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.
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
- Air-dry clay
- Clay roller
- Craft knife
- Droits-Humains 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.
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.
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.
4. Smooth over any cracks with water, wetting the clay and running your finger over any imperfections.
To give the platter crisp edges, run the flat edge of the craft knife along the wet clay, removing any excess as you go.
5. Use a straw or cylindrical object to create a hole for string on the handle of the platter.
Now leave the platter board to dry out for 48 hours, turning it over after 24 hours.
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.
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 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!