Sunday, October 31, 2010

Make This Cute CP Clown

Please see my other blog, Cold Porcelain Tutorials, for a step-by-step, 4-part, video demo creating the cute cold porcelain Jester Clown figure shown above!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Make This Sweet Charm Bracelet

A perfect charm bracelet for someone who loves ice cream and cupcakes!   See step-by-step Clay Charms tutorial by Jennifer Hayes for making each charm with Crayola Air Cry Clay (or Paperclay, or Hearty Clay...your choice of just about any air-dry clay would be suitable for this project).

Jennifer says:   "If your daughter is anything like mine, she loves cupcakes, ice cream cones, and bracelets. When I began making clay charms, it made sense to me to combine all three. With inexpensive materials and a few free hours, I made a cute charm bracelet that my daughter loves."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Moose Head Pencil Topper

Decorate a pencil with a moose demo....cute!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Make a Paperclay Pumpkin Pail

This clever Halloween tutorial from Carmen Ellis (Spooky Hollow Folk Art Designs) is full of humor and tips for using Creative Paperclay.    Create the miniature pumpkin pail shown in photo above starting with a hollowed-out Styrofoam ball and Paperclay  (makes about a 4 inch pail).   Go to this page for Carmen's "Poor Man's Pumpkin Pail".

Here's a sampling showing her sense of humor....some things you may relate to!
  • If you are half blind like me you might want to put your glasses on. ( My glasses are pitiful due to the dog eating them one night. ) 
You'll need:
  • Paper towel, ( I get super messy. Probably because of my half eaten glasses. )
  • Exacto tool or a sharp kitchen knife…( Don’t run with pointy objects )
  • Or whatever you can find around the house to sculpt with. (Please don’t use your cat.)
She also suggests placing the sculpt in a 200 degree oven to speed up drying.   I'd hesitate to recommend that.   Styrofoam could give off some toxic fumes when heated.    Even if the foam ball is wrapped in clay, it still doesn't seem like a great idea to me.

What does sound like a great idea is to make some miniature pumpkins from Paperclay using the designs shared last week in Pumpkin Carving Lesson and Pumpkin Carving Part 2 along with the ideas shared in the tutorial above!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Make a Miniature Seagull

Have you been thinking of making a beach-cottage dollhouse  or a beach-theme diorama?   This miniature seagull (1:12 scale) would be so perfect for that!   This detailed step-by-step Seagull Tutorial from Lesley Shepherd at suggests using air-dry Delight clay to make the bird because Delight is very lightweight when cured.  Birds made with air dry clay can nest in branches or hang on tiny trees without pulling the tree branch down. 

Of course, if you prefer, other brands of air-dry clay could be used....or even polymer clay!  If miniatures are not your thing. I believe this seagull could be created larger using this same tutorial and still look very real!

Excuse me now, I must go and plan my miniature rustic beach cottage (with some seagulls)!   I think I will make it as 3-D wall art instead of a complete house!   Still planning........!    ;-)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Carving Part 2

After yesterday's post I stumbled on another great pumpkin carver at Extreme Pumpkins.   There you'll find a gallery of carving ideas, how to tips, free patterns and lots of photos of pumpkin carving contest winners!   The "Cannibal Pumpkin" pattern is probably my favorite...I think...hard to choose!  The one shown above is an interpretation of the one shown on cover of the Extreme Pumpkins book (written by owner of website).

The "Puking Pumpkin" shown below is probably the most famous!   Yuk!!!

Oh my!!!  He found a use for those extra small pumpkins!   Quite creepy!

Tom has lots of creepy ideas!  *G*

Tom Nardone, the owner of has written a number of top-selling books on pumpkin carving that are chock full of tips and patterns.  


I found Tom's article on preserving your carved pumpkin very interesting.  Tom did went through a lot of effort to test different commonly-used products on some carved pumpkins to see which kept the pumpkin preserved the longest!   A very thorough study IMHO!    

You'll just have to check out his website after watching this video showing some of his cool stuff!

At Extreme Pumpkins you'll also find a totally FREE PDF file to download with patterns for these 48 pumpkin faces, a how-to guide and other ideas.   This is  a Halloween-themed website to bookmark and return to over and over!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin carving lesson

Halloween approaches and many would-be sculptors contemplate carving a pumpkin!   We can only hope to be as good as Ray Villafane (shown above and below), but he shows us how with a step-by-step pumpkin carving tutorial.     btw....I just discovered that there's a distinction between carving & sculpting.  Pumpkin carving involves carving a pattern into the pumpkin surface while a pumpkin sculpt uses the pumpkin itself as a 3D sculpted object.

Maybe you want to do something a little simplier (OK...a LOT simplier)....all that carving just looks too hard!   How about a stencil or pattern to follow.   Find some free patterns at Fantasy Pumpkins  and Spook Master and stencils for sale at  Pumpkin Stencils 101 .

You'll also find more carving tutorials and pattern links at Fantasy Pumpkins.    Look at this great fairy pattern shown on his homepage!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ghost Necklace Tutorial

The other day we posted about a bat's another Halloween necklace.  Follow these step by step instructions for this cute Ghost Necklace from Makin's Clay.  They've used some glow-in-the-dark clay for this necklace, but I think those ghosts are cute enough to show off in the daylight!  ;-)    Nearly any air-dry clay would be suitable for this project!   

How about some matching dangling ghosts or pumpkins for earrings?  hmmm?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Meet a New Clay: LaDoll Cloth Clay

Cloth Clay  appears to be a new formula for LaDoll clay (which is distributed in USA by Activa).  Cloth Clay sounds similar to fabric stiffener or Paverpol because it can be used to drape fabric...but it's not exactly the same.  It is a liquid clay (packaged in a 600 gram jar).

Cloth Clay is an air-dry clay sure to inspire some new styles of doll crafting.  It can be used in a manner similar to the clay-over-cloth technique currently used by many soft doll crafters or used to drape fabric on a sculpted clay figure (see below)...or it can be used like a clay slip, to fill small holes or cracks on finished surface of a sculpted figure.  

For a smooth surface:
After modeling with LaDoll, Formofit, Premier or Premix, the artist will rub the surface to create a smooth finish. However, often there are tiny holes or cracks left on the surface  Apply
Cloth Clay with a flat brush  and allow to dry.  When dry, sand with a sanding pad (first Fine and then Extra Fine) in order to obtain a perfectly smooth, satin-like surface.

Instructions for use with cloth:

  1. Create a doll's body, head and limbs (with a wire armature, if desired). Model figure using LaDoll or your favorite clay.
  2. Cut out lace or fabric the desired pattern for the dress. Sew the parts together as necessary.
  3. Pour the required amount of Cloth Clay in a bowl. The amount depends on the amount of cloth.
  4. Soak the fabric thoroughly with Cloth Clay. After the fabric is thoroughly saturated with the clay, lightly squeeze (do NOT twist) the excess clay back into the bowl. Twisting the fabric will result in an uneven finish. You want enough Cloth Clay in the fabric but you don't need it "dripping wet".
  5. Return the remaining Cloth Clay to the original container and tightly seal. You may wish to place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the container before tightening the top. You want to keep as much air out of the clay as possible.
  6. Spread out the squeezed cloth, separating the folds, etc., and place it on the doll's body. Remove any threads you might have used for gathering if necessary and cut all thread tails. Let air dry completely once you have the fabric placed as you would like.
  7. If desired, paint your creation with any water-based medium that you wish.
  8. Apply a finish coat with a clear water-based lacquer or sealant.
Let us know if you've tried this product and how you made use of it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bat Necklace Tutorial

Make yourself some Halloween jewelry with this black & orange bat necklace tutorial from Makin's Clay!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mixing colors into air-dry clay

The majority of air-dry clays are available in white only and must be pre-tinted before modeling or painted when cured.  Sometimes a combination of both!  We've talked about many different things you can use to pre-tint your air-dry clay:  Acrylic paints, pastel chalks,  cake colorant and colors especially made for using with cold porcelain.   Guess what?   You can also use colored markers, as shown in this video from SmallEffort.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What is a BJD?

BJD stands for Ball-Jointed Doll.   It's a doll with ball-and-socket joints in its body, arms and legs.  Sometimes the waist and fingers also have articulating joints.    Making and customizing BJDs has been a popular hobby in Japan for a long time but popularity has now spread all over the globe.  Commercially made dolls are made of resin (and are quite expensive) but it's possible to make your own BJD with air-dry clay.  This is not a project for the beginner or the faint-of heart!   LOL

LaDoll and Creative Paperclay are two popular clays for creating BJDs.    Polymer clay is sometimes used but doll quality air-dry clays seem to be the most popular for one of a kind BJDs.

There are many variations in the way to join each part of a doll, but essentially all limbs and joints are joined together by hooks and loops of elastic that are string as shown in image below.
A well-balanced, well-constructed doll can sit, bend and stand by itself and imitate human movement very accurately.  Arms are attached by elastic running through the armholes and torso.  In each leg, loops of elastic run from a hook inside the ankle up through the knee, through the leg-hole, and up to the head.  All loops being hung on a hook inside the neck.   Another band is attached to hooks strung inside the wrist joint.

Of course, to have this type of joint stringing, the doll must be hollow.   There are several different methods for accomplishing this.   The one thing they all have in common is that dolls are made in sections which are formed over some kind of removable armature.    Many tutorials suggest using Styrofoam, straws and other material as the removable armature when creating hollow parts.

Tutorial Links:

"How to Make Noah's BJD Doll"    A lengthy and detailed, step by step set of instructions previously featured here at NewClayNews.

"How to Sculpt a BJD Doll using Paperclay"    Another excellent and detailed tutorial we've previously featured.

How to Create the Aimi BJD (Google translation)  The traditional Japanese method with very detailed instructions to create the doll shown at top of this post. Original Japanese page

"What is a BJD" is a lengthy, multi-chapter article explaining BJDs, their manufacture, wigging, costoming, stringing, repairing,etc

"How Ball Joints Work"   A series of photos showing the inner workings of all the joints.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Clay flowers as gift decoration

Have you ever thought of decorating a gift box with some clay flowers?   Two gifts in one!    Here's some ideas from Craft Ideas for All.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tools & Materials for Cold Porcelain Flowers

Trynys Design shows us some of  the tools and supplies used to create her cold porcelain flowers.   I thought her canning jar method for clay storage was a great idea!    The materials shown in this video can also be used with many commercial brands of air-dry clay.  You'll have to experiment.  Some air-dry clays are just too sticky or too soft to hold any detail and trying to use "detailing" tools is pointless.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tutorial: Clay Narcissus or Daffodil

Seems like it's been posts about clay flowers all week, so let's have one more for Friday.    One of my favorite flowers!    This air-dry clay or cold porcelain tutorial shows step-by-step photos to create a miniature Daffodil or Narcissus.  I'm not sure what the exact difference is between those 2 flowers other than one is larger than other.  Speaking of size, this tutorial creates miniature flowers but I bet the same process could create some realistic full size flowers!

This tutorial is on a Russian website, but there should be no language barrier....there's very little text...just photos!   Enjoy!


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