Monday, November 23, 2009

Creating Paper Clay, "Santas" for your tree or holiday decorating

Here is an Christmas craft I found but can't figure out how to get the pictures to copy.  So, I have copied the instructions below and included the link to the original posting PDF so you can see the pictures.

I have started making some of these and will be showing you the progress as I go along.  So far, all I have done is make the actual Santa's parts out of clay and have been drying them.  Here is what I have so far:

Inexpensive and original!

See the original instructions here so you can view the pictures!

Instead of baubles, cute dangly Santas and red hearts could be hanging on your Christmas tree this year! They're really easy to make using air-drying modelling clay. A creative Christmas craft idea - great fun to make with children too!


Paper clay (sufficient for approx. 15 Santas or for approx. 18 hearts), 1 kitchen knife, 1 tile or piece of smooth film to serve as a work surface, several transparent sleeves for drying on, 1 reel of wire, 1 pair of pliers, several toothpicks and skewers for modelling with, 1 rolling pin for rolling out with, 1 heart-shaped pastry cutter, 1 pair of scissors, string, 1 bowl, 1 box of paints, several paint brushes for painting with and a moist cloth.

Step l:

Roll the paper clay out to an approx. 5 mm thick sheet. Place a triangular-shaped template for the Santas on the sheet, outline the form onto the paper clay using a wooden stick and then cut out with the knife.
If you want to make hearts, simply cut the hearts out of the sheet of clay with the pastry cutter. Smooth all edges with water!

Step 2:

Hangers are inserted into the hearts straight away. Make them out of wire which you shape by wrapping around, e.g., a pencil. Leave the finished hearts to dry for one day on transparent sleeves. After half of the time, turn the hearts over so that the backs dry as well.


Now it's time to transform the cut-out clay triangles into Santas. Note: before adding details, moisten the triangle first with water! First make a thin sausage out of clay which you then use for the fur edging along the bottom of the coat and the hat. For the eyes, place two tiny balls directly underneath the bottom of the hat and add pupils to them using the toothpick. Now attach an oval-shaped pug nose. A hint of a beard is added by drawing several lines with the wooden stick. Don't forget to make the holes for the dangly legs and hanger! If you want, you can give your Santa a handsome moustache. Simply press it on directly under the nose and add a whisker structure using the wooden stick. For the dangly legs, roll out an approx. 7 mm thick
clay sausage and cut into 1.5 cm long pieces. Make holes through the individual pieces using the wooden skewer, leaving you with elongated pearls. All finished parts are then left to dry for one day on transparent sleeves. Turn over every now and again to ensure that they dry evenly and that the Santa shapes don't bow.

Step 4:

The dried hearts are then painted all over with red paint from the paint box. Use a fine paint brush to give the Santas a rosy pink nose and cheeks. To do so, dilute the red paint very well. The hat and coat are painted red. Beard, face and fur edging stay white. Paint the pearls for the boots using black paint out of the paint box. Once the paint is dry, push a piece of string through the two holes on the bottom edge of the Santa (looks like a belt), thread a pearl onto each end of the string and tie a knot in the bottom. Another piece of string threaded through the hole in the hat and knotted at the end serves as a hanger.

Have Fun Making Them!

Always wrap bits of Paper Clay that get left over while you're working in a moist cloth to prevent them from drying out, so that they can be used again later. Even when taking a short break in your work, cover the not yet finished pieces with a moist cloth.

Wrap open packs of paper clay well in cling film and keep in an air-tight plastic box. This keeps the clay soft for several days.

Make sure that the holes you make for the string in the Santa and pearls are large enough! Should the holes be too small, you can make them larger after hardening using a small electric drill!

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