Make a Cute Riser Using a Bunch of Fun Techniques

17 Materials
1 Hour

Risers are currently all the rage. Single risers, layered risers, risers galore! I wanted to make my own to fit my home’s aesthetic. I figured that I could use a bunch of my favorite craft techniques to make mine, and that’s just what I did! My mixed media riser is the perfect addition to my home. In my tutorial below I’ll teach you all of the techniques I used, including molded clay, decor transfers, stamping, and how to create a faux wood stain. Interested? Check out my step-by-step tutorial below to get started!

Tools and Materials

Tools and Materials:

  • 12” wood round
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Air dry clay
  • Decorative mold
  • Flour 
  • Brush
  • Wood glue
  • Fusion mineral paint
  • Chippy brush
  • Decor transfer
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Brayer
  • Dragonfly stamp
  • 3 ball knobs
  • Baby wipe

I started off by giving the wood round a light sand all over. Then I wiped off any dust.

Brush with Flour
Add Clay Molding

I wanted to take my riser up a notch by adding some decorative clay molding along the edge. To make this quick and easy I used air dry clay and a decor mold. I pulled off a chunk of the clay and worked it in my hands a bit to make it more pliable. Then I brushed the mold with a bit of flour to stop the clay from sticking. 

Add the Clay

Next I pushed the clay into the mold and used a stiff piece of plastic to scrape off the excess. There is a microrim on this mold, which makes for a very clean edge. 

Remove Clay from Mold

I flipped the mold over and pushed the clay out. Because I had brushed it with some flour, the clay came out easily and in one piece. 


Next I added a bit of wood glue to the back of the clay and glued it to the edge of my wood round. The nice thing about this wood glue is that it grabs quickly and I don’t have to worry about holding it in place. 

Glue the Clay to the Round

I repeated this process until I had covered the entire edge of the wood round. I really enjoy working with clay, it reminds me of my childhood, and these molds make it easy to quickly create something beautiful.

Marry Edges

Where the ends of the clay met, I pressed them together a bit to marry the gap. Once I was done I left it to dry overnight. Air dry clay will crack when it dries. I like this look but if you don’t, you can just add a bit more clay to the cracks to fill them in.

Pour Paint into Cup
Paint the Round


Make sure that you always put the paint you’ll be using in another container to make sure that you don’t accidentally contaminate the paint in the jar. You can always go back and take more if needed.

Paint the Round

Using a chippy brush, I painted the top of the wood round. I like using chippy brushes because they are light and feathery, and are able to get into cracks and crevices easily. I painted two coats on the wood and left it to dry.


Sometimes when painting on raw wood you will get something called grain raise, which means that the grain gets pulled up a bit and makes the wood rough and bumpy. If this happens, just give it a light sanding between coats. 

Apply a Decor Transfer
Apply a Decor Transfer

The next step was to add a decor transfer to the top of the riser. 


I determined what part of the transfer I wanted to use for this project and then cut it out. 


I removed the protective backing and lay it in place on the wood round.


Then I went over it with the applicator stick that came with it. You’ll see that the design starts to be a bit muted, which is a sign that it’s coming off of the backing and adhering to your project. 


Once it had transferred completely, I burnished it with the backing paper to make sure that it was all stuck to the wood round.

Sand Edges

If there are any pieces hanging over the edge, you can knock them off with a piece of sandpaper. 

Mix Paint and Water
Paint the Flowers

This transfer is paintable, which is exactly what I decided to do next. I used regular acrylic paint and a bunch of colors to fill in the flowers and leaves. I didn’t want the paint to be full coverage, so I added a spritz or two of water to a dollop of paint and mixed it.

Paint the Flowers

Then I got to painting. I had a lot of fun mixing the colors and playing around. I like the look of gradients and tried to achieve that in my painting here. No need to be a perfectionist here, anything goes. 

Paint the Leaves


I felt like there was a bit too much negative space on the side without flowers, so I decided to add a stamp! I had a great dragonfly stamp that I thought would work perfectly for this project.

Pick Up Paint

Using a brayer, I picked up an even layer of gray paint and then rolled it onto the stamp.

Apply the Paint

Stamp the Stamp

Once the stamp was evenly covered with paint, I stamped it onto the riser. 

DIY Stamped Riser

DIY Faux Stain
Add Feet

Using a baby wipe and burnt umber paint I added a faux stain to three ball knobs. This is a great way to get the effect of a stain without the smell or time needed for it to dry.

Add Feet

Once they had dried, I glued them onto the bottom of the wooden round, evenly spaced. I also added a water-based matte topcoat to the riser to seal in the paint. 

Mixed Media Riser

And that’s that! This is a great project if you want to try a bunch of different techniques and media, and the result speaks for itself! How would you decorate your own riser? Let me know in the comments below!

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Sheri N
    Sheri N
    on Aug 8, 2020

    Where did you get the paintable transfer?

  • Donna Ohanian
    Donna Ohanian
    on Aug 9, 2020

    What is a riser? I don’t see the point. It doesn’t hold in the water from a plant set on top. It’s not a shelf.

    • The Weathered Shed
      The Weathered Shed
      on Aug 12, 2020

      Risers are every where in home decor these days...single or tiered. They are to just place objects on top of to give them a bigger presence in a space. Meerly decorative.

  • Jenny
    on Aug 22, 2020

    Sorry it's beautiful but hard it for?

    • Blanca Farmer
      Blanca Farmer
      on Oct 21, 2020

      @Donna Ohanian, there are definitely NO bad questions. I didn't realize I've been making and using risers all this time! I love them and when strategically placed, it will give beautiful accent to any piece🥰

Join the conversation

2 of 19 comments
  • Shirley
    on Aug 31, 2020

    I do plan to make one. I have a wood plaque in my stash that I will paint and stencil, then use wooden thread spools for the feet.

  • Deb Schroeder
    Deb Schroeder
    on Jan 25, 2021

    Wonderful instructions and a beautiful result!

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