Make Your Own Sculptural Hand Dish

Make this fabulous hand dish inspired by Kelly Wearstler- click through for details.Hi! It’s Mandi from Making Nice in the Midwest. I have a bad habit of falling in love with the most expensive dress on the rack or the priciest lamp in the store. But I’ve heard it said that the smallest budgets produce the most creativity. I can’t always afford to buy the things I want, but I can sometimes make them, right? Recently I saw this quirky little hand dish that I loved, but I had to gasp at the enormous price tag. When I saw Kelly Wearstler’s fabulous name on it, things began to add up. Well, the dollars began to add up, that is. It’s sold out now, so I figured making my own was fair game.

This sculptural hand dish is the perfect size for catching keys or cash on a console table, and jewelry or trinkets on your dresser. It’s easy to make, and a thoughtful handmade gift idea!Make this fabulous hand dish inspired by Kelly Wearstler- click through for details.Supplies:
– Clay (I used air-dry, low-shrink clay that I found at the craft store for a few dollars.)

– Rolling pin
– Craft blade
– Pencil
– Paint brush
– Scissors
– Scrap paper
– Liquid gold leafing in the metal tone of your choice
– Small, shallow bowl (not pictured above)
– Foil or parchment paper for rolling out the clayMake this fabulous hand dish inspired by Kelly Wearstler- click through for details.Step One: Trace around your hand, keeping your fingers together and letting your thumb rest naturally. Extend the edge of the outline on the pinky-finger side of your hand, because you will need a wider shape than your natural hand in order to form a bowl. (See the exaggerated edge of the hand I drew in picture 2.)

Step Two: Cut out the outline of the hand that you drew on the paper.Make this fabulous hand dish inspired by Kelly Wearstler- click through for details.Step Three: Roll out your clay to be about 1/8″ thick. It doesn’t need to be exactly uniform in thickness. Use foil or parchment paper in-between the clay and the work surface.Make this fabulous hand dish inspired by Kelly Wearstler- click through for details.Step Four: Lay the paper hand template onto the clay and carefully cut around it with a craft blade. Then remove the scrap clay from around the hand as well as the paper hand template.

Step Five: Peel the clay hand from the foil or paper and flip it upside down. The side that touched the foil or paper originally should have a nice texture. Use the pencil on the nicely-textured side of the hand to create indents between the “fingers” of the clay.Make this fabulous hand dish inspired by Kelly Wearstler- click through for details.Step Six: Peel off the parchment paper or foil from the clay once again and place the clay hand inside of a small, shallow bowl, pressing the hand gently into the bowl.

Step Seven: After the clay has begun to harden for a few hours, but not so much that you can’t reshape it a bit, remove the hand from inside the bowl and place it upside-down on the bottom of the overturned bowl, as shown in image 7. Press onto the backside of the hand (which is now facing upwards) with a flat object like a book. This will ensure the dish is stable once it’s put into action. Letting the clay dry upside-down will also ensure that the edges won’t crack as the clay shrinks during the drying process.Make this fabulous hand dish inspired by Kelly Wearstler- click through for details.Step Eight: Paint the bowl with the liquid gold leafing. A little bit goes a long way! I used Martha Stewart’s liquid gold leafing and was able to clean my brush thoroughly after working at it for a while with dish soap.

Step Nine: Let the liquid gold leafing dry completely before step ten. Enjoy the beauty of what you’ve created so far, or go make a pot of coffee!Make this fabulous hand dish inspired by Kelly Wearstler- click through for details.Step Ten: Wipe or brush the gold dish with a light coat of black acrylic paint. Don’t allow the paint to dry before the next step.

Step Eleven: Quickly wipe away the black paint before it dries. I wiped mine with a wet paper towel, and then again with a damp paper towel. As you wipe away the black paint, you’ll notice that it remains in the little crevices of the textural surface, leaving behind a nice patina. If any areas are too black for your liking, or if you rubbed off any of the gold leaf paint in the wiping process, simply brush on more of the gold paint. A friend of mine suggested shoe polish to add patina, but I didn’t have any, so I just used the black paint. The acrylic paint works quite nicely, and I won’t have to worry about it rubbing off during use.Make this fabulous hand dish inspired by Kelly Wearstler- click through for details.After the paint has dried, you may choose to spray a coat of clear glaze over the dish, but I didn’t want my dish to be too shiny, so I’m leaving it as it is. Look how pretty it is sitting on top of my grandpa’s old high school yearbook!Make this fabulous hand dish inspired by Kelly Wearstler- click through for details.This little sculptural dish reminds me of all those little clay projects we did for Mother’s Day in elementary school. Only this is way more fabulous. And I’m pretty sure it’s not just that twenty-dollar bill talking!


Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson

  • I love this! We are going to use this idea with our Before and After School program for parent gifts. Can you give me an idea of how much clay i should get for 30 kids?

  • Very rarely do I see a craft I both really love and think I could actually make. I have absolutely zero artistic skills, but I might actually give this a shot. It’s just too cute.

  • What a cool craft project for my class! Thanks for the creative idea!,

  • Very cute idea! Love this dish and that it’s personalized by nature 🙂

  • Oh my this is unique and would look perfect in my bathroom possibly In black.

  • Another amazing tutorial Mandi!!

    fashion. home decor. diy

  • Brilliant! Looks so easy 🙂

  • i really love how this turned out, its beautiful.


  • Lovely idea – perfect for Mother’s (or Father’s) Day


    Mandy Nicole

  • Love the vintage gold color
    I am going to try this “hand”

  • So I am giving away that I went to architecture school, but this project reminds me of the enormous hand sculpture located in the city of Chandigarh, in India (a city that was entirely designed by the architect Le Corbusier after the independence of India in 1947). The sculpture is called “The Open Hand” and it represents “peace and reconciliation. It is open to give and open to receive”. Just a thought…

  • This is so clever! I’ve seen something like this on Etsy, but it was really expensive so I didn’t buy it, but I wanted it so badly! Thank you so much for this post!

  • Wow I’m so impressed – it looks incredible!
    I need to do this in Easter break

    nailsandteapots Xx

  • BEAUTIFUL idea, holy moly. Going out today to buy some clay today to do this!
    Thanks so much!

  • Looks so cool! And it’s useful too!

  • Awesome idea, i think I’ll try it!

    x Kenzie

  • What a neat idea! Soo creative, thanks for sharing :3

  • Oh my goodness! This is so neat and creative! I’m literally mind-blown!

    Connie | Sponsored by Coffee

  • Such a nice idea. I think I’ve some clay left over. Hmmm 😉

  • Looks like such a fun project that you could easily customize!

  • This is so cool 🙂 and it doesn’t look hard to make it!

  • Tha’ts a great idea! It would probably be enhanced by the black rub too.

  • What a fun project! These would be sweet to do with kids and their little hands!

  • Amazing idea! So creative x

    Amy |

  • That is an amazing idea! and it seems so fun and easy to do x
    definitely worth a try x

  • This is awesome. I think this would be a great Mother’s Day gift for Mom or Grandma. Pinned!

  • Really Cool! Is it possible to make an imprint with your hand in the clay? That would make it really unique and great for a gift.

  • Nice, creative DIY! It’s amazing when you can make such pretty things for cheap, instead of spending loads of money 😉

  • I love that you used your own hand. I am definitely trying this and maybe even a small one for my grandson using his hand!

  • Hoooooow cute is that! I guess you could really do this with a variety of shapes, too! Cat head? Star?

  • This is such a cute idea! I this would be cute to make this children’s hands too!

  • In love with this little DIY! I can’t wait to try out some other fun shapes as well, like a triangle or something.


  • Ohhh very cool! I love it! Very dali!

  • Wow, this is so beautiful! I want to try this to have in my office to put the excess paper clips in! So easy with such great results, good post!

  • This is unbelievably beautiful! You’ve inspired me to start a project with clay soon.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Love, Lily

  • Oh my god this is SO COOL. I love hand ornaments! Thanks xx

  • Wow- I am deeply inspressed! This is amazing!!!

    Here’s what else I loved today:

    Love from Germany,


  • I love how everything you do has a little touch of OH-IO! Love seeing someone as proud as I am of this great state.

  • I absolutely LOVE this tutorial! Another craft to add to this weekend’s craftapalooza.

  • …that’s so lovely, Mandi! What a great idea – I can see the possibilities for this both as a me craft and one for those punklings of mine (Grandma/Nanna gifts, mayhap?) Thanks for the inspiration today 🙂

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