Does it amaze you that you are able to create your own holiday decorations? I think it is wonderful and such fun at the same time.
If you haven't yet given Paper Clay a try, I do hope this tutorial will encourage you to do so. Tools needed? Your hands! I know, amazing again! Paper Clay can be found at Michael's or online. As there isn't a single direction on the package, I hope you will allow me to share my own techniques.
PREPARATION: A sheet of paper for your work surface, a small amount of water, porous Styrofoam shapes (not smooth), toothpicks, pipe cleaner stems, craft wire cutter.
STEP 1: Press small amount of clay at a time to surface of Styrofoam. (Close package each time clay is removed).
STEP 2: Using your thumb press clay in a forward direction until you feel an even thickness under your thumb. (Clay should be applied thinly, but you should not see the texture of the Styrofoam through clay.)
STEP 3: Apply next amount of clay a slight distance from already applied clay. Push new amount towards existing edges. (All shapes are covered in this manner.)
STEP 4: Roll small amount into ball shape in the palm of your hand. (Should cracks appear in the clay, apply moisture with fingertip dipped in water). Roll ball into a rope with fingertips against work surface. Apply to head with slight pressure.
STEP 5: Press rope to thickness against face that is pleasing. With finger, pull flattened rope from the face
edge towards the back of head until smoothness is achieved.
STEP 6: Wet finger and further smooth clay.
STEP 7: Insert half a toothpick in bottom of head.
STEP 8: Make 2 same sized balls of clay by rolling in palm of hand. Slightly elongate by applying pressure to one side of ball as you roll.
STEP 9: Attach to head use pulling technique with finger. Slightly elongate clay into ear shape.
STEP 10: Smooth edges further with fingertip dipped in water.
STEP 11: Press small ball of clay to surface of face. Use same pulling technique to further adhere.
STEP 12: Wet fingertip with water, smooth clay into nose shape. Head is complete, set aside.
BODY PREPARATION: Twist 2 pipe cleaner stems together. Insert stem without cutting 1/2" into bottom of egg shaped Styrofoam for leg. Bend to create ankle and foot, snip with wire cutters. Repeat for second leg and arms. (Second set of twisted pipe cleaner might be needed). Remove stems to apply clay.
STEP 13: Repeat same techniques used to apply clay to head.
STEP 14: Reinsert pipe cleaner stems. Character is now complete! (My husband had hidden my Valentine's Day card and gift for me to find!)
DRYING: Allow air to circulate around pieces. A fan can be also be used. Area of country you live in will effect drying time. NOTE: When dry, your piece should feel as light as the Styrofoam did without clay. If it feels heavy, you know you applied your clay too thickly. CRACKS: Apply small amount of Paper Clay to crack, smooth with wet fingertip. Allow to dry again. (If the crack is small, I don't worry about it as my paint and glitter will cover)
BASE: Save those ribbon spools! I have traced my spool onto my image and then adhered it to white card stock before scalloping edge.
BODY: Draw oval on body, paint. Paint white on body. Let dry.
CRAFT VARNISH (found alongside craft paints) is applied to areas that are not going to be glittered. Let dry.
GLITTER: Martha Stewart Clear Glass Glitter is applied to clay by thinning Tacky Glue to the consistency of milk. (I no longer use Modge Podge as I noticed my white pieces yellowed over time).
GARLAND: Make bow with tails from sheer ribbon, hot glue to center of chenille stem. Bend stem over "hands" and trim. Tails of bow are looped around stem and hot glued in place. Position and hot glue paper flowers and eggs. (Michaels $1.00 bin)
And there you have it, Your Cute as Can Be Easter Garland Hangers!
I promise your first Paper Clay creation will not be your last. And I do hope your Valentine's Day was all that you hoped for and more!