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DIY Clay Platters

by Francesca Stone

Design Sponge DIY Clay Platter

As I’m getting older, I’m beginning to discover how much I enjoy entertaining, whether it’s bringing friends and family together to celebrate special occasions or just making an everyday meal into more of a memorable moment. When I have plenty of preparation time it’s wonderful to put together decorations and create a beautifully styled table. But when time is limited to style the room, styling the food can turn an everyday meal into something really special.

Design Sponge DIY Clay Platter

Having beautiful and interesting plates and crockery make all the difference when you’re styling your food. Showing a meal at its best will highlight the time and effort put in and immediately create a sense of occasion. Platter boards are a great way to present your meal on the table in a clean and inviting way, and your guests will gladly help themselves. They’re also really simple to make from air-dry clay. Perfect for your next dinner party. —Fran

DIY Clay Platters | Materials


  • Air-dry clay
  • Clay roller
  • Craft knife
  • Sponge brush
  • Décopatch No. 2 ultra gloss sealing varnish / Decopatch VA90 Aquapro Professional Varnish
  • Baking paper


1. Place a sheet of baking paper onto a solid surface. You need the baking sheet to stop the clay from sticking to any surface you use it on. It will make it easier to flip over whilst you roll out.

Using a rolling pin, slowly and evenly roll the clay out into a large rectangle until it’s around 1/4″ thick.

DIY Clay Platter

DIY Clay Platter

2. With the craft knife, gently mark out the shape of the platter. Lightly skim the surface so if you make a mistake you can blend the clay back to a smooth surface.

DIY Clay Platter DIY Clay Platter

3. Once you’re happy with the shape and size of the platter, use the knife to slice all the way through the clay. Use the indented lines as a guide.

DIY Clay Platter

4. Smooth over any cracks with water, wetting the clay and running your finger over any imperfections.

DIY Clay Platter DIY Clay Platter

To give the platter crisp edges, run the flat edge of the craft knife along the wet clay, removing any excess as you go.

DIY Clay Platter DIY Clay Platter

5. Use a straw or cylindrical object to create a hole for string on the handle of the platter.

DIY Clay Platter

Now leave the platter board to dry out for 48 hours, turning it over after 24 hours.

DIY Clay Platter

6. Once the clay is dry and an even bright, white color it is ready to prepare for varnishing. Take a medium grade sandpaper and sand the edges and any imperfections over the surface of the platter.

DIY Clay Platter

7. To varnish, I’m using Décopatch No. 2 ultra gloss sealing varnish/Decopatch VA90 Aquapro Professional Varnish. It’s a water-based gloss varnish that can safely come into contact with food. Use the sponge brush to paint very thin layers onto the platter. I’ve used a sponge brush because it will soak up any excess varnish that would otherwise leave a yellow tint. Keep the layers thin and light and leave them to fully dry between 4-5 coats.

After the varnish is dry the platter board will wipe clean, but resist submerging it in water unless you want to see your lovely platter board disintegrate!

DIY Clay Platter Design Sponge DIY Clay Platter Design Sponge DIY Clay Platter Design Sponge DIY Clay Platter Design Sponge DIY Clay Platter Design Sponge DIY Clay Platter Design Sponge DIY Clay Platter

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  • Aw wow I love this idea! Such a nice way to create your own little kitchen accessories. Home-made is way better than purchasing from shops :) Well done!!

    Harriet xx


  • Interesting!
    Is there a reason you didn’t wet sponge the edges (vs sandpaper method?). I cant help but view this with my ceramics background… Dry sanding like that is a very bad ceramics practice due to kicking up silica in the air (this practice is highly discouraged in ceramics as it leads to silicosis- the degradation of your lungs).

    I’m interested to hear more on the longevity of this piece as it stands to being cleaned after use.


  • Can you please recommend a brand of air dry clay? I looked it up on amazon and the main hit was crayola– which received horrible reviews. Much appreciated. Thanks.

  • Wow, what a great idea! I had all the ingredients at hand coincidently… My board is drying this very moment. Thank you so much for inspiring every time!

  • This DIY looks ace :-) It’d make a lovely housewarming gift too Thanks for sharing such a detailed tutorial.

  • You guys! Go to an art supply store in your neighborhood (or online.) they should have a high quality air dry clay or two.

  • You can achieve a very even thickness of your clay by placing two 1/4 inch thick wooden slats to the left & right of your clay. That way the clay roller or (dowel rollin pin) can firmly roll on an even 1/4″ level. You and also make a light decorative pattern on the surface of your clay after it is rolled out with one of these: http://www.rollerwall.com/patterns.html

  • I make ceramic dinnerware, so I can offer that these (are great) and should hold up well for several uses. Sponge and spot clean them. The varnish will make them food safe but will not hold up to a good soap and water cleaning.

    I, however, make very similar items for sale in my online shop, disheswithsoul.com. I use white clay and clear glaze, but the difference is that my pieces are fired twice so the glaze gets locked in.

    Thanks and have a great day all!

    • Shannon

      You certainly don’t have to make or serve anyone from these platters, but the varnish actually does make them food safe, that’s why it’s included in the steps and materials. We would not post a project that didn’t have a final use that was practical and safe.


  • Once varnished, are you able to cut lightly on this, say when slicing cheese or bread or is it simply more for show. Fun idea!

  • Great post! Why should potters with kiln access have all the fun?
    I would advise putting a sheet of freezer paper on top, under the food for actual use. Knives could cut through the glaze and even clay. Cheese is mold after all.

  • Amazing post! Can’t wait to make my own. I am also thinking on making plate chargers.
    Meredith: I looked at your web site and everything is beautiful too. Thanks for the advise on how to mantain the integrity of this DIY.

  • Are these washable? Or even food safe? As a potter, I just wonder.

    Maybe this needs to be checked into.

  • Hey,

    I’m doing a air drying clay tea bowl and I’m wondering if I could drink from it after I used the varnish ?

    Thank you

    • David

      If you use a food-safe varnish it’s safe- but that’s not true of all varnishes, so be sure you’re buying one that is ok for using with food/drink.


  • Hello, I just saw the post after two years, anyways it is never too late to ask if you use both types of varnish together or just one of them.