Friday, February 15, 2013

Paper Clay Tutorial

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.

FACE: Draw eyes on clay with pencil, paint white. Paint face flesh. Reapply flesh to cheek and nose area, drag brush already coated with flesh just along a dot of red. Apply to wet paint, blend with clean brush. (I adore MS Love Dove) Paint eye color. (On small figures I do not outline in black for a softer look) Paint nose and whiskers. Paint inside of ears. Paint white on hat. Let dry.

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!


Musings from Kim K. said...

Such a detailed tutorial. Thank you, Elizabeth. I have to add that your painting skills are truly amazing. Your creations have the most darling facial expressions. Hugs!

Good luck finding your Valentine from your sweet hubby.

Pieceful Bits said...

Oh that's how you do it! You make awesome facial expressions (~~)

laurie -magpie ethel said...

I have actually never used Paperclay and may have to give it a shot. You make it look easy (and i am SURE it is have a gift!)

Holly said...

I love these! Are they not the cutest?! I can just see the Easter joy in their sweet little faces. I love paper clay too. I made a tiny paper clay pot of gold today and a pipe! I plan on uploading the St. Patrick's Day craft tomorrow :) Have a wonderful night! Holly

donna said...

Sooooo cute. Thank you so much for sharing.

A Little Creation said...

Hi Elizabeth,
Have you ever used the paperclay that you have to add water to? I'm still trying to work out the consistency. Any suggestions?
Chris =]

Unknown said...

Thanks so much! I was wondering how you make all those I'll have to get to Michael's to get my first batch! Can't wait to start!

Unknown said...

I keep saying I have to give paper clay crafting a try....maybe for Easter. Thanks for the tutorial!


Sally Annie Magundy said...

Such cuties Elizabeth! You are so talented. I've never tried paper clay and you've got me all inspired. I despair over the faces though, they are the most important part and I can't draw worth a you know what, let alone paint.

Thanks so much for all the info and encouragement!

Unknown said...

Thank you Elizabeth for sharing such great detailed instructions. I've had a pack of the clay sitting around for a while I'm going to break into it this weekend!...have a lovely weekend....Patti M : )

Debby said...

So cute. I have to try it with the syrofoam. Is it heavy. Having a bunny swap if you are interested.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Elizabeth! You are most amazing! I love your little creations and thank you for the tutorial! I've never used this clay but it sounds like fun. Your paining of the sweet faces is just perfect!
Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

vivian said...

adorable creations Elizabeth. I working with that love paper clay. Im sure I'll be using mine to make some kind of eastery something soon!
have a great weekend

Laura said...

Elizabeth.... I love your characters they are so original and the expressions are always the best!!!!! I have been playing with paperclay for the last two is so much fun! If it wasn't for you I would have probably never touched clay or pipe cleaners :) Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial...stop on by I am your first student :)

kimber said...

Oh My! I know what I will be playing with this weekend. Thank you so much for the great tutorial!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with vintage Betty- your face expressions that you paint are amazing!! The clay looks like it would be fun to play with though I doubt I would have something nearly as cute turn out!

bee blessed

Ina said...

I admire your creativity and talent so much!! I get inspired just by visiting your blog. Thank you for sharing your world with us. ;p

RetroSandie said...

Many thanks E for this wonderful tutorial! I will come back to it when I feel I might actually accomplish something!! LOL Your pink & white bunnies are so precious!!


GardenOfDaisies said...

Thanks for sharing how to do this. You make it look easy, although I'm sure it would take me days.

~Damita's Pretty Wrap~ said...

They are so sweet and cute Elizabeth! Thank you so much for such a great tutorial! I really would love to give this a try! :) You make the cutest little people! xo Holly

Cindy said...

Thank you for this tutorial. I have used paperclay a few times, but I like to see your process in making your cute little figures. I don't think I could ever get a face to look as adorable as the ones you make:)

Unknown said...

Thank you E, you make that look so easy! I have a pack of paperclay on my workspace, I haven't opened it yet, have to get my confidence up.
Your creations are always wonderful.

Denise said...

I'm glad I came back for a visit today.For one, I want you to know I'm still enjoying the gift you gave Me.I put it all out where I can see it.Two, what a delight to see this newest post.I saved this post to My favorites so I don't have to search for it. I've been wanting to play with paper clay for a long time now I'm going to do it.Thank you again,now I have a beautiful piece of your art.Denise

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

I am impressed! You have a true talent-and your tutorial is wonderful! Thank you for sharing this information!

craftyles said...

I have yet to try this-but you've got my interest peaked. The little bunnies are just adorable. The expressions on the faces are beyond cute!Thanks you for the lessons.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much. I have the paper clay now just to get brave and give it a try.

Thanks again...Trudy

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial I ordered my paper clay on line can't wait until it arrives so that I can give it a shot. Your the best

Anonymous said...

OK - that's it! I must buy some of that paper clay! Everything you make is sooooo adorable! Thank you for sharing with us!

Laura said...

I love the liss misses hat and she is adorable :)

Chenille Cottage said...

Thank you, Elizabeth, for the great tutorial. My head is spinning with ideas!
Can't wait to try playing with Paper Clay.
Carolynn xo

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Unknown said...

I love your tutorial.I can't wait to make some for myself.Thank you!

Elissa said...

Every time I use paper clay, just like the one in your picture, it cracks during the drying process. How to I keep it from doing that?

rosy said...

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K Nurse said...

Thanks for the instructions. I bought a package and wondered, now what. Now I know thanks to you!