Monday, September 7, 2015

A Labor Day Gift to All My Clay Buddies: 

Not-So-Despicable Ornaments

To glorify the dignity of work and everyone who labors for their bread, here's a tutorial honoring those cute little yellow guys who work so hard (albeit in the service of evil).
I'm making these ornaments to distribute to children in the hospital during the holidays. The children's ornament project is sponsored by the First Coast Polymer Clayers in St. Augustine, Florida.

Start by making the 3 simple canes shown in the photo at left. I used Premo! Cadmium Yellow, Cobalt Blue, and Black for the body and Black, Gold, White, and Translucent for the eye. You can use the same cane, reduced somewhat, to make the 2-eyed variety.

From scrap clay, make a slab the same shape as the body but slightly smaller, about 3/8 inch thick (see photo at right). Sandwich this slab between slices of the front- and back- body canes. Smooth the seams.


Rubber-stamp a lighter-blue square for the overalls pocket. Make 2 yellow/black arms and gloves, and a rectangular blue/black slab for the legs and feet (see above left). Put these elements in place, and use sculpting tools to make an indentation for the mouth and to separate the legs (above right)

Loop a piece of thin wire through a tiny jingle bell and insert it into the top of the head. (Don't worry--he won't feel a thing!) Secure the wire with a drop of Sculpey Bake & Bond.

Cut a semi-circle from a medium-thin sheet of Pomegranate clay. Wrap it around the forehead, forming a point just below the bell and with the seam in the back.

Bend the point of the hat over in proper elf-hat position, and embellish it with a green star-cutout with a flat-back yellow crystal.

Add a narrow black strap to hold the little guy's goggles on.

Insert a jump ring into the hat, secured with a drop of Sculpey Bake & Bond, to string the ornament.

Now your ornament is ready to bake! If you use Sculpey Premo, I would recommend you bake it at 275 degrees for about 45 minutes. Allow the ornament to cool, insert a loop of metallic cord or ribbon, and find someone wonderful to give it to.

Hope you enjoy the project!