Presented by: craftymouse
Here are the supplies needed for the polymer gingerbread man.
For the Gingie you will need:
Polymer Clay – Brown (2), Red , White, Blue
Black seed beads
Something to cover your work surface
Something to wash your hands with (I use baby wipes)
For the ‘firecracker” you will need:
Empty container (Mine was a Poppyc*ck from Costco)
Acrylic paint – white, blue (2 shades), yellow, red
Gold star garland
Wooden spoon or pencil
Clip in light
The project that I am going to try to share is a patriotic gingie in his “firecracker” house. The size of your gingie will be determined by the size of your can you are using for the firecracker. My can is from caramel corn that I got at Costco. You can make a taller firecracker from a Pringles can but you will need to adjust the size of your gingie. This figure could easily be adapted to be a snowman by using white clay.First of all, let me say that I am no expert in this medium and my technique is probably not the “right” technique but it works for me. I just have two notes as we get started. Devote whatever knife, tools, etc. that you use for polymer clay to polymer clay and retire them from food preparation. Secondly, wash your hands between colors. This is what happens when you don't! I picked up white after working with red...oops.
Okay, let’s get started. There are various specialty tools that can be used for clay, but I tried to stick with just basics with this project.You will need to condition the clay before you start forming your gingie. Just play with it. Roll it in your hands. Knead it until it is soft and pliable.First you need to make a ball of clay 1 ¼ inches in diameter. This will be the body.
See PIC 2
Roll it between your hand to give it a slight cone shape. Set this aside.
To make the legs you will roll a 1 ¼ inch ball of clay into a log. Push up slightly on one end to form the foot. See PIC 4
Clean your hands and take a small piece of white clay and roll it into a thin snake. Put this on the foot in a zigzag design to form the “icing”. Press gently so that it adheres but does not flatten. See PIC 5
I break off a small piece of toothpick to serve as a joint stabilizer. Put two pieces on the bottom of the body and join the legs to the body. Be careful not to mess up the “icing” on the feet. See PIC 6
Next you will need to roll ¾ inch balls of clay into logs to form the arms. I roll the clay gently between my thumb and pointer to form a hand. Add icing to the wrist just like you did to the feet. See PIC 8
Again you will use toothpicks as stabilizers for the arms. You can roll “buttons” from the white clay if you desire. See PIC 9
To make the bow tie I rolled three ropes of clay. One each from red, white and blue clay. I twisted these together and rolled the twisted snake until I had a thin piece. Then I flattened it with a brayer. See PIC 10
Put your “neck” toothpick on first and then place a small circle of the red, white and blue clay on the body. Cut two pieces and attach them now to form the “ribbons” that hang from the bow. See PIC 11
To make the actual bow, take a piece of the red, white and blue clay and form a figure eight with it. Wrap a small piece of clay at the center of the eight.
Now we’re ready to give this little guy a head. Roll a 1 inch ball of clay into a ball.Take a toothpick and make two small holes where you want the eyes to be.
To make the eyes I roll a very small piece of white clay into a tiny ball. Use a toothpick to pick up a seed bead. Gently pick up the white clay with the bead. Now carefully place it in the hole on the clay. Press it on gently. See PIC 15
To make the mouth roll a very thin piece of while clay into a rope. Make a small U shape and press it on gently. Roll two tiny pieces of white to place at the corners of the mouth.
I found this part to be a little tedious. An alternative would be to form a mouth with a small canapé cutter or cookie cutter. I frequently use the angle of triangle or the edge of a circle cutter to make my mouths but decided to try the “icing” look on this one.
Roll out a thin rope of white to make the “icing” around the head. Now put the head on the body. See PIC 16.
I added a hat to my gingie, although I don’t think it was necessary. To make the hat I took some “junk” clay (the pieces left over from the bow and a piece where I change colors without washing my hands) and formed a small cylinder. You can continue like I did or make a solid hat rather than a striped hat. Roll out sheets of red and white and stack them one on top of the other. The thickness of the sheet is up to you. The thicker the sheet, the wider to stripe on your hat. The width of the clay should be the same as the length of the cylinder. You will cut slices of the stacked clay and place them side by side with the edges touching. You will need enough to go around the diameter of your cylinder. Use a brayer to roll over the clay just enough to “join” the slices. Roll this around you cylinder. See PIC 19
Cut a circle of clay to place on top of the hat. This will hide the rough edges. Roll a snake of blue clay and flatten it. You will place this around the bottom of the hat to form the band.Roll out a sheet of red clay and cut a circle slightly larger than the cylinder. This will form the brim. I used to top off of a large glue stick for my cutter. Use a toothpick as a stabilizer and gently press your hat on the gingie’s head. You can place it on straight or tilt it slightly.
Take your flag pick and push it through the gingie’s hand. Now remove it before you bake it. The hole will remain and you can put the flag back in once the gingie is baked.
Bake it according to the directions for the kind of clay that you used. Mine said 30 minutes per ¼ inch thickness. Place a piece of batting on your baking sheet and sit you gingie on it before baking. This will prevent him from having a shiny behind. After your gingie had cooled, place the flag back in his hand. A couple of notes…My gingie did not want to sit up. He seemed to want to lean back so I added a bit of brown clay to his behind and built him up a little to help him lean forward. I just blended it in to his legs. I sometimes use blush on the cheeks of my figures but it doesn’t really show up well on the brown clay.
To do the firecracker:
I first cut a door in the can. Make it an appropriate height for your gingie but don’t go too tall or you will see the light. See PIC 22
And with the door cut…See PIC 23
Cut a hole for the clip in light. Make this high enough that you don’t see the light through the door. Since this is made from a cardboard type can I would not leave the light on unattended! I am assuming that since lampshades don’t catch fire this light is okay, but I would not take chances. See PIC 24
I painted the can with gesso and then acrylic paint. You could probably spray paint the can but I would paint before cutting if I were going to do that. After the paint was dry I sponged on some blue pain in a slightly different shade of blue. I just like the more textured look.
Using a liner brush paint some fireworks on the inside of the can. This is tricky. I found that I my paint was watered down then the paint tended to bead up a bit. I made three very simple “bursts” with simple lines and dots. See PIC 26
Paint some white stars on the outside of your can. Just freehand them. Or you can paint swirls. Or stripes….Once this is dry spray with an acrylic sealer.
I used a glue gun to add gold braid to the edge of the door.
Cut three pieces of gold star garland for the “flame”. Twist them around a wooden spoon handle if you want them curled. See PIC 29
Push them through the lid of the can. I made a little twist on the inside of the lid and again on the outside of the lid to help hold the “flame” in place.
Put the lid on the can and clip in the light. Put your gingie inside. Now your gingie has a home! See PIC 31
Polymer Snowman Hat:
This gingie can be changed to a snowman since the body shape is generally the same.
To make the snowman hat I rolled a ball of clay and formed it into a bowl shape…
Next roll a snake of clay that will be the cuff and put it on the bowl…
See PIC 34
Use the back of a knife or a toothpick to "rib" the cuff…
See PIC 35
I would put it on the snowman before adding the pom-pom. Just roll a ball of clay and put it on the top. Use the knife to cut diagonals on the pom-pom (like you would be cutting a pie). This just adds a little texture…
I hope I was clear in my instructions. I can't believe how nervous I was doing this!
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Thank you, & have fun crafting!
Thank you, & have fun crafting!