Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!

Polymer Clay Succulents!

Create cute & fun polymer clay succulents that you can turn into magnets, gift toppers, desktop decor, and more! The instructions show several different types of plants inspired by real succulents and how you can place them together in a tin to create a mini garden and turn it into a magnet – you could also use bottle caps, miniature terracotta pots, or more polymer clay, to create your own containers for your succulents or create the succulent by itself and turn them into jewelry, hair pins, etc. Get creative and create your own types of plants & gardens!

What you need:

  • Polymer Clay – I used primary colors (Yellow, Red, & Blue) to mix my own shades of greens, reds/purples, along with some white clay to make lighter greens/jades/teals. Additionally, I used terracotta colored clay for my ground – you could also mix brown with the primaries. I recommend SculpeyIII, a 2oz block of each color will be enough to make a few gardens in a similar size to mine.
  • Translucent Liquid Sculpey
  • E6000 or Quick Grip – or another strong glue to attach your magnet to your tin.
  • Strong Magnets – these need to be smaller than the container you plan to put you succulents in.
  • Tin or other container for your garden – I recommend something shallow like a bottle cap, small tin or miniature terracotta pot. The tins I used were 15ml.
  • Toothpick or skewer
  • Soft Pastel – in desired colors, I used pinks & reds.
  • Paint Brush – soft and relatively small.

Inspired by Baby Toes and Jade Gollum succulents!

Create both by starting with the same steps! Follow steps 1-7 to complete Baby Toes and then continue with steps 8-9 to turn them into Jade Gollum!

1. Roll a piece of clay into a snake approx. 1/16″-1/8″ thick.

2. & 3. Cut several pieces from your snake approx. 1/4″ long – these don’t need to be exact!

4. & 5. Roll one end of your cut pieces into a point.

6. & 7. Gather three pieces and gently press your pointed ends together in a bunch, continue to add remaining pieces in a radial fashion until you’ve reached your desired baby toes succulent size!

Turn your Baby Toes into Jade Gollum by using a toothpick to create a divot in the top of the succulent (photos 8). Lastly add pink pastel dust to the tops of your Jade Gollum (photo 9)!

Inspired by Zebra Haworthia, create this spiky succulent!

1. To make a darker green clay, mix a little bit of red with some green clay.

2. & 3. Roll your clay into approx. 1/8″ thick snake and pinch off several small pieces from the snake, approx. 1/2″ long.

4. Roll the ends of each piece you pinched off, to create points.

5. Gently flatten your piece between your fingers.

6 & 7. Gather three pieces and gently press your pointed ends together in a bunch at the bottom and allowing the tops to slightly fan out. Continue to add remaining pieces in a radial fashion until you’ve reached your desired Haworthia succulent size!

Inspired by Little Jewel succulents!

1. Roll 12 balls of clay in various sizes, with the largest not much bigger than a pea. 2. Roll your balls into a small snake, rolling on the ends to form points. 3. Pinch 3 of your smallest pieces together to form the center of your little jewel. 4. Gently flatten your remaining piece between your fingers. 5. & 6. Continue to add your pieces, smallest to largest, around your center, begin by adding three between each of your center pieces (photo 5), then adding three more between each of those pieces!

Inspired by Purpusorum!

1. & 2. Form several small flattened diamond shapes from the desired color in various sizes – no larger than your pinky nail. 3. Pinch 3 of your smallest diamond’s points together to form the center of your Purpusorum. 4. & 5. Continue to add your pieces, smallest to largest, around your center, begin by adding three between each of your center pieces (photo 4), then adding three more between each of those pieces! Continue to add pieces until you’ve reached your desired size!

Seedum comes in many shapes and forms, this little clay succulent was inspired by the Lime Zinger variety!

1. Make 4 sets of small clay balls in various sizes, for a total of 8 balls (two of each size), with the largest set about the size of a pea.

2. & 3. Gently flatten all of your balls into pancakes!

4. Starting to form the center of your Lime Zinger, take your two smallest pancakes, turn them into taco shells and slide them together as shown in picture 4.

5. Take your next size up pancakes and place them around your center piece so they are opposite of your center – don’t line them up the exact same way as your first two but cover the gap that was created.

6. With your next two pancakes, place them opposite of your last two – covering the new gaps created in the last step.

7. Continue to add your last set of pancakes on in this manner – you can also make your seedum larger by adding more pancakes!

1.Add terracotta colored clay to the inside of your tin – this doesn’t need to be all the way to the top, but near the top.

2. Use a toothpick to create texture!

3., 4. & 5. Use liquid sculpey to “glue” your succulents to the terracotta clay – ensure your plants are stuck well by blending some of the plant into the terracotta and visa versa.

6. & 7. Add color to some of your succulents with chalk pastel dust – scribble some pastel on a piece of paper and then use a soft brush to pick up the dust and apply to your succulent.

Bake your piece at 275*F for approx. 15min. – check on your piece several times during baking, if you notice any “scorching” on the tips of smaller succulents you may need to turn down the temp and cook longer (for example: 265* for 20 min.).

Once it’s baked and cooled, you can add a magnet or leave as is! I use E6000 to adhere the magnet to the tin – let sit for 24hrs before using!

Student succulent garden creations!

Join us at the Art League of Ocean City in June to create your own!

Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!

Polymer Clay Mushroom Bookmarks!

Create a fun little bookmark out of polymer clay!

What you need:

  • Polymer Clay – I used white, however, any lighter color will work with the coloring techniques we will utilize. You’ll need approx. half an ounce of clay to make one mushroom (depending on how small or large you make it!), most blocks of polymer come in one ounce blocks.
  • Chalk Pastels – in the colors you would like to add to your mushroom
  • Jumbo paper clip
  • Paintbrush
  • Scrap paper
  • Tin foil
  • Wire – 18 gauge or similar
  • Pliers for cutting & twisting the wire
  • Toothpick

Step one: Gather all your supplies and knead your polymer clay so it’s soft! Cut a piece of wire approx. 2-3″ long.

Step two: Wrap your piece of wire around the end of your paper clip – make sure it’s the end of the paper clip shown in the photo (as the other end will become the part of your bookmark)! Twist your wire tightly around the paper clip, like in a twist tie fashion, this is easiest with a pair of pliers.

Step three: Divide your one ounce piece of clay into 4 pieces (or if you have 1/2 an ounce divide it into 2 pieces). Use one of your 4 pieces to form the stalk of your mushroom, pushing the wire and top part of the paper clip into your clay (if needed, you can trim your wire down so it’s not taller than the stalk!). Secure your stalk to the paper clip by making sure the clay is tight around the paperclip where it was pushed in – I used my toothpick to help with this!

Step four: Use another one of your 3 remaining pieces of clay to form the cap of your mushroom (or if starting with 1/2 an ounce, your remaining piece). Roll it into a ball and slightly flatten it – we don’t want it too thin, it should still hold it’s shape and not be floppy when picked up, not much thinner than a 1/4″.

Step five: Use the back of your paint brush, or eraser end of a pencil, to make an indent in the center of your flatten ball – this will become the underside of your mushroom cap.

Step six: With the toothpick, score the clay from the center indent made in the last step, to the outside edge, in a radial fashion.

Step seven: Now you have your cap and stalk!

Step eight: Attach the cap to your stalk with the toothpick – placing your stalk in the indent created by your pencil end or paintbrush. Blend in the stalk clay and cap clay to help secure the two pieces together. You may need to touch up your cap texture after this step! Flip your mushroom right side up and make any needed adjustments to the cap shape!

Step nine: Scribble your pastels on a scrap piece of paper to create pastel dust!

Step ten: Use your paint brush to pick up some of the pastel dust and gently brush it on to the top of your mushroom cap!

Step eleven: I brushed a layer of my lighter color pastel over the entire cap and a layer of my darker color around the edges of my cap! Once your have your cap colored to your liking, bake your mushroom at 275*F for approx. 10-15 min. (check the package directions on the clay you have compared to your mushroom thickness). I use a piece of tin foil crunched up to make a cradle for my mushroom cap as it bakes so the cam doesn’t get flattened. Let your mushroom cool and enjoy your one of a kind bookmark! Use your leftover clay to create another!

Variations: Instead of making this a bookmark, use the same steps above only use a jumbo toothpick instead of a paper clip, making your mushroom great for fairy gardens, table top gardens, or decorations for flower pots! If your paper clip is large enough to support the weight of your mushroom, you could definitely use it in a fairy garden, etc. too! Try making more than one mushroom on the same paperclip – just add more than one piece of wire to your paper clip! Use extra clay to give your mushroom dimensional spots on it’s cap before baking!

Let me know if you’ve given this project a try and check out other projects here!

Art, food, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!

Put a fork in it!

While I really enjoy drawing and painting, sometimes it’s nice to take a break and get into other mediums. Put a Fork in it, is a little series of bookmarks I like to create out of polymer clay. Based on some favorite or classic foods I add these little sculptures to a fork, spoon, or knife, that have been flattened out – making the handle of the utensil a perfect bookmarker!

I’m not 100% sure how I got started with these but they’re a lot of fun to create and tie in my love of food 😉 I use Sculpey products – usually Sculpy III & Premo clays, liquid Sculpy & sculpy glaze. If you haven’t used or heard of Sculpy before definitely check out their site – there’s products for kids, adults, amateurs, professionals and endless ideas of projects!

Here’s a look into how I make my bookmarks…….

I first mix up my colors and prepare my liquid sculpy (which acts as my milk) and start to sculpt!

Ever wonder why I keep all those old paint brushes? Texture. They make the perfect cereal texture 🙂

I use some chalk pastel dust on a soft brush to add a little depth to the Sculpy pieces.

For the cereal I bake the marshmallows and plain pieces slightly and then place them in the liquid sculpy “milk” and bake the whole piece. I have a little craft oven I use (like a toaster oven) but Sculpy can be baked in a regular oven as well.

Pickles & Pancakes in progress!

The snack that smiles back 🙂

I have some polymer clay tools that I use but really a toothpick is one of my favorite tools. Texture & color are really important when making clay food look realistic – they can both take a lot of practice so sometimes it’s fun to get started on something like a piece of cake – which can come in various colors, shapes & textures! Once I’ve baked my pieces I use the glossy Sculpy glaze to cover areas that should be shiny – like the milk, pickles and syrup!

It’s a bit of a mess, but I like to keep my Sculpy clay colors separated in this box from Harbor Freight . It’s perfect size to hold the blocks of clay, and the bins within the box are removable, so I can re-arrange the colors, or pass a color bin, rather than the whole box if I’m teaching a class.

The process of making the food sculptures with polymer clay is not too complicated and if you’re interested in learning more, my favorite book on the subject is The Polymer Clay Cookbook by Jessica & Susan Partain. Even though their directions are for mini pieces of food you can use their methods to apply to larger food sculptures – or any polymer clay sculpture!

Check out the shop section of the site to purchase your own Put a Fork in it bookmark!