The V Spot

Rants, observations and home decorating from a woman with no time for a blog.

Faux Coral (“daux” coral… same difference.) How to make coral out of dough.

I love the look of summer decor using coral and shells.
View Image white-coral-lamp-on-lucite-base-522-443 jun_19_2133_white_coral_sea_urchin (1)

image credit                                                                                image credit                                                      image credit

I love the faux versions that Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel carry, but I am not willing to shell out that kind of dough.

Beth at Home Stories from A to Z showed us how to take faux coral from Wal-Mart’s pet section and spray paint it to look like Pottery Barn’s pricey version.  Here’s the problem.  I can’t find any of these cheesy plastic aquarium pieces that don’t have a mermaid, sunken ship or skull attached to them.  (And I am NOT going to pay $40 for something I need to break apart.)  Personally, I think Beth inspired so many people that the good stuff was snapped up in mere days.

So what’s a girl to do?   I made my own coral… out of dough.  What do you think?  I’m going to call it my Daux Coral  (geez I crack myself up.)

This is the basic recipe I used, but I decided to use what I had on hand.  In this case, an old (really old) bag of whole wheat flour, salt and water.
The dough actually looked pretty promising, because the whole wheat added texture.


I pinched off little pieces of the dough and rolled it into several different lengths then flattened them out a little, making sure they were kind of free-form and random shapes.

If they were longer pieces, I inserted a bamboo skewer to help with strength and stability.  DSCN4091

I also made sure I added texture using the end of the skewer to poke little dots and randomly “rough up” the dough.


(Yes, I know they look like a really bad appetizer at the moment… I heard enough from my kids already, thankuverymuch!)

Chicken wire was wadded up into a little ball to form the base of the “coral”


I tried letting all the pieces air-dry over night,  but they were still a little pliable, so I put them all on a cookie sheet and popped them into a 200 degree oven for a few hours.


I cut out a cardboard base and hot glued it to the chicken wire base.


Then it was just a matter of fitting these little puzzle pieces together.


I started on the bottom and worked my way toward the middle.


Once I got all of the pieces wedged into place, I tried to force extra hot glue into any gaps.  When I thought I had it all filled in pretty well, I took it outside and sprayed it with a satin white paint.


Is it perfect….? No.  Was it virtually free to make since I had all of the materials on hand…? Yes.

I think it looks pretty good, given the fact it is flour and salt masquerading as coral….

white coral, decor, summer,faux
I am not sure exactly where I want to keep it yet.

I think if you didn’t know any better, you might think it’s real…

coral, white, summer, faux

What do you think?

This idea had been bouncing around in my mind for a while, but a couple of notes:
This was definitely a “trial and error” kind of project.  If you try it, be prepared to try, try, try again while attempting to “construct” your coral.
I had to mess with it a lot to get it looking what I perceived to be natural looking.
The hot glue left some strings and drips that are not noticeable on a shelf but I think they would be under a cloche. (And I’m a little disappointed because I was making it with the idea of putting it under a cloche.)  I’ll do better next time.

The bottom line? It’s a Monet…. it looks great from a distance, but don’t get tooooo close, mkay?

Linking this project up here:
MONDAY Southern Hospitality Sarahndipites Me Making Do Dittle Dattle Creative Intuitions Polly Want A Crafter? Tidy Mom Sumo’s Sweet Stuff It’s So Very Cheri The Boogieboard Cottage CRAFT Singing Three Little Birds Craftomaniac Homemaker On A Dime Making the World Cuter Keeping It Simple Between Naps On the Porch Marvelously Messy Skip To My Lou Sew Can Do All Things Fee  TUESDAY Home Stories A to Z   Coastal Charm   Cherished Bliss   Hope Studios  All Thingz Related   Type ANot Just a Housewife Tip Junkie Domestically Speaking A Diamond In the Stuff A Glimpse InsideSugar Bee Crafts Strictly Homemade Today’s Creative Blog Running With Glitter  Our House Of Joyful Noise Homework WEDNESDAY Eisy Morgan DIY By Design Savvy Southern Style Momma Hen Blue Cricket Design Handy Man, Crafty Woman Someday Crafts Dragonfly Designs My Girlish Whims Night Owl Crafting Primitive & Proper The Cottage Chick THURSDAY Thrifty Decorating Frugalicious Me My Repurposed Life Delightful Order Trendy Treehouse House of Hepworths The Frugal Girls  Fishtail Cottage FRIDAY Friday Redoux At The Picket Fence Creation Corner Finding Fabulous Little Lucy Lu My Romantic HomeThe Designer Garden Remodelaholic French Country Cottage Small Fine Print Spunky JunkyTatertots & Jello The Shabby Nest Miss Mustard Seed 504 Main Stuff and Nonsense Chic on a Shoestring Young & Crafty The Answer Is Chocolate Fingerprints on the Fridge WhipperberryInspiring Creations SATURDAY  Addicted 2 Decorating Funky Junk Interiors It’s A Crafty LifeLamb Around A Vision To Remember Green Door Designs Be Different Act Normal Craft EnvyShanty 2 Chic The Creative Crate  SUNDAY The Tattered Tag I Heart Naptime The DIY Show OffSisters Of the Wild West Under the Table and Dreaming Flamingo Toes The Girl Creative  ALSO Nap Time Crafters The Lettered Cottage
Weekend Bloggy Reading



Bug and Bird said...

June 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm
wow, your coral looks really good in a hand crafted sculptural way! and i just saw that wal-mart coral post, i live in australia and would have made my mom go to wal-mart and save some for when i move back

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

June 14, 2011 at 1:01 pm
That is what I call very creative and somewhat genious!

Simone @ Doberman's by the Sea said...

June 14, 2011 at 1:17 pm
Love it. sounds like a lot of work though. My walmart has been out of them for months now, I'm trying to do that project, too.

Connie Weiss said...

June 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm
Wow. I would have never thought to make that!

Connie Weiss said...

June 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm
Wow. I would have never thought to make that!

Lori E said...

June 14, 2011 at 1:31 pm
How on earth do you come up with these ideas? The rest of us would have spray painted over the mermaid and called it done.
Not you. You grow your own coral pieces...

Chris said...

June 14, 2011 at 1:36 pm
Wow! I love that you made your own...who says all you play with is spray paint???

Carmella said...

June 14, 2011 at 1:41 pm
Once again...I am amazed at your talent! This looks awesome!! Perfect for a beachy summer rock lady, just in case you forgot :)

Johanson Family said...

June 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm
Good grief woman! you should start your own magazine. GORGEOUS!!

lisbonlioness said...

June 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm
This is one of the posts that keep me reading crafty blogs. Incredibly inventive, creative, nifty, funny and a bunch of other adjectives I don't want to bore you with.
Let's just say you are my new heroine of crafty goodness.

Deneen said...

June 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm
I love making things out of clay or dough. This is great!

Maggie @ Midwestern {Sewing} Girl said...

June 14, 2011 at 2:52 pm
Ummmm....awesome...this looks so cool!!!

Myya said...

June 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm
Genius ohhhhhh my gosh Viv, you ARE GENIUS!!!

Jessica @ O. Alouette said...

June 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm
I'm so impressed - this looks awesome! And your "daux coral" made me laugh out loud :)

Happy Mama said...

June 14, 2011 at 4:02 pm
That's great! I've been looking for coral too. I just love it. You did a bang up job. Wish I had patience for that kind of project.

Lesley said...

June 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm
Holy crap! I'm sharing a link to this on my facebook so at least 3 extra people will see it. You're welcome.

Barb@curlywillowdiy said...

June 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm
Who'dathunkit? I wouldn't have known it was fake if you didn't tell.

iram said...

June 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm
Good one Vivienne :)

Tanya said...

June 14, 2011 at 6:11 pm
Wow, so pretty!

Brooke @ Inside-Out Design said...

June 14, 2011 at 7:47 pm
How cool! Wow you're really clever! I'm going to have to show this to my sister- she loves coral but you're right, it's so pricey. Great job!

Johnnie said...

June 14, 2011 at 9:30 pm
Lovely! You know I am thinking polymer clay coral now :)

Tabitha said...

June 14, 2011 at 9:44 pm
That's such a cool idea. I love how it turned out. Thanks for sharing. :-)

Susan @ said...

June 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm
That was great V! Nice work!
A nice inexpensive project that looks like it cost a bundle at PB.

MiMi said...

June 14, 2011 at 10:46 pm
You are a freaking mad scientest/genius.
You need to run for president.

Prudently Painted Vintage said...

June 14, 2011 at 10:55 pm
I love this! you are a craft genius!

By the way I would love to follow you on pinerest but your link appears to be broken. Also how do you get the follow me on pinterest on your blog? I would like to put it on mine too :)

Jennifer said...

June 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm
Holy cow, that's cool! Thanks for the neat idea!

Beth@The Stories of A to Z said...

June 15, 2011 at 12:06 am
I think it's ingenious!

shortmama said...

June 15, 2011 at 12:34 am
you are too dang clever!

Nicole@Thrifty Decorating said...

June 15, 2011 at 12:42 am
I'm on the boardwalk in Atlantic City....instead of gambling, I am in a Mac store checking my blog! LOL Awesome idea! :)

Shawn said...

June 15, 2011 at 2:17 am
Are you freaking kidding me!

Elz said...

June 15, 2011 at 2:30 am
Seriously?! AMAZEballs. You are too creative, too creative!

The Outlaw Mom said...

June 15, 2011 at 5:16 am
O.M.G. I was looking at the Pottery Barn coral and thinking there is no way I am going to shell out $$$ for some silly faux coral, but I never in a million years thought I'd find a substitute for them! (I do really still want them!) I am so doing this. Thanks for sharing!

Susan said...

June 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm
Absolutely genius! Your faux coral looks terrific. :)

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

June 15, 2011 at 6:02 pm
This is genius!! I love the final results.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

June 15, 2011 at 6:03 pm
This is genius!! I love the final results.

Designs By Pinky said...

June 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm
OMG, I can'r believe how GREAT this looks!!!1 I will be trying this for sure! Thanks for sharing this!!! XO, Pinky

Dana @ Budget Dietitian said...

June 15, 2011 at 9:06 pm
Here from Tip Me Tuesday! I could never do this. I am not crafty enough! Looks great! :)

Vicki V @ said...

June 15, 2011 at 11:26 pm
How clever are you?! Nice job!

Jennifer Juniper said...

June 16, 2011 at 12:06 am
It really looks like coral! Great job :)

Tanya said...

June 16, 2011 at 3:18 am
Wow, it looks great. I'm impressed.

Craftberry Bush said...

June 16, 2011 at 3:20 am
Dude ! this is crazy cool...not only does it look's health conscious...(whole wheat flour) it ! xo

Holly said...

June 16, 2011 at 3:29 am
IMPRESSIVE! I love the look but not the prices I have did an amazing job!

jamie said...

June 16, 2011 at 10:06 am

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

June 16, 2011 at 6:17 pm
Very resourceful of you!

Nice work.

JennyMac said...

June 16, 2011 at 9:37 pm
You = serious bad ass. This is awesome!

aquariann said...

June 17, 2011 at 1:24 am
Very neat idea!! My mermaids might not even be able to tell the difference.

-:¦:- Stumble Through Thursday: Mermaid Art Dolls on Etsy -:¦:-

Marnie said...

June 17, 2011 at 2:04 am
Very clever. Looks very realistic. Visiting from Chic & crafty party. Following you.
x Marnie

lauren @ West Furniture Revival said...

June 17, 2011 at 2:36 am
love the coral it looks like the real thing!!

Gracie's Cottage said...

June 17, 2011 at 3:36 am
"daux" coral... you not only crack yourself up, you crack me up too!
Nice job on the coral!


lvroftiques said...

June 17, 2011 at 4:46 am
This comment has been removed by the author.

Honey at 2805 said...

June 17, 2011 at 5:12 am
Looks real! You are so crafty and clever with words!

Lisa said...

June 17, 2011 at 5:13 am
Ha! That is awesome and ingenious. It looks great.


Brandi said...

June 17, 2011 at 5:58 am
clever idea. Looks like it took a lot of time, but so worth it! It turned out great.

I'm Busy Procrastinating said...

June 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm
I am SO not patient enough to make my own coral. Very impressive! For others like me who are more into buying than making something like this, I've found decent prices on coral at HomeGoods, Kohl's and Z Gallerie. Coral sculptures are my kryptonite!

Faith, Trust, and a Little Pixie Dust said...

June 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm
This is so creative & brilliant. You amaze me! Thanks so much for linking up to Fab Friday!

Warmly, Michelle

Michelle@Somedaycrafts said...

June 17, 2011 at 3:22 pm
I think it looks great and the price tag is definitely better than what you would pay for real coral! Brilliant!

Carolyn said...

June 17, 2011 at 4:00 pm
Hi Vivienne,
I wanted to let you know that I featured your project on homework today. Thanks again for linking up. Hope to see you next week.

Gypsy Rose said...

June 17, 2011 at 4:31 pm
Fantastic! love this, I wasn't going to spend big bucks on the coral either--but I will try this

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating said...

June 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm
Oh my gosh, that is seriously BRILLIANT!!! I looked for faux coral the other day, and I couldn't find any either. Might have to break out the bag of flour!

Mei said...

June 17, 2011 at 8:02 pm
That's crazy!
I'm visiting from some blog hop, I forget which one...
<3 Mei

At The Picket Fence said...

June 17, 2011 at 9:30 pm
okay so you totally rock! This is such a great idea and so clever. We just shared it on our Facebook Page. Thanks for always sharing your creativity with us at Inspiration Friday! You're the bomb! ;)


time worn interiors said...

June 18, 2011 at 1:12 am
I think your coral looks great! And I am a true lover of coral!

D+B said...

June 18, 2011 at 2:12 am
Love your blog!! Its so cute!!! I am your newest follower!!! :) I would love it if you checked out my blog and followed me too!! :) I am so excited to start blogging and share my ideas on food, crafts, and mineral make-up. I will also be doing giveaways on stuff, like mineral make-up. So look out for it!

Andrea . Charcoal and Crayons said...

June 18, 2011 at 2:18 am
Wow... just incredible! I have been yearning for real coral or even faux coral, but now I can just make my own daux coral... Love it!
65. said...

June 18, 2011 at 2:50 am
Well, aren't you crafty? What a great idea, it looks great.

Happy Show and Tell Friday :O)


Ruth said...

June 18, 2011 at 3:37 am
I love it!! Looks amazing!!! Such a smart and innovative way to do this. I have been looking at Walmart for the coral, too but couldn't find it.


The Sterling Cherub said...

June 18, 2011 at 3:59 am
Wow, that looks amazing! I am duly impressed, you got mad skillz (yes, with a "z," you are that good!) girl!

I have an entire seashell and coral collection that is still packed away from my move of several years back because in this smaller apartment, there is no place to put it. This project of yours makes me want to bust out my collection!



Shabby Beach Nest said...

June 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm
Holy expensive looking coral, Vivienne, this is pure brilliance!! As you've already astutely noted, the cheesy fake coral at Walmart has been cleared out. This is such a PERFECT solution. And as an added bonus, this would occupy my three-year-old for a good half hour or more. SCORE!! Thanks again for sharing your genius with the rest of us.

~Nicole @

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

June 18, 2011 at 7:53 pm
Look at you, miss smarty pants!! Way to come up with a solution. Love what you came up looks like the store bought stuff. :)

Thank you for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party (and for linking back--I appreciate that!). :)

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

June 18, 2011 at 11:44 pm
Brilliant!! I saw fantastic dough starfish, now coral -wow! It does look like an elaborate project, but the end result is worth it!!

blesid said...

June 19, 2011 at 12:01 am
NO WAY! I just love this ... your hard work paid off! Watch out deep blue sea... we know how to make our own coral now! jules

Jennifer @JMDesigns said...

June 19, 2011 at 2:32 am
Wow...simply amazing! Way too cool...look great!

Jennifer @JMDesigns said...

June 19, 2011 at 2:32 am
Wow...simply amazing! Way too cool...look great!

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

June 19, 2011 at 4:27 am
That's really cool! Thanks for linking this to Wicked Awesome Wednesday.

Kei said...

June 19, 2011 at 10:03 am
Looks fab! I've been wanting to get my hands on some coral but am too cheap to buy some (!!), thanks to your tutorial I can fake it with a few items in the cupboard! Thanks for the tutorial! :D

Ethnic Girl Fun said...

June 19, 2011 at 7:23 pm
I want to try this!!!!!!!!!!!

Ethnic Girl Fun said...

June 19, 2011 at 7:23 pm
I am going to be a follower for sure!!!

NaughtyBaubles said...

June 19, 2011 at 8:04 pm
So creative!!! It came out really great!!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

June 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Beverly@southernhomesweethome said...

June 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm
Girl you are pretty amazing. I don't think there is anything you can do. You are a girl after my own heart. I learned to make so many things when I was young b/c we couldn't afford the big price tags for the finer things.

michele at hellolovelyinc said...

June 20, 2011 at 7:00 pm
as a lover of coral, this is one AWESOME project i will def try. love your writing and spirit as well. come visit anytime!


723.home.plain & simple said...

June 20, 2011 at 7:18 pm
Coming over from so very cheri! I love your blog and your DAUX CORAL...LOVE it! thanks for sharing!

Laura @ Our House Of Joyful Noise said...

June 20, 2011 at 7:31 pm
WOW Viv!! That is both impressive and AMBITIOUS!! It came out awesome though!! Thanks for linking it up & sharing it with us and our readers at Our House Of Joyful Noise! Join us every Tuesday if you can! : )

Vintage Beachgirl said...

June 21, 2011 at 12:00 am
Just a suggestion for the glue webs.......use your hair dryer on high (just be careful not to damage your project) and just wave it around where the webs are, not too close but you'll see, it's easy and ends the mess.
I love the way your coral turned out....very creative of you!!
Take care, VBg

Crystal said...

June 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm
Wow! I am absolutely amazed! This is brilliant and looks wonderful! I am pinning this for my todo list! I LOVE the look of coral, too, and I love that now I can make it myself thanks to your great tutorial! :) Thanks for following me and linking up! (I'm following you, as well:)) Have a wonderful week!
Homemaker in Heels

Annalea said...

June 21, 2011 at 9:19 pm
who knew salt dough went beyond christmas ornaments? so amazingly clever! visiting from cherished bliss link party.

Mary said...

June 22, 2011 at 4:32 pm
Hi Vivienne, I featured your post on my top ten this week at Boogieboard Cottage. I loved it, thank you for linking it! Have a great week, Mary :O)

oneshabbychick said...

June 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm
This is very cool! You did an impressive job of making it look much like the real thing... that seems tricky. Very fun idea and great results! Stopping by from Boogieboard Cottage :-} ~ osc

Faith, Trust, and a Little Pixie Dust said...

June 24, 2011 at 4:09 am
Hi Vivienne, {Geez! I can't believe how many comments you get!} Thanks so much for adding this to my linky party. It's so creative & ingenious that I CAN'T HELP but share it in my Fab Friday Favorites post tomorrow evening. Please feel free to grab an "I Was Featured" button!

Warmly, Michelle

Michele said...

June 24, 2011 at 6:22 pm
Amazing - I would like four, please! Thanx so much for sharing!

MessyMissy said...

June 25, 2011 at 3:07 am
SO COOL. What a funky idea!!!

Karena said...

June 29, 2011 at 1:21 am
Vivienne, I am really impressed,this looks great.I was at PB the other day and just couldn't spend the money either!!

Art by Karena

I have a New, very fashionable Giveaway from the Shabby Apple on my site! Come and enter!

B.B. said...

June 29, 2011 at 3:43 am
Amazing! I have seen Christmas ornaments made from salt dough, but not coral! This is impressive!

Farah Muzaffar said...

June 29, 2011 at 5:41 am
Perfect... what a creativity you have Dear,,, I came here via WOW... and yours is a real WOW:) superb ... I am going to archive it and may give it a try... not perfect as yours but a try hope you permit me... Thanks a lot for such a understandable tutorial ...
Visit me whenever you can

Emreen said...

June 29, 2011 at 4:24 pm
Wow! This is unbelievable and gorgeous...!!! It looks perfect !!

Have a great week ahead !

Mel the Crafty Scientist said...

June 29, 2011 at 9:03 pm
This is just AMAZING! I hadn't clicked on this before it was featured because I just thought you were one of those crazy lucky people who happened to find something gorgeous on the beach and whatever, I live by a nuke plant and have crappy luck, but then I saw it was made of something (so it wasn't just a PB knockoff) and had to check it out and I love it! Now I can be a lucky person! (Maybe I'll even try to convince people I found it... send them out on nice little treasure hunts!) : )

Donna D said...

July 2, 2011 at 4:02 am
What a great idea! I'm so going to give this a try!

C.S.M. said...

July 14, 2011 at 1:12 am
I'm obsessed with your daux coral....super clever and just so damn cool. I saw the red stuff too...I love all things cheap and are my new hero!

Tina Peterson said...

July 22, 2011 at 7:33 am
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

rc jets said...

October 20, 2011 at 10:25 am
I think it looks great and the price tag is definitely better than what you would pay for real coral! Brilliant work you shared with us.

Greenmama said...

February 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm
I really liked your faux coral! What is you tried mixing in some sand? To give it some texture? I don't know how that would affect the structural ability of the dough, but maybe something to experiment with?

lisbonlioness said...

July 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm MADE ONE!!! Woot!

Life in Rehab said...

July 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm
...annnnnnnnnd bookmarked for a later hack! This is fantastic; Lisbonlioness made great use of your tutorial for our Hack Off too! LOVE it!

peter kenneth said...

February 8, 2013 at 5:24 am
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>