Polymer clay is a lot of fun to work with. I was telling the ladies on my sewing forum that I have a short attention span, so short, easy projects always work best for me. Poly clay ornaments are the perfect project when you don't have a TON of time, but still want to make something cute.
Last year, I made some Christmas piggies for a friend's boys. They turned out so cute that I wanted to try to recreate them for my kiddos. I had already made hedgehog ornaments for my guys, so I decided to put it off until next (this) year.
Here's the first! Complete with tutorial.
Before I get into the specifics, the clay that I prefer to use is Sculpey Studio. It's more firm than some other polymer clays, which is good and bad. Good because it holds its shape really well, but bad because it can make it more difficult to mold and/or blend. I definitely recommend having clay softener on hand if you use this type of clay. One drop goes a LONG way. Don't use more than that without really needing it, otherwise you'll end up with slick, slippery, gooey clay. Egh! Like working with clay snot.
Also, I have a little mini clay oven and silicone pad that I use specifically for baking my poly projects. However, a regular oven works fine. Just be sure that any cookie sheet you use for baking poly projects will NOT be used for food after. Just designate one sheet for crafting and only use it for that purpose. Before I had my craft oven, I used a regular oven, a cookie sheet (designated for craft projects, not food), and I would bake the clay on waxed paper placed on top of the cookie sheet.
Okay, now the list:
*= Optional or can be substituted with something else or worked around.
Clay- I used Sculpey Studio #6210 (Poppy), #6452 (Peapod), #6207 (Sedona), #6316 (Blush), and #6101 (Whipped Cream)
*Clay Softener- very useful with Sculpey Studio clay, but not 100% necessary.
Wax Paper- for sculpting on and/or baking
*Fine-tip Sharpie- for marking initials on the bottom of your ornament
Flexible Wire- for making the hanging loop
Satin or Gloss Glaze- (I used Satin)
Clay "ball" tool- This looks almost like a pen with a little metal ball on the end, great for making perfectly round holes (i.e.- "nostrils")
Wooden Clay tool for shaping- Mine has a thin edge for making lines/gouges, and a blunt edge
Wooden Clay tool for cutting- Used for trimming off excess clay and neatening edges
*Bake and Bond- I apply this to the wire loop for added security. It's possible to make it without, but I like my stuff to be super durable. With my kids, it needs to be...
Needlenose pliers- For twisting the wire loop
*Metal decorating tool- I use this in a lot of different ways. Smoothing, painting dots on the eyes, and using the fat, round end to shape the eye of the wire loop into a nice circle. Can substitute other stuff for it, though, if needed.
Step 1- Shape the main part of the body into a smooth egg shape. You'll also want to start preheating your oven at this point. I used Sculpey Studio, so I preheated to 275 degrees. If you use something else, follow the manufacturer instructions for the oven temperature.
|Yes, that's a piggy tail. Sadly, very booger-like in this pic.|
Attach to the body.
Now, roll two small balls of red clay and indent them with "v"s on one edge of each ball. Place at the bottom of the wreath.
Step 13- Cut a short length of wire.
|Twisting the wire and forming a loop.|
Insert wire into main body of the pig, through the base of the Santa hat.
Add a bit of Bake and Bond to the wire loop at the base. When it bakes, it will act as a kind of superglue for the wire loop. The loop could probably do without glue (and I have made ornaments without it that were perfectly fine), but I like the added bond.
Step 14- Bake your ornament. As I said before, my clay bakes at 275 for half an hour. Read the instructions on your clay if you are using something different. I also bake my projects in a craft oven on top of a silicone sheet. However, a regular oven can work just as good, if you bake your projects on a cookie sheet that is SPECIFICALLY for craft projects (not food) and on top of a piece of waxed paper. (Waxed paper on cookie sheet, project on waxed paper... set and ready to bake.)
Step 15- Use white paint to add dots to the eyes. This really brings it to life. You can also use a fine-tip Sharpie to write your initials on the bottom (I also add the year).
|Applying with metal tool.|