I love clay, dough…if you can mold it, I’m all over it! The letters and shapes on these projects were made of simple homemade playdough—the kind they make at preschools. Then I used cookie cutters to form the shapes (I use the plastic Wilton 101 Cookie Cutters, a massive collection of numbers, letters, and even dinosaur shapes). A few days of air drying and you have your very own clay appliques! The playdough recipe I worked with didn’t take to oven drying. Best to do it during a warm, sunny day. I made a batch of appliques during the rainy months and it took forever to knead, get smooth, and dry evenly. You can use regular wood glue to attach the appliques to the boxes.
After adding the basecoat and designs to the appliques, don’t forget to coat them with water-based varnish to keep cockroaches from eating it. The boxes are regular 3×5 inch wood recipe boxes you can get anywhere, while the wood tissue box was something my mom had lying around.
I used water-based acrylics to embellish the projects. Polka dots were care of pencil erasers and the handle ends of my paintbrushes. I love how the lines and dots are uneven and seem to have a mind of their own. I nicknamed these projects Mi Abuelita Loca—it just reminded me of that one crazy aunt we all have who’s loud, a little unbalanced, but a whole lot of fun.