Beginning this project was scary. Burned into my memory is the clay dog I proudly gave my mother when I was in elementary school. Purple, with orange zig zags and green dots, it was supposed to be an artsy rendition of our Golden Retriever. In reality it looked like it have five legs and a mass of tumors. I guess I really can’t blame my mom for her less than enthusiastic reception–or at least that’s what I have been telling my analyst every week since 1979.
Yes, I am kidding–there’s been no analyst, and there was no irreparable harm created from the early demise of my sculpting career. Despite my hesitation, I have been longing to integrate clay and paper mache into my crafting. That’s why I decided to spring for some Paper Clay and create some seasonal animals.
To be honest, I think they turned out pretty darn cute. Who would have thought some gift bags and paper mache could make such fun springtime decorations?
The moral of my story is, don’t let the sculpting part of this project scare you away. If I can do it, anyone can.
Tutorial to make springtime bunnies and lambs
Carve a stryofoam ball into the basic shape of an animal head.
Wrap the styrofoam in tinfoil and then shape the tinfoil to further define the head.. Don’t forget the ears!
Cover the tinfoil with masking tape. This will help the Creative Paper Clay adhere to your base.
Insert a wooden dowel into the base of the head.
Roll out a sheet of Creative Paper Clay and use it to cover the head and a small portion of the stick. Continue to shape the clay until you like the appearance. Dip your fingers in water and smooth out any cracks.
Let air dry for two to three days. If you prefer, you can place your creation in a 225 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
Sand the head to remove any lumps and bumps.
Paint with white acrylic paint. Let dry.
Paint on the cheeks, nose and inner ear. Use the end of a paintbrush to make the eyes. Let dry. Use a Sharpie to draw the mouth.
Paint the entire head with Mod Podge. Sprinkle clear glitter over the entire surface. Let dry.
Making the body
Cut a one-third section off two white chenille pipe cleaners to create two long and two short pipe cleaners.
Bend one of the longer pieces in half to create the legs. Use a short piece to connect the legs to the other long piece to create the arms.
Use the other short piece to attach the pipe cleaner body to the head’s wooden stem.
Making the clothes
Select the Middy Bitty bags that you want to use and cut the bags open.
To make the skirt, cut a circle from one of the Middy Bitty bags. Cut a triangle in it as if you were cutting out a piece of pie. Next cut a small circle in the center of the paper circle. Wrap this around the pipe cleaner body and glue together with Zip Dry. You can use this same process to create a paper dress–just begin with a larger circle.
To make a shirt, fold a piece of a Middy Bitty bag in half and cut out the shape of a shirt so that you have a front and back. Cut out a hole for the head. Glue the back of the shirt onto the pipe cleaner body. Add glue to where the seams should be and adhere the top of the shirt to the back. If you wish, add clear glitter glue to the pattern.
To make the pants, fold a piece of a Middy Bitty bag in half and cut out two pants legs. Glue the seams of the pants legs together. Thread the pipe cleaner legs into each pants leg and glue the top of the pants to the pipe cleaner body.
Braid two or three different types of Divine Twine to create a necklace.
Create a collar by placing pieces of line tape around the neck of the shirt and adhering Divine Twine to it.
Make a tail by gluing a white pom-pom to the back side of your animal.
Finally, add any decorative items you desire and your springtime animal is complete. I’m so happy with my little friends here that maybe I will even give it to my mom. If she doesn’t like it, I’ll just call my analyst.
Stuff I used
Whisker Graphics Chevron Middy Bitty Bags
Whisker Graphics Polka Dot Middy Bitty Bags
Whisker Graphics Green Apple Divine Twine
Whisker Graphics Green Solid Divine Twine
Creative Paper Clay
Clear glitter glue
White chenille pipe cleaners
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I absolutely ADORE these guys. I must away to the Whisker Graphics site. Those bags are a must buy.
Thank you Jess! I adore you!
These are totally fabulous!! Thanks for the tut, I have that clay and been afraid to open it but you make it look so fun (and do-able)