How Do You Make A Clay Cactus Ring Holder?

A clay cactus ring holder is a fun and creative way to decorate your home while also providing convenient storage for your rings and other jewelry. The clay cactus acts as a stand to display and hold rings, creating an ornamental piece that brings a touch of nature indoors.

Miniature clay cactuses are an ideal way to neatly store rings and earrings in one place so they don’t get lost scattered around. The spikes and ridges on the cactus provide places to hang and display your favorite jewelry. When crafted and painted carefully, the cactus ring holder can become an attractive decorative accent wherever it’s displayed in the home.

Making your own clay cactus ring holder allows you to customize the design to match your personal style. Follow the steps below to create your own handmade cactus ring holder that keeps your jewelry organized while brightening up your home decor.

Materials Needed

To make a clay cactus ring holder, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Clay – Use polymer clay or air-dry modeling clay. Polymer clay will produce the most durable results.
  • Rolling pin – For rolling out the clay into an even thickness.
  • Silicone mold or other cactus shaped items – The mold will help shape the clay into a cactus form. You can also use existing cactus-shaped items as a guide.
  • Acrylic paints – For adding color and details.
  • Paint brush – For painting on the acrylics.
  • Sealant – A finish like varnish or glaze will seal and protect the clay.

Make the Clay Base

The first step in making a clay cactus ring holder is to create the base that will serve as the foundation for building up the cactus shape. Start by conditioning your clay by kneading it for a few minutes until it becomes soft and pliable. This ensures your clay will be smooth and easy to work with.

Next, roll out the conditioned clay on a flat surface into an oval or rounded rectangular shape, approximately 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Make sure you roll out the clay evenly so there are no thin spots. The size of your base can vary depending on how big you want your cactus to be, but a good starting size is around 3 inches wide by 4 inches long.

Once your base is rolled out, use a knife or clay cutter tool to cut the clay into a cactus silhouette. Or, if you have a cactus-shaped cookie cutter or mold, you can simply press it into the clay to achieve the right shape. Try to get smooth edges without any cracks or creases. Now you have the foundation ready for turning it into a realistic looking cactus!

Add Texture and Details

Once you have the basic cactus shape formed, it’s time to add texture and details to make it look more realistic. Here are some techniques to try:

  • Use a clay sculpting tool or even a toothpick to add ridges and lines along the cactus for a segmented look. Gently drag the tool from top to bottom to create ridges.

  • Use the end of a sculpting tool, toothpick, or wooden skewer to indent the clay and make dots for cactus spikes. Rotate as you press in so the dots have an oval shape.

  • Make some indentations in the clay with your tool for a more organic, imperfect texture. Vary the depth as you go around the cactus.

  • Consider making the very tip of the cactus smooth and spike-free so the rings have a flat surface to rest on.

  • Optional – add some small rolled coils of clay to create blooming flowers or buds on your cactus.

Take your time adding texture and moving all around the cactus to bring it to life. The details will really make your clay cactus look amazing once it’s painted and complete.

Create the Ring Holder

After you’ve shaped and textured the clay cactus base, it’s time to create the actual ring holder component. There are a few different tools you can use for this step.

A plastic drinking straw works well. Simply press the straw into the clay where you want the ring holder. Twist the straw as you push it in to help enlarge the hole slightly. Pull the straw out gently so you don’t deform the hole.

You can also use a clay cutter tool, which is a wand with a metal ring on the end. Press the ring into the clay to cut out a clean circular hole for the rings. An exacto knife works too. Carefully cut out the shape you need.

Make sure the hole is large enough for rings to easily slide onto, but small enough to keep them secure. You may need to test a ring or two as you create the hole to get the right fit. Also consider making multiple holes at different angles if you want to be able to display several rings.

Once you’ve created holes for the rings, the basic structure of your clay cactus ring holder is complete. Be sure to clean up any excess clay and smooth over the holes so they have a finished look.

Bake the Clay

Once your cactus ring holder design is complete, it’s time to bake the polymer clay according to the package directions. Every polymer clay brand will have slightly different instructions listed on the packaging or on their website.

Read the baking instructions closely so you know the right baking temperature and time. Polymer clay typically bakes at 265°F – 275°F for 15 – 30 minutes per 1/4 inch of thickness. Check the minimum baking time as well. Insufficient baking can result in a tacky, fragile finished product.

Place the cactus ring holder on a baking sheet and bake according to the time and temperature recommendations. Baking helps fully cure and harden the clay by bonding the plastic polymers together through a process called “polymerization.” Proper baking results in durable, fully polymerized clay.

Avoid under or over-baking, as both can ruin the clay. Under-baked clay will be soft, sticky and prone to fingerprints. Over-baked clay can turn brown or burn. Carefully follow the instructions for best results.

Once baked and cooled, the polymer clay will be hard and durable, ready for painting and sealing. Your homemade clay cactus ring holder is nearing completion!

Paint the Cactus

Once the clay has cooled completely after baking, it’s time to paint your cactus creation. Acrylic paint works best for painting polymer clay. Select acrylic paints in your desired colors for the cactus. You may want traditional green, or get creative with bold colors like neon pink or blue.

Using a paintbrush, apply the acrylic paint over the entire cactus, including the pot. Let the paint fully dry before moving on to the next step. Make sure there are no wet spots, which can take a few hours. The acrylic will dry with a matte finish.

Consider adding darker paint near the bottom of the cactus for depth and highlight the spikes and edges with a lighter shade. You can also paint simple designs for visual interest.

Add Finish

Once the paint has dried on your clay cactus ring holder, it’s important to seal it with a water-based acrylic sealant or varnish. This will help protect the paint and clay from damage over time. Be sure to let the sealant dry fully before handling the ring holder. Follow the directions on the sealant bottle in terms of applying a thin coat and how long to let it dry. Typically, you’ll want to let it dry for at least 24 hours before using the ring holder or applying any additional coats of sealant. Adding a finish is an important final step that helps preserve your clay creation.


Once your clay cactus ring holder is complete, it’s time to find a home for displaying it. Consider placing it on a desk, bookshelf, nightstand or other flat surface where you tend to leave rings and small jewelry items.

The cactus spikes are perfect for neatly holding rings in place. Simply slide each ring onto a spike, spacing them out across the cactus. The clay spikes hold rings securely while also showing them off. Position your new cactus ring holder near your jewelry box or vanity to keep rings organized and easily accessible.

Let the cactus holder add a fun, natural touch to any space. Its earthy style works in traditional, modern, bohemian or eclectic rooms. Place it among real or faux plants for a cohesive look. Or allow the sculpted cactus to stand out on its own as a unique accent piece. However you choose to display it, this handmade ring holder will keep your rings organized while adding Southwest flair.

Customize Your Clay Cactus Ring Holder

One of the best parts of making your own clay cactus ring holder is customizing it exactly how you want. Here are some ideas for making your cactus ring holder unique:

Make Different Shapes and Sizes: While a round, short cactus shape is classic, feel free to get creative with different shapes and sizes. Try making a tall, thin cactus or giving yours some ridges or bumps. Make a miniature cactus ring holder for a desk or a larger statement piece.

Add Glaze: Glazing your baked clay cactus adds a shiny, glass-like finish. Use glazes in different colors like green, blue, pink, or metallic to complement the cactus. Brush or dip the glaze on before a second bake.

Incorporate Glitter: For sparkle and shine, mix glitter into the green clay or paint it on top of the baked cactus. Use coarse or fine glitter in any color. Add glitter along the ridges or just at the top.

Attach Decorations: Glue on small decorations like faux flowers, beads, buttons, or bows using strong craft glue after baking. Get creative with the embellishments to make your cactus ring holder extra special.

Customizing the shape, size, color, and decorations of your clay cactus ring holder lets you create a fun DIY accessory that showcases your unique style.

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