west elm knock off | sculptural spheres

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Here’s my little West Elm knock off tutorial I’ve been hinting at!

I spotted these sculptural spheres in a West Elm catalog a while back and thought they were pretty darn cool.  Just not at $70 for a the pair.
 For $7.00 I created my own!
| oven bake clay . wire hangers . duct tape . snips . needle nose pliers . Rub n’ Buff (not pictured) |
STEP ONE:  Snip your wire hangers to desired length and curve into a circle.  You’ll need 3 circles all the same length.
STEP TWO:  Use your needle nose pliers to create hooks at the ends, and connect the circles.

STEP THREE:  Use small strips to duct tape to connect the three circles together.
STEP FOUR:  Working in small sections, attach clay all around the sphere’s frame.

STEP FIVE:  Place your sculpture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake according to the clay’s instructions.  Once baked, let it completely cool.  I went with a black and white photo here to help disguise how filthy my oven is.  Didn’t work all that well…
STEP SIX:  Once your sculpture has completely cooled, you can start covering it with the Rub n’ Buff or spray paint if you choose.
My only purchase was the clay, which I picked up on sale at Hobby Lobby for $7.00.  BOOM!!!
As my husband has been saying lately, “You can’t even beat that with a stick!”
This DIY finally had a happy ending, but in full and fair disclosure, it had a rocky start.  My ridiculously cheap self first tried to make my own clay.  Some things just shouldn’t be DIY’d.  After wasting a lot of time, my sculpture literally fell apart in my hands after it air dried.
Good thing I decided to spring for the $7.00 clay.
Any good craft fails lately?  I’d love to hear your stories!
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  1. Cassie @ Primitive & Proper Avatar

    how cool are you? the coolest.

  2. Caroline Nolazco Avatar

    No oven judging over here 😉 I recently had a flare up due to a rogue piece of… I'm not sure.

    I think you should sell those. And put West Elm out of business 😉

  3. Jackie Avatar

    Okay I am totally squealing with excitement. I LOVE these spheres, but always struggle paying good money for something pretty on the shelf. Now, I can make my own. Thanks for the tutorial!!

  4. Abby Avatar

    How neat is that!! I've never used clay before, but you have converted me. Love love these!

  5. Marie Blackburn Avatar

    Gotta love Sculpey clay! I almost had a fire in my dirty oven when my daughter read the instructions on the back of the clay as she was walking out the door "450 Mom" and off she went. Next thing I know the smoke alarm is going off! Geez, and I thought my eyesight was bad! Love your spheres – look just as good as the West Elm ones! I found you over at the Flaunt It Friday party.

  6. the cape on the corner Avatar

    that's awesome! i'm glad the second time was the charm.

  7. Mindy Avatar

    Well look atchyou, gettin' all knock-off-y crafty. 🙂 Super fun. And seriously, $70?! What the heck?!
    Hey, on an unrelated note, are those slipcovers on your couch and chair? Store bought? DIY? Inquiring minds wanna know.

  8. dropscone Avatar

    Was the original attempt made with salt dough? Good on you for trying to make your own clay first, even if it didn't pan out.

    1. Shelley | Crazy Wonderful Avatar

      The first attempt was salt dough 😀

  9. Samantha Avatar

    That is awesome.

  10. Hollie @ I'm Busy Procrastinating Avatar

    Amazing! Saw your feature at Nifty Thrifty Sunday and had to check it out. I happen to have everything but Rub 'n Buff on hand, and I've been wanting to try that out anyway, so now this is on my short list of things to do!!!

  11. Tara {The Silver Lining} Avatar

    You always amaze me. How do you think of this stuff and then actually pull it off?? Those look awesome!

  12. k.smith Avatar

    Where are your lamps and shades from??

    1. Shelley | Crazy Wonderful Avatar

      Actually a strange story on how I got that lamp. A friend of mine leases retail space and had to sell off inventory of a tenant who ran out on them. Unfortunately I have no idea who makes the lamp or shade 🙁

  13. Melinda @ love melinda Avatar

    This is great! I'm going to give them a try. Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Pieng-ampai Saokham Avatar

    Cool idea!
    Here some tips : If you wrap gauze bandage (by glue) on the wire you'll apply the clay easier.

  15. cmflaherty Avatar

    I'm totally making these this weekend, but I have to know where you got your round side table??

  16. Diana Avatar

    I'm making them right now and I have homemade clay but it's the baking soda and corn starch formula so I really hope it works and I don't have to haul my kids to hobby lobby!! Thanks for the tutorial!!!

    1. Shelley | Crazy Wonderful Avatar

      Yea! You'll have to let me know how it turned out with that formula!

  17. Raul Raise Avatar

    This is great idea you have shared thanks for the inspiration.

Meet Shelley

Hi, I’m Shelley! My belief is that with a little creativity and elbow grease, you can make your home look like a million bucks without spending it.

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