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Renaissance goblets

Transform thrift-store wineglasses into opulent vessels

Sometimes I buy supplies just because they appeal to me, but with no idea how I’ll use them. Eventually, some of these purchases will happen to be on my table at the same time, and I’ll suddenly know what to make from them. 

This combination of rhinestones, ripple-blade-cut clay, and thrift-store wine glasses occurred in just this way. Such lovely goblets are perfect for any special occasion or as a reward to yourself at the end of a busy day. No polymer princess should sip from an ordinary glass!


  • 1 Glass goblet, thoroughly washed and dried
  • 1 2-oz pkg. Premo Sculpey, gold, conditioned
  • 1 oz. Premo Sculpey, translucent trim color, conditioned
  • 1 oz. Premo Sculpey, opaque trim color, conditioned
  • Sufficient clay to make 2-3 decorated sheets
  • Scrap clay 
  • 3 12-in. (30cm) lengths of leather cord
  • Translucent Liquid Sculpey
  • 6 1⁄4-in. (6mm) Pointed-back, foiled rhinestones
  • Baby powder or cornstarch
  • 320- and 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Flecto Varathane Diamond Elite or similar varnish, gloss finish
  • tissue blade
  • craft knife
  • clay gun
  • pasta machine
  • small texture tools
  • hot glue gun
  • 3⁄4-in. (1.9cm) Kemper flower cutter
  • 1⁄2-in. (1.3cm) Kemper circle cutter
  • paint brush


Be sure to leave at least 1⁄2 in. (1.3cm) between the goblet’s lip and the polymer embellishment. Polymer clay is not recommended for holding food. Wash these goblets by hand only. 

Mold for braid trim

1. Make a 10-in. (25cm) braid using 3 strands of smooth leather cord.

Renaissance Goblets a
Photo a
Renaissance Goblets b
Photo b
Renaissance Goblets c
Photo c

2. Secure the ends of the braid and hot glue it to a piece of sturdy cardboard (PHOTO A). Once it cools, use a sharp craft knife to trim any extra glue that seeps out from under the braid.

3. Condition a large lump of scrap clay and roll it into a log 3⁄4-in. (2cm) in diameter and about 9-in. (23cm) long.  

Dust the braid with baby powder or cornstarch as a release. Working from one end to the other, press the scrap clay firmly onto the braid (PHOTO B). 

5. Gently remove the clay and bake it flat sidedown according to the package directions. For a long-lasting mold, don’t skimp on the time you bake it. I baked mine for a full hour.

Cover the goblets

You can use any kind of patterned clay to cover the goblets – mokume gane, cane slices, marblized, etc. 

1. Prepare 2-3 patterned sheets of clay largeenough to cover the goblet’s bowl and base. Roll them through the pasta machine at the #4 setting to create 2.25mm-thick sheets.

2. Cover the lower part of the bowl, from the stem to 1 1⁄4 in. (3cm) below the rim, with patterned clay. Smooth the seams.

3. To trim the top edge of the clay evenly, place the goblet upside down on a flat surface. Steady your tissue blade firmly on top of a 1 1⁄4-in.-high jar, box, or block of wood, with the sharp edge facing out. Slide the goblet gently against the blade and slowly turn it) (PHOTO C).

Renaissance Goblets d
Photo d
Renaissance Goblets e
Photo e
Renaissance Goblets f
Photo f
Renaissance Goblets g
Photo g

4. Roll a sheet of the translucent color clayon the #4 setting. Slice a clay strip 1⁄2-in. (1.3cm) wide, long enough to wrap around the goblet above the patterned clay. Place the strip around the goblet and smooth the seams (PHOTO D). 

5. Cover the top and bottom of thegoblet’s base with patterned clay, enclosing it (PHOTO E). 

6. Roll a sheet of opaque-color clay at the #4 setting. Cover the stem (PHOTO F). Watch for trapped air under the clay. The curve of a wine-glass stem can be tricky to cover without trapping air bubbles. Smooth the seams.

Make the trim pieces

1. Roll by hand or extrude a snake of the translucent-color clay about 1⁄4-in.(6mm) in diameter. Add a ring of it to the stem’s top and bottom (PHOTO G). 

2. Roll a sheet of gold clay on the #3 setting of the pasta machine. Place a sheet of plastic wrapover the clay. Using the flower cutter, cut 6 shapes. As you press the cutter into the clay, the wrap will create arounded edge. Set the cut-outs aside.

3. Roll a sheet of gold clay on the #1 setting. Repeat step 2 with the circle cutter.

4. With the gold clay, roll or extrude several snakes about 1⁄8-in. (3mm) in diameter.

5. Fit the clay gun with the half-rounddisc, fill it with gold clay, and extrude all the clay. Dust the braid mold with baby powder. Press the extruded clay into the mold. Before you remove the clay from the mold, trim the excess clay by sliding your blade down the mold’s flat surface (PHOTO H). This design requires three presses from the mold.
Renaissance Goblets h
Photo h
Renaissance Goblets i
Photo i
Renaissance Goblets j
Photo j
Renaissance Goblets k
Photo k
Renaissance Goblets l
Photo l

Apply the trim

1. Position the flower shapes at even intervals along the line between the patterned clay and translucent-color band on the goblet bowl. Center a clay circle on each flower. Press the end of a brush into the circle’s center to create a bezel for a rhinestone (PHOTO I). 

2. Place a small bead of Translucent Liquid Sculpey (TLS) in each bezel. Pressa rhinestone into the bezel so that it is slightly recessed (PHOTO J). The TLS will ooze up around the stone and show slightly. Remove the excess with a tissue.

3. Cover the seams between flower medallions with pieces of 1⁄8-in. trim made in step 4 above. Decorate the trim by pressing a button or other texturing tool into the clay. 

4. Place the braid trim around the top of the translucent band. Hide the joins by slicing between the strands and splicing the ends together (PHOTO K). 

5. Place a length of braid around the goblet’s base. Don’t worry if the braid tends to stand away from the bottom edge. You will fill the seam with TLS later. 

6. Add 1⁄8-in. trim above the braid on the goblet base and above and below therings of translucent clay at the top and bottom of the stem (PHOTO L).

7. Turn the goblet upside down and run a line of TLS along the seam between the bottom and the braid trim. 

8. Bake the goblet in this position for 45 minutes to an hour at the temperature specified on the package directions. Then raise the temperature to 300°F (150°C) for 5 minutes to make the TLSclear.

9. When the goblet is cool, sand as needed, especially the stem. Finish with a coat of varnish.