TUTORIAL: Melting Snowman Hanging Ornament

I’ve been planning to create tons of Christmas tutorials, but as usual, December seems to have crept up on me and so I’m now snowed under (get it? muaha!) with lots of ideas I want to get through. I love Christmas, and even more so now that my little girl just about joins in with the excitement! I’m planning on making lots of little trinkets ready to wrap up and give as gifts to our special friends, and here is just one of the ideas I came up with. It’s a little more intricate than some of my other tutorials, but I hope than I have explained it in simple enough terms that it will be easy for everyone to try.

Note: Remember to wash your hands and clean your surface thoroughly- you are using white clay and any little bit of fluff or dirt will show up!

Enjoy! 

What you’ll need: 

  • Polymer clay (white, black, red, green in two shades, orange)
  • White acrylic paint
  • Small paintbrush x2
  • Liquid clay
  • Clay varnish
  • Needle or pin
  • Cutting tool
  • Rolling tool
  • Oven
  • Wire or ribbon
  • Beads (optional)

IMG_0846

Step one: 
First of all, condition a ball of white clay and roll it out so that it is approximately one centimetre thick.

IMG_0848

Step two: 
Cut a “blob” shape out of the white clay. Don’t worry about it being exact- it’ll be played with again later on.

IMG_0850

Step three: 
Roll out some more white clay at the same thickness, then cut out a circle. This will be the head, so make it whatever size you think will look right on your first shape. Then gently roll the sides between your fingers to tidy it up. Stick it onto the top of your first shape, then put the whole thing to one side.

IMG_0852

Step four: 
Now take your orange clay and form a small carrot shape for the nose.

IMG_0855

Step five: 
Cut out a few little triangle shaped pieces of dark green clay, then stick them onto the larger end of the carrot for leaves. Use your fingertip to blend at the top of the carrot where the leaves meet. Press the carrot into place on your snowman’s face.
Tip: If you want your ornament to be extra sturdy, you could always use a little liquid clay to stick each piece down. I didn’t bother, but it’s up to you!

IMG_0858

Step six: 
Roll a couple of balls of black clay, press them gently between your fingers and stick them onto the face. They will act as coal eyes. I also added some detail onto the carrot and leaves with my pin.

IMG_0861

Step seven: 
Now for the top hat! Roll out a thin circle and stick it onto the top of his head. Now roll out another ball of black clay (larger than the coal eyes) and place it onto the first bit of the hat, then press down the edges so that it forms a dome shape. Roll out a long snake shaped piece of black and wrap it around the bottom of the dome, then blend where the two ends meet.

IMG_0866

Step eight: 
Now for the scarf! First of all, make sure your hands don’t have any black pieces of clay on them- you don’t want you scarf looking dirty. Now roll out two very thin, long pieces of light green and red clay. Pinch the tops of them both together, then slowly twist the length of the two together so that you are left with something similar to the photo above. Try to add in as many twists as possible, but not so many that it starts to break. Make a few of these.

IMG_0869

Step nine: 
Cut the twists to size and place them onto your snowman’s neck. I used three of the twists together, wrapped them around his neck, then did the same to create the pieces coming off it. I then used my pin to lift up pieces of the two ends so that it looks a little 3D, and I also separated the ends so that it looks like frayed wool.
I pressed on a few more black pieces of “coal” for the buttons. Remember he is melting, so you don’t want them perfectly in place!

IMG_0871

Step ten: 
Now I made a little robin’s feather to stick onto his top hat. I mixed one part red with one part white, but not so much that it actually blended- I wanted flecks of white going through the feather. I rolled it out very thin.

IMG_0874

Step eleven: 
Cut out a tiny feather shape with your cutting tool. This will be quite difficult for beginners, but just try to copy the shape in the photo above. If it isn’t quite right, try again!
IMG_0876

Step twelve: 
Using your pin, press extremely lightly to create lots of little lines. You can also make tiny cuts and pull apart so that it looks a little more like a realistic feather.

IMG_0877

Step thirteen: 
Use your needle to poke two holes on either side of the top of the snowman. Make sure they are wide enough to fit your wire or ribbon through later.

IMG_0879

Step fourteen: 
My snowman was beginning to look too neat for my liking, so I very carefully dragged down the edges so that it looked more.. well, melty! Be careful not to rip the pieces off by pulling too hard.

IMG_0881

Step fifteen: 
Place the whole thing onto a clean baking tray or pyrex dish. Now in a little egg cup or on a scrap piece of card, mix together a teaspoon of liquid clay and a few crumbled up bits of white clay. Use your needle to spread the mixture onto the edges that you pulled down earlier, but drag them out even further. Make sure it is put on thick enough so that it won’t be too delicate later! Bake the whole thing until hard. Mine took 25 minutes on gas mark 4.

IMG_0884

 

Step sixteen: 
Once cool, take your small paintbrush and white acrylic paint Add on some more detail such as reflection marks on the coal and hat and some frost on the carrot. I also painted over the liquid clay so that it blended better with the rest of the snowman. Once dry, paint over a layer of varnish.

snowman1

Step seventeen: 
If you are happy with your snowman, it is now time to attach him to the wire. I cut my wire to size and pushed both ends through the holes, leaving a little excess on both sides. I bent the excess so that it formed a kind of hook and then pushed my beads on so that they were facing the front. I twisted the excess wire with the rest very tightly so that it felt secure, then shaped it so that it can hang comfortably on a tree.
If you are using ribbon, simply tie one end on, add your beads, secure with another knot, then repeat on the other side.

 

And you’re finished! Woo-hoo! Thank you for reading. Please leave a message below with any questions or to let me know how your snowman turned out. Check out the rest of my site for more tutorials. Have a lovely Christmas! :)

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

captcha

Please enter the CAPTCHA text