DIY Brass Urchin Sculpture

Urchin photo final

I can’t get enough of brass accents.  I posted here about coveting an urchin (or starburst) sculpture.  I love the modern whimsy they add to a space and they are the perfect accent for a coffee table or bookshelf.  Alas, this one from Williams-Sonoma Home was way out of my budget.

williams sonoma starburst


However, I am not a girl to let my budget stop me from getting what I want.  So, I started doing some research and found a DIY version that is sooo0 easy. Therese over at Craft and Couture made an amazing knock off version.  Here is how you do it:


(makes 2 medium-sized urchins)

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1 pack of Sculpey oven bake clay (available at craft stores)

1 pack of mini wood dowels (I found mine at Michael’s)  Could also use toothpicks

1 can of gold or brass spray paint


First, slice the clay into two equal parts.

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Second, knead each half in your hand for a few minutes and then roll each half into a ball.

Then press down gently on the ball to slightly flatten the bottom.

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Third, starting at the top, insert the dowels.  Insert them about 1/4 inch .

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Fourth, insert the dowels in the shape of a cross and then fill in each section.  That gives it more uniformity.

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Fifth, it is all done and ready for some heat!  Follow the instructions on your clay packet.

I baked mine at 275 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Place it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.


Finally, let it cool down completely and then spray paint it with 2 coats of gold spray paint.

urchin photo wm


This project was very easy and my 4-year-old even helped!

It costs me less than $5 per sphere

You can use styrofoam instead of clay, but it won’t hold up as well.

If the clay starts to lose its shape, just reform it as you go.

If a wooden dowel falls out after baking, just apply some craft glue on the end and insert it back in the hole.

You can make different sizes of these and cluster them together.  Simply adjust the size of the balls and wood.

I am really pleased with how these turned out and plan to make something similar for Christmas tree ornaments.  Stay tuned . . .


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