Friday, January 29, 2010

How to make terra cotta Easter eggs

Use your imagination to texture a myriad of patterns onto these air-dry clay eggs.
PDF tutorial at

Made with Efaplast terracotta clay and plastic eggs (for armature) ....but of course, you can substitute any air-dry-clay that can be rolled into a flat sheet.  Finished eggs are 'antiqued' with white paint.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sculpting a Party Chick!

With this tutorial from Polka Dot Pixie you can create this cute chicken in an egg using Creative Paperclay and a Styrofoam egg!  View instructions here:
Update 3/17/2011:   The revised version of this tutorial does not include painting instructions, but you can use either one of the photos shown here as a painting guide.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tutorial: Cold Porcelain Bunny

Get ready for the Spring holidays! This video demo shows you how to make this cute bunny using cold porcelain, plus how to make a matching gift box!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Claymation: The Morph Files

Morph is a lively and clownish little guy who is always getting himself in and out of jams. In this short, we see him go around with his noisy friend Chaz as he tries to get a little peace and quiet. Morph also goes to great lengths to get the baby to settle down, even going so far as to create a whole circus to entertain the child.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bookmice - Let's Make Some!

This cute (and useful) bookmark is a great little craft to make with the kids or a quick and easy gift for all your friends!

The original polymer clay tutorial is from the National Wildlife Federation crafts page .   We have edited that polymer clay tutorial and converted it to the air-dry clay tutorial shown below.

You'll never lose your place with these easy-to-make bookmarks!

What You Need:
  • Leather string (jewelry cord or shoelace)
  • brown, gray or tan air-dry-clay (enough for body & ears) 
  • black air-dry clay (for eyes and nose)
Makin's Clay, Hearty Clay and Model Magic are some of the air-dry clay brands that are available in colors but you may pre-tint other (white) air-dry clays using your craft paints.  Just add a little paint to a ball of clay and knead to mix evenly.   You may also send most air-dry clays (such as Paperclay) thru a pasta machine to blend color.  If your brand of clay is a very sticky type, it may not work so well in the pasta machine!  ;-)

Note: Delight Clay is a very lightweight paperclay and would be great for these bookmarks.  Das and a few other brands may be too heavy and not suitable for this use.

What You Do:
1.  Cut a piece of leather string about 10 inches long. Tie a knot at one end.

2.   Mold a lump of clay around the knotted end of the string. Shape the clay into the form of a mouse's body, as shown. (large teardrop)    Use very small amounts of water to smooth surface if necessary.

3.  Add clay ears, eyes, and nose. Press them down firmly to the mouse's body so they won't fall off.   Add white glue if they refuse to stick.    Optional:  Two small black beads can be used for eyes.

4.  Set aside on a flat surface to dry!  It may take a day or two.   (Don't try to speed up drying, you may end up with cracks.)

That's it!  Now, put your bookmouse to use!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to Make a Clay Birdhouse

This clay birdhouse was made using self-hardening (terra cotta) clay and a balloon.   Instructions from the National Wildlife Federation found here:   Clay-Birdhouse

Add your own flowers and other decorations and maybe a little color!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How to make a cloth doll look like clay

Quite often dolls are completely sculpted from air-dry clays, but there are also a number of techniques used by cloth doll artists to enhance their creations.  There are cloth-over-clay techniques and clay-over-cloth.  In addition, many doll artists will create a cloth body that has a clay head (often with clay hands and feet also) .

These instructions from Rivkah Mizrahi show you how  to make a cloth body look like it's sculpted from clay.  She uses Creative Paperclay. See blog at Dollmakers Muse

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Garden wall vignette tutorial

Use your air-dry-clay to create this miniature vignette.   Sized and shaped to suit your own needs. Add mini plants and other decorative items...maybe a mini puppy too!    Tuturial at Hedgehog Homes.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

How to make Noah's BJD Doll

A couple of days ago we featured a BJD tutorial on a Russian website, this is another BJD tutorial showing you some additional techniques.    Noah's Doll is sculpted with an air-dry clay stone clay (most likely LaDoll clay).

This site is in Japanese but has been translated to English.
English version.  

What is BJD you ask!

The following description of a BJD was taken from the Noah's Doll tutorial:
It is a kind of a doll with ball-and-socket joints in its body, arms and legs. Limbs and head are joined together by loops of elastic. There are many variations in the way to join each part of a doll.

The drawing at the right shows the basic construction of Noah's doll.
Arms are attached by elastic running through the armholes and torso.

Each leg has its own piece of elastic.  Loops of elastic run from the ankle up through the knee, through the leg-hole and up to the head.  Both loops being hung on a hook inside the neck.

Other ends of the elastic are attached to small "S" shaped hooks  inside the wrists and ankles respectively.

If constructed properly and is well-balanced, a BJD can stand on its own.

Of course, to have this type of joint stringing, the doll must be hollow.   There are several different methods for accomplishing this.   Noah's doll uses a combination of Styroform, sawdust clay and stone clay (LaDoll).    All air-dry products. 

If sawdust clay is not available to you, Celluclay (an instant papier mache pulp) or  an air-dry clay such as Paperclay could possibly be substituted for constructing the base form over the Styrofoam.    Do not use polymer clay for base layer because the Styrofoam armature CANNOT be placed in oven.

I think the main reason for using the sawdust clay is that (1) it's the traditional way and (2) is to keep down the cost and the weight.  The Styrofoam armature will be removed after the "core" layer has dried....then every part will be hollow.   This "core" layer will be the base for applying the final layer of  LaDoll  and the detail modeling.   LaDoll dries very hard and durable and can be sanded and polished to a fine finish.  

Hope you enjoy this tutorial and try making your own BJD.   For future reference, I will be adding this tutorial to my Air Dry Clay Tutorial Directory.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How to make a doll's straw hat

This blog may be about air-dry clay and sculpting figures with our favorite clay, but sometimes we need accessories for those figures!   

Today I stumbled across this blog with a great tutorial for creating a stylish straw hat for your dolls and figures.

How to make a doll's straw hat

Depending on how you embellish the hat, you can create some very different looks!

UPDATE April 2013  Apparently the blog with this hat tutorial has gone offline.   There's another doll's straw hat tutorial at A Doll Dresser.  (scroll down her page a little to find tutorial).

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How to Sculpt a BJD Doll using Paperclay

My friend Karin from the Air-Dry-Clay Yahoo Group led me to this website called "Between us, girls" that has a terrific series of articles by Galina Ishimikli about sculpting BJD dolls (ball-jointed) using Creative Paperclay (or Japanese paperclay).

What a great tutorial!   Galina takes you step by step through the whole process.

First she creates a 2-part head, showing you how to make it hollow.   Also includes lots of steps for shaping features and inserting eyes.  Then she sculps a hollow body and adds limbs with hinged ball joints in all the 'bendy' places.

This is a really terrific 5 star tutorial!   Great photos and instructions throughout....but must be translated from Russian if you don't read Russian yourself!  

Google Translate does a pretty good job with it...only a few odd words when translated to English! LOL

Even if you don't make a hollow BJD doll with this's still worth reading. If you don't want to fuss with making it hollow or fuss with moveable still a great tutorial for shaping body parts.   Just leave the Styrofoam inside and follow the instructions for forming the facial features and the rest of the body.
This one is definitely going on my "to do" list.   I will take my own step-by-step photos to show you when I get a chance to do it!!!    I can't hardly wait to try it!   Hope you do too!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Spotlight on Misty's Creations

Happy New Year everyone!

Let's start the new year by looking at some wonderful, whimsical fantasy sculptures.   Misty of Art Gecko Studio creates these wild and colorful dragons that are much larger than you'd expect.  Misty creates with DAS air-dry clay, painting the finished dragons with acrylics.

Many are designed as wall art.   One of the images below shows Misty holding one of her dragons....this gives you an idea of the size.  
See more on her blogs at Art Gecko Studio and RealitySucksPeanutButter


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