fun way to explore the local nature.
Head For The Hills
The mountains can be a great vacation destination, and not necessarily just during the summer. For a rush of adrenaline in the mountains during the summer, look for locations that offer zip-lining, hiking, nature adventures, and more. However, the fun doesn’t have to end with the warmer seasons; in cooler climates, the winter can offer many kinds of extreme sports. From snowboarding to skiing and more, mountains can be a great vacation option year-round, so check out what mountain destinations are near you. These can also be a great option for families looking for a less expensive option this summer.
Summer vacation can be a great opportunity for you and your family to try new things and experience all the adventure life has to offer. Being on vacation doesn’t have to mean being lazy. Already around 28.0% of Americans, or 80.2 million people, aged six and older are physically inactive. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you need to be part of that number. When you’re booking your family vacation, keep these thrill-seeking options in mind for your summer vacation activities. You’ll be sure to have quite a story to tell when you finally get back home from vacation.
Finally! I entered the world of using a Cricut Maker! I’ve heard so much about it, and was so ecstatic when I was invited to partner with Cricut for this post.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
This is what they sent me to get everything rolling: The Cricut Maker, the Easy Press 2 (another project with that to come!), plus all the tools, surfaces, and more. See more at the Cricut online store!
I wanted to start with an easy project, something to get me warmed up. There is a Cricut ‘Design Space’ program that partners with the machine and you’ll find an entire library of motifs, fonts, sayings – a mother lode of creative opportunities.
After choosing about a dozen of them, I took a peek on Etsy and bought some Frida and corazon SVG patterns. That’s whats so cool about the Cricut Maker. You can upload your own designs in a variety of formats.
Turn on your machine and use the USB or Bluetooth to connect it to your laptop or iPad.
Complete the set up process – don’t worry, it’s really easy!
In the Design Space program on your computer, click on the left side, image, then upload the svg file (after you have saved it to your desktop)
Start a new project by clicking on NEW. Then image, and type in the name of the file – or whatever theme you are looking for.
Click “select all” and change the size if needed.
Click “make this” and follow the directions on the program.
Cut the vinyl to the size of the image. Peel the protective sheet from the mat and place the vinyl down. Smooth with the scraper.
Press the mat load button and insert the mat. Press the Cricut button to cut.
When it’s done, remove the mat by pressing the button again.
Use tweezers to pull away the outer vinyl, then weed the inner areas.
Cut a piece of transfer tape a bit bigger than the design, place it on top and use the scraper over the top to really burnish the layers.
Carefully peel away the transfer tape, picking up the design in the process.
Align on the desired surface, burnish again. Peel (carefully) off the transfer tape, leaving the design on the surface.
Tips for Cricut Maker newbies!
I suggest subscribing the Cricut Official YouTube channel. It’s freaking amazing. Every question you have – there’s a video to answer and walk you through it. If you are a square one newbie like me, check out the playlist titled Design Space 101.
Familiarize yourself with the different types of mediums – there are a lot. They come in different sizes, textures, purposes. This is why it’s helpful to do a little research to know what kind of medium to use on what type of project.
For my journals, I used metallic vinyls, as well as glittered vinyl.
Invest in the proper tools.
If you are going to buy the machine and all the fancy vinyls, make sure to pick up an assortment of weeding tools, scrapers, tweezers and more. They’ll come in handy and help make your project come out polished looking!
Take your time, enjoy the process!
Clear your schedule to be able to sit and enjoy the process. Allow yourself to experiment and learn. Use your Frida journal to write down all the ideas you have for your Cricut Maker!
Be on the lookout for coupons or sales!
I went to the craft store buy my glittered vinyl and all the Cricut merchandise was on sale, which made me buy more vinyl, lol!
Check out my video to see how I made this using the Cricut Maker!
I truly feel like this Cricut Maker is as iconic as a glue gun or a sewing machine. It’s a universal changemaker tool for all types of creatives! I’m so happy to have one and to share more project ideas with you!