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Sculpey III® Aztec Pattern Office Tray

Designed by Amy Koranek
Create this dramatic faux-tile tray for a quick gift – to a great friend or even yourself!

COMPLETION TIME:
90 Minutes to make and bake
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Grouped product items
Product ImageProduct Name Qty
Sculpey III® White 2 oz
$2.69
Sculpey III® Tan 2 oz
$2.69
Sculpey® III Navy Pearl 2 oz
$2.69
Sculpey Tools™ Bead Making Kit
$12.99
Oven-Bake Clay Adhesive 2 oz
$7.99
Sculpey Tools™ Cutters: Square, 6 pc
$8.99
Sculpey III® Aztec Pattern Office Tray
Click image to open expanded view
Sculpey III® Aztec Pattern Office Tray Sculpey supplies needed for project
  • Small wooden tray, approximately 4” x 4”
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Deli paper

Project Instructions

    Getting Started:
Please make sure your work area is covered and you are not working on an unprotected surface. We recommend working on the Sculpey® Oven-Safe Work Mat, wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. Uncured clay may damage unprotected furniture or finished surfaces. Be sure to cover your crafting area appropriately.

Start with clean hands, unwrap and knead clay until soft and smooth, or condition by running clay though a Pasta Machine. We recommend using a designated machine for clay purposes only. When working with multiple colors, clean hands with soap and water or baby wipes (we have found that baby wipes work best) before switching colors. Shape clay, pressing pieces firmly together. Wash hands after use.

    Baking:
Begin by preheating oven to 275 °F (130 °C). After you are done creating; for best results bake clay on an oven-proof surface such metal, aluminum foil, an index card or the Sculpey® Clay Mat at 275°F (130 °C) for 15 minutes per 1/4" (6 mm) thickness according to package directions. Oven safe glass or ceramic surfaces are also acceptable for baking; however please note that the baking times may take longer as the glass or ceramic surfaces take longer to heat up. For best baking results, use an oven thermometer. DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME
When adding oven bake clays to wood items, it is good practice to pre-bake the wood item to make sure unwanted sap is released from the item. Place the wood item in a pre-heated oven at 275F and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before handling. If sap is visible on the surface after baking, it can easily be scraped off with a blade.

Mark a center line horizontally across the middle of the tray with a ruler and pencil. This will serve as a guideline for getting the first row of clay pieces straight.
photo shows wood tray with center line drawn in
Squirt a bead of Sculpey® Oven Bake Clay Adhesive into the bottom of the tray.
photo shows ribbons of LS in tray
Spread the Oven Bake Clay Adhesive all over the inside of the tray bottom (avoiding the vertical sides) with your fingertips. Set the tray aside while preparing the Sculpey III®. This will allow the Clay Adhesive to absorb slightly into the wood. Sculpey® Oven Bake Clay Adhesive is the prefect bond between oven bake clays and any porous surface.
photo shows LS spread across bottom of tray
Prepare the clays by rolling each color into flat sheets 1/8” thick. You can use the Mini Tube Roller or a pasta machine on the thickest setting. All the little triangles in this tutorial were actually made from pieces that started out as squares. Cut squares from the clays using the 3/4” Square Cutter. As you cut out the squares, placing them on a piece of deli paper or even copy paper, will help you keep them organized.

Cut out squares, then cut the squares in half diagonally to make triangles. Finally cut the triangles in half again to make little triangles. Each square that was cut will yield four triangles.

From White you will need at least 10 squares cut into 40 triangles.
From Navy Pearl you will need at least 7 squares cut into 28 triangles.
From Tan you will need at least 9 squares cut into 36 triangles.
photo shows various squares cut to size
Bring the tray back into your work area. You may notice that the Clay Adhesive is more matte looking after it has soaked slightly into the wood.
photo shows tray with LS in bottom
Starting on the left side, add three triangles of White as shown. Follow the guideline as closely as possible.
photo shows 3 White triangles with one long side against tray edge and others butted up
Add Navy Pearl and Tan triangles as shown. Where possible, line up points of triangles on the guideline.
photo shows other color triangles added
Continuously work from left to right adding triangles as closely as possible to the guideline.
photo shows patterned as described
Add the next row of triangles above the first one.
photo shows as described
It is helpful to use the Mini Blade as a straight edge. Hold the Mini Blade vertically against the last row of triangles and apply light pressure to the clay to make sure it is lined up well.
photo shows mini blade to straighten rows
Add a row of triangles across the bottom copying the pattern from above, except upside down and backwards creating a mirror image pattern.
photo shows as described
Here’s the third row above and below. As I’m working from left to right, once the colorful pattern is complete, I left the solid White area on the right to fill in last.
photo shows as described
Two more mirror image rows above and below.
photo shows two more mirror image rows
My rows have finally reached the top and bottom of the tray. I filled in the little gaps at the top and bottom with partial pieces of triangles as needed.
photo shows filling gaps at edges
Fill in all the empty spaces on the right with White triangles.
photo shows as described
To make the surface of the clay pieces really smooth, place a small piece of deli paper over the top.
photo shows deli paper over clay
Slide over the deli paper with the Lentil Bead Maker from top to bottom and from side to side to smooth any unevenness out in the clay surface.
photo shows smoothing clay surface
Remove the Lentil Bead Maker and the deli paper.
Bake the tray following the baking instructions for Sculpey III®.
Allow the tray to cool completely before handling.
photo shows as described
Here are a couple more designs that I tested. The middle tray has more of a quilted pattern. The bottom tray is exactly like the top one, but using half sized triangles instead of quarter sized triangles.
photo shows more designs
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