Make a Van Gogh Inspired Kidney Palette Brush Holder with FIMO

23 March 2022

Spend some time getting creative with this colourful and inspiring project using wonderful STAEDTLER FIMO®air Basic Modelling Clays! Not only is this Van Gogh Inspired Kidney Palette Brush Holder gorgeous to look at, it’s also a useful tool to have in your studio, keeping your brushes displayed nicely.

What you will need:

How to do it:

  1. Roll out some FIMO®air Basic Modelling Clay to approximately 5-8mm in thickness.
  2. Draw a kidney palette shape onto a piece of paper and cut it out – you can trace around a kidney palette for this step if you have one!
  3. Place the Kidney Palette template onto your clay and cut the palette shape out of your clay piece – make sure to include the thumb hole.

    Palette Step 1 Palette Step 2 Palette Step 3
  4. As an optional step, roll out some more FIMO®air Basic Modelling Clay, this time to approximately 2mm thick. Cut out some paint-like splatters from the clay and adhere them to your kidney palette in various places using a little bit of water. This will build extra texture in your piece!
    Tip: You can smooth out your clay using your fingertips and a little bit of water.
  5. Next, use your empty bottle or pipe (or even your rolling pin!) and drape the kidney palette over it to create the surrealist-style wave in your piece. Make sure the thumb hole end of your kidney palette is the one draped over your bottle/pipe/pin.
  6. Take a brush and create some brush slots in your palette piece by pushing the brush handle into the wet clay. This should be done along the edge of the palette where the thumb hole is, giving the brushes a place to rest once the project is complete and dry.

    Palette Step 4 Palette Step 5 Palette Step 6
  7. Allow your clay to dry for 24-48 hours. Drying times of the FIMO®air Basic Modelling Clays vary depending on temperature and humidity.
  8. Once your clay piece is dry, it’s time to add some gesso so we can start painting! Apply a coat of white gesso to your piece and allow it to dry.
  9. Using your brushes and acrylic paints, paint your palette however you like! For this project we chose Van Gogh’s Starry Night artwork to inspire our palette, but you can get inspired by any of your favourite artists or design your own palette artwork entirely!

    Palette Step 7 Palette Step 8 Palette Step 9


We hope this project inspires you to get creative with the wonderful STAEDTLER FIMO®air Basic Modelling Clays, which are an awesome air-drying clay option that is perfect for sculpting projects like this one without the need for a kiln or even an oven! The smooth consistency of the FIMO®air clays is beautiful to work with and are made from 97% natural substances. As you can tell from this project, the hardened clay can be painted, as well as sanded, drilled, filed, and varnished, so it’s a fabulously versatile option for your craft projects.

We’d absolutely love to see your Palette Brush Holder creations and to marvel over the designs you come up with! Tag your posts on social media with #CreateWithEckersleys so we can check them out.