Google+ House Revivals: How to Make Pretty Clay Birds

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How to Make Pretty Clay Birds

Are you looking for a quick easy clay project? These pretty clay birds might be just the thing! They are simple enough to do with the kids, but fun for any age.

Recently, when a friend was visiting from Colorado, we visited our local Chinatown/ International District. One of the stores we hit was Daiso Japan, which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!  Almost everything in the store is $1.50.  They sell everything from make-up to kitchen utensils to craft supplies.

We found some interesting packages of wood pulp clay. Wood pulp clay is an air dry clay that is similar to paper clay, but a bit more light weight. It is essentially an unbleached type of paper clay. For really nice projects, or projects you want to carve, true paper clay is still your best option, but for simple hand sculpting projects, wood pulp clay is a bargain at $1.50 a package!

We experimented with rolling out the clay, pressing it into molds, and hand sculpting. We were inspired to create little birds with encouraging messages after reading this post by Christy Tomlinson. Here is how we hand sculpted our little birds:

Start by rolling a ball just a little smaller than a walnut. You can dampen your fingers to smooth and seal any cracks or seams. (Just like a pie crust)

Using your thumb and first two fingers, gently begin pulling a small section of clay to form the head.

Next, gently begin pulling and flattening to form the tail. Try to give your bird a nice round breast.

Now, you can carefully form the beak and refine the overall shape.  I intentionally left my birds looking "handmade" -- I think it adds to the charm. We were not going for perfection.

You can add a little tail feather detail with a fork, or you can just skip that step -- it's entirely up to you!

Allow your creations to air dry for a few days before painting. If you live in a dry climate, they may be totally dry the next day. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, like I do, allow several days.

You can leave your painted birds plain, or you might want to add thoughts or sentiments to them.

Christy used stamps, but I couldn't find mine, so I just cut our letters from a magazine "ransom note style", and Mod Podged the letters to the birds. I also used Mod Podge to seal the paint.

That took FOREVER, so I eventually started cutting out whole words, which was super quick!

If you decide to try this cute project and you can't find wood pulp clay, any air dry clay will work.  I've made them with paper clay, and soft clay, as well.  Have fun!

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