The only tools you need are your hands.

By Sarah Martens and Leslie Poyzer
April 27, 2021
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If you've stepped into Target recently or scrolled through posts under #homedecor on Instagram, chances are you've spotted a new trend—decorative knot sculptures. Reviewers rave about this decorative metal knot figurine from Target, calling it "stunning" and "perfect for shelf decor." It's easy to create your own polymer clay knot for about half the price of those in the store. And even better, you can customize the color to fit your existing decor. We'll show you how to create three polymer clay knot decorations. Once you've mastered smoothing and rolling the clay, trying making your own knots, shapes, and designs. This easy DIY home decor project is ideal for beginners as you don't need any special tools.

clay sculpture bookshelf
Credit: Marty Baldwin

How to Make Decorative Clay Knots

Supplies Needed

  • Polymer clay
  • Knife
  • Baking sheet
  • Oven

Step-by-Step Directions

Follow these simple how-to instructions to make your own set of polymer clay knot figurines. You should be able to complete this easy craft project in under an hour, but the shapes will need to bake and cool.

Step 1: Prepare Clay

To create these lasting knot decorations, we used inexpensive polymer clay ($3, Michaels). Polymer clay is easy to shape, durable, and once baked it won't weaken or break. It comes in a rainbow of colors—we used white, black, and caramel shades to create our clay knots (here's a neutral set with all three colors). Plan on using about half a pound of clay for each decoration.

Cut the package of polymer clay into smaller pieces. Roll the clay into approximately 1-inch thick tubes. To create the caramel basic knot, you'll need a 14-inch long tube. For the white square knot and black links, you'll need two 14-inch long tubes. Cut the ends of each tube so they're flat.

Step 2: Tie Knots

Create a basic knot by forming a loop with the caramel polymer clay and passing one end through it.

To form the white square knot, bend each tube into a horseshoe shape. Place on top of each other with the ends facing in opposite directions. Slip the ends through each loop and pull gently to tighten the knot.

The black decorative links are made by connecting the ends of the first tube to create a circle. Use your fingers to gently smooth the seam. Press the clay to form an oval link shape. Run the second tube of clay through the link and connect the ends. Smooth the seam and form a second link shape.

Step 3: Bake and Display

Place the shapes on a sheet pan ($11, Target) and bake at a low heat according to package directions. Let the shapes cool completely before removing them from the pan. Display the clay knots on a console table or use all three to style a bookshelf. These handmade decorations also make heartfelt hostess gifts or housewarming presents. Have leftover clay? Try making a set of marbled coasters.

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