These Knot Sculptures Will Convert You Into a DIYer

two diy clay knot sculptures on mantel with mirror, books and dried flowers
credit: Trisha Sprouse

As purveyors of all the pretty things that make a house a home, we couldn't help but notice a recent home decor trend: knot sculptures. We've spotted these highly coveted decorative accents while shopping in retail stores, scrolling on Pinterest, and double-tapping interior design #shelfies on Instagram. While you'll find them fashioned from a variety of materials ranging from glass to wood to stone, we're especially fond of the ceramic version. And having previously worked with air-dry clay for a handful of DIY projects (see here, here, and here), we knew we could easily use it to make our own knot sculptures. No need to channel your inner sculptor — this project is so easy, it's almost like tying a shoe.

Things You'll Need

two clay knot sculptures on a mantel with books and dried flowers
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Open Knot

Step 1

Place a piece of parchment paper on your work surface, and then cut off a 1-inch strip from the block of clay.

Strip of air dry clay cut from block with utility knife
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 2

Roll the strip of clay into a long tube that's about 24 inches long. Cut off the ends of the tube with a utility knife to create nice, flat ends.

Air dry clay rolled into long tube with ends cut off
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 3

Form the tube into a J-shape.

Tube of air dry clay formed into a J shape
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 4

Bring the longer side of the J over to the left and drape it on top of the shorter side.

Shaping air dry clay into a knot shape
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 5

Pull the end of the longer side underneath the short side and thread it through the hole.

Shaping air dry clay into a knot shape
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Continue pulling it through the hole.

Pulling tail of air dry clay through hole to form a knot
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 6

Then fold it up over the sculpture to form a knot. If there are any cracks or dents that need smoothing, simply wet your fingertips and smooth them out. Set aside to dry for 24 to 48 hours.

Folding tail of air dry clay up to form a knot
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Closed Knot

Step 1

Follow steps 1 and 2 above, and then form into a U-shape.

Tube of air dry clay formed into U shape
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 2

Cross the tails of the U-shape together.

Tails of air dry clay shape crossed together
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 3

Fold down the tail on the left and thread it through the hole.

Shaping tube of air dry clay into a knot
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Continue pulling it through the hole.

Shaping tube of air dry clay into a knot
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 4

Fold the tail on the right underneath the sculpture.

Shaping tube of air dry clay into a knot
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Continue pulling it underneath the sculpture.

Shaping tube of air dry clay into a knot
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 5

Pull the two loose tails together, and then pinch and smooth them together to close the knot.

Closing tails of air dry clay sculpture to form a knot
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 6

Gently push the sides of the sculpture together to form a tighter knot. Smooth out any cracks and set aside to dry for 24 to 48 hours.

Pushing sides of air dry clay sculpture together to form tighter knot
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Paint and Seal

Once the clay is dry, you can either leave it as is, or paint it with acrylic paint. We opted to paint half of each knot and left the other half raw for contrast. You'll likely need to paint two or three coats for good coverage.

two clay knot sculptures painted halfway with tan paint
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Once the paint is dry, seal it with a clear gloss top coat. We sprayed two coats of clear gloss acrylic only on the painted parts and left the raw portions matte.

clear gloss acrylic spray applied to two clay knot sculptures
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Your knot sculptures are all ready for styling!

two diy clay knot sculptures on mantel with gold mirror, books and candle
credit: Trisha Sprouse
two diy clay knot sculptures on mantel with books
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Trisha Sprouse

Trisha Sprouse

Trisha is a writer, video producer + maker with a knack for creating modern DIY content. When her hands aren't covered in paint, she's most likely holding a camera or power drill or both.