Friday, December 31, 2010

Make these cute elves

Cute, expressive Christmas elves...step by step!  A little late for Christmas this year, but you could always start making them now for next year! See tutorial at Cold Porcelain Tutorials.

Tutorial was written for cold porcelain and you can use either homemade cold porcelain or purchased brands such as Craft Porcelain.   See the recipes section of Cold Porcelain Tutorials (and Recipes) for a few different ways to make your own cold porcelain.   If that's not your thing, many other air-dry clays would work as well...especially the soft  pre-colored brands such as  Deco Clay, Cloud Clay, Hearty Clay, Makin's Clay and many other brands of soft, or semi-soft, clays.   

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How to Wire a Spray of Clay Flowers

In the video below, Donna Lane shows us how to assemble our air-dry clay flowers into a spray or other arrangement.  This video demo features gumpaste flowers, but the process is exactly the same for air-dry clay flowers.

 If you haven't made any clay flowers yet, see menu bar above for 'Clay Flowers'.  There you'll find a list of different types of flowers you can make following some previously posted tutorials.   There are a number of different air-dry clays that work well for creating realistic flowers.    You'll want to have a light clay that will let you create very thin petals that will dry strong and a little flexible.   Homemade cold porcelain works well along with commercial brands such as Craft Porcelain, Lumina, Delight, DecoClay, Cloud Clay, Hearty Clay, and many other brands of soft, or semi-soft, clays.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How to Make a Cute Polar Bear

This video demo from Linda Peterson features a whimsical winter Polar Bear made with air-dry Cloud Clay. Cloud Clay is very soft and easy to use but dries to a hard, durable and matte finish in 24 hours or less.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Make a Big Bead Bracelet with Cloud Clay

This Cloud Clay tutorial from Linda Peterson is intended as a children's project, but the video demonstrates many air-dry clay techniques that could be applied to other projects!  Making this funky, big bead bracelet is a good learning experience!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Make a Cute Kitten in a Flower Pot

This tutorial to create a cute kitten sitting in a flower pot is from French artist Brigida Clement.    She has allowed translation to English, with proper credits to her original, of course.   Please visit her website at Babou Bricole.

Cute animal figures like this kitten can be made with just about any type of air-dry clay but they are particularly suitable to cold porcelain and the soft clays such as Makin's Clay, Cloud Clay or Model Magic.   When working with soft clays, it is important to let some parts dry for a few hours before assembling...such as between steps 7 and 8 of this project.   Otherwise the soft body may collapse under the weight of the head.

The clay pot is approximately 1.5 inches tall.  Add some clay flowers or something else of your choice to personalize the finished project.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How to Make Filler Flowers and Small Daisies

Quite often, the methods used for making air-dry clay flowers are exactly the same as making sugar paste flowers ....with one exception!  You can use glue and other non-edible materials with air-dry clay flowers.     In this video, Elaine MacGregor demonstrates 2 different kinds of simple flowers to make....a 5 petal flower and a daisy-type flower.

Where she mentions using gum arabic to glue sugar paste together, just use white glue instead.  (Elmer's or Aleene's will do nicely!)   Note how she uses a glass to protect her paste from drying out!  Good idea for clay too!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

How to Make a Paperclay Snowman

This is a 5-part video demo from MLB Studios showing us how to make this folk art snowman with stick legs that can either stand or hang from tree.   Creative Paperclay is used but many other air-dry clays would work as well.    Using an instant papier mache (such as Celluclay) could give it an even more vintage look and feel!

Part 1... Making the Armature

Part 2... Adding the features

Part 3... Adding details

Part 4... Adding color

Part 5... Finish

Monday, December 6, 2010

Paperclay Christmas Ornaments

Martha Stewart shows us how to make ornaments with Creative Paperclay and cookie molds.   Delight Clay is from same company but is ultra-lightweight, so might be an even better choice for ornaments!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Customize a Face Mold for Santa

Air-dry clay can be used with push molds just like polymer clay.  Today's tutorial from Polymer Clay Express shows you how to customize a Polyform (Sculpey) face mold to create a Santa face.   The completed face can be used for an ornament, package topper or a Santa doll.    Tutorial:  Customizing "Grandpa" to make a Santa ornament    Even though the tutorial was written for polymer clay, the steps are essentially the same with air-dry clay...just don't bake and let it air dry instead.    You can leave the clay in the mold while drying, if desired.    

The tutorial doesn't make it clear that flesh colored clay must have been used to start with (it looks white in photos) because it skips the step to paint the flesh color and goes right into antiquing.    For air-dry clay users, you can tint the raw clay in advance or paint with acrylics after it cures.    I prefer multiple THIN layers of paint for the skin tones.    

Only the very soft air-dry clays are available pre-colored and other brands must be pre-tinted or painted.   Some soft clays may work OK in the push molds but many soft brands do not hold detail well.   It will look OK at first, but as it dries it sorta 'puffs-up' and detail gets lost.      Clay brands such as Creative Paperclay,  Delight and LaDoll may work better.   Those clays also allow more customizing because re-shaping and blending of seams is easier.   Please leave comment if you have any questions!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Glue Tips from Doll Artists

Today's post over at Art Dolls Only has a bunch of glue tips of interest to crafters and doll artists.   Tips such as "PVA glue is perfect to help air dry clay to stick to the armature better"  will be found here:  Tips and Tricks Friday: A Tacky Subject      A number of doll artists answer the question: "What is your favorite glue, and how do you use it?"  

If you don't find an answer to your question there, try the glue finder tool at Michaels "Glue It to It"


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