22 May 2011
Clay house tutorial...
Ahh... the weekend... a couple of them ago I spent my weekend making tiny houses from polymer clay and then shared them with you guys on this post. I had a couple of people ask what I had made them from, and Susan asked if I'd consider doing a tutorial... well, heck yeah... you ask, I try to make it happen!
These tiny things are simple, simple, simple... I promise! Here's what you need... a white polymer clay (I use Scupley, you use whatever you prefer), aluminum foil to bake it on, acrylic paint, teeny tiny paint brushes, Mod Podge, an extra fine tip permanent marker (I use Sharpie), fine grain sand paper or a fine grain emery file, and super glue. Optional stuff... extra fine glitter, wire, wooden bases. (Not everything is pictured here.)
Note here... you know how I like to tell y'all about my mistakes so that you don't have to make them and can make your own... ALWAYS put something down to protect your surface when you work with polymer clay... I've discovered that it can mess up a finish on a table really well.
The first step is making the houses. Knead your clay until it is easily pliable, and then, using little bits of it, make a "sorta house" shape. I call it that because it really isn't very structured. The smaller ones are mostly just a triangle with the sides flattened a bit, and the taller ones are a rectangle with the top pinched to make a "roof". Make them different sizes, tall and skinny, short and squat, and everything in between. Then bake them (on aluminum foil) according to the directions for the clay you are using.
When they're finished, let them cool or you'll burn your fingers... not only does it hurt, but it's just not productive.
When the houses are cool, paint them with the acrylic paint. I water my paint a bit, I like the soft effect that it gives, almost like a watercolor. If I want deeper color I let it dry between coats and apply more. If you prefer to have a more "solid" look to yours, don't water down the paint. It's a bit tricky... these things are itty bitty after all, so what I usually do is paint the roofs and let them dry and then paint the bottom (or vice versa). I don't really go into painting them with a "plan" for the colors. Normally I just put several (little) blobs of paint on a surface and use them randomly. It seems to make them feel more whimsical and less "planned".
Once they are painted with the base colors, add "splotches" of white for where you want the windows to be, and another for the door. Mine are never perfectly placed, I'm way past the desire for perfection... Let all of the paint dry, then outline the windows and the door with the extra fine point Sharpie (or whatever marker you prefer), and I add a line between the roof and the bottom. Makes it look more distinct, but really it hides the areas where the two colors don't quite meet each other. Let it dry for 10 minutes or so, and then add a coat or two or three (never less than two for me) of Mod Podge to seal. I use a mixture of one part matte Mod Podge, one part of regular Mod Podge, and one part of water to thin. You have to do it much like you did the painting, top or bottom first... hold them for a bit to begin the drying process, then you can lay them on aluminum foil to finish.
In my original pieces I made the bases out of wooden pieces I had around already left over from other projects. They were painted and detailed and covered with the same Mod Podge mixture and everything is allowed to dry.
Play around with combinations of houses and bases, and when you are happy with what you have use a drop of the Super Glue to glue everything in place. One caveat here.. be sure to sand the bottoms of the houses so that they will sit flat and secure on the bases you put them on. Oh... and don't get your fingers in the way of that Super Glue... it sticks them to the houses very well... You can add trees, little things on wires (like the hearts), glitter... whatever strikes your fancy to make them all yours...
Let me know if you have any questions... and if you use the tute.. send me a picture or two so I can share them here!
(Heads up... a new give away starts tomorrow... and it may have something to do with these little houses!)
Posted by ACreativeDream June Crawford