Use Smoothfoam as armature for clay ormaments—Christmas in July

 

Smoothfoam works well as “armature” to wrap with air-dry clay, like with this cute penguin ornament.

Smoothfoam armature for air-dry clay by D. Quartermain

 

Outside it might be sizzling hot, so I suggest you stay in and stay cool creating sweet penguin peeps! Penguins are so lovable and irresistible with their black and white feathery tuxedo fronts and the way they waddle. This perky little pal is quick and easy to make using a Smoothfoam egg and air-dry clay.

Supplies:

3” tall Smoothfoam egg
Activa Hearty Clay – 1 pkg.
Small brads – black and colors
Sharpie markers – black, pink, green
Craft paints – black, yellow
Clay roller
2” heart cookie cutter
Black-head straight pins
Pencil and ruler
Craft knife, toothpick
Craft glue

 

1.  Break off a third of the clay and cut in half. Roll out one half for the penguin body. TIP: Wrap pieces of open clay in a baby wipe or damp paper towel and place in a ziplock bag to prevent drying out until you’re ready to work with it.

2.  Wrap the flat piece of clay around the Smoothfoam egg, smooth out evenly and remove excess. Dip your finger in water to smooth the seams.

3.  Draw a light pencil outline of the penguin’s face and chest area as shown, then paint the rest of the penguin black, allow paint to dry.

4.  Roll out the other half of the clay and cut out two hearts with the cookie cutter. Cut one heart in half for the wings and stretch out each half slightly. Use the other heart for the feet. Cut a small ½” triangle from the scraps for the beak.

5.  Paint the wings black, then paint the feet and beak yellow, allow paint to dry.

6.  Attach the wings, feet and beak by dipping your finger in water to smooth each piece against the body. Angle one wing to the side so it looks like he’s waving hello!

7.  Insert two brads for the eyes (use a straight pin to make a starter hole). Draw the eye lines with a black marker.

8.  Break off another third of the clay and roll out. Cut out a 4” tall triangle with a 5″ wide base (for the hat).

9.  Draw a plaid or criss-cross stripe design on the triangle with the pink and green markers. Fold the triangle against itself several times and roll it out again to blend the colors a bit. Shape it back into a triangle and wrap around the top of the penguin like a hat. Fold over the bottom edge to make a hatband. Embellish the hatband with colored brads.

10.  Lightly rub a bit of pink paint on the penguin’s cheeks with your damp finger. Use a toothpick to lightly indent some feathery-looking arches into the chest as shown.

11.  If you want to hang as an ornament, use a toothpick coated with a little glue to poke a loop of ribbon down into the top of the Smoothfoam ball, just behind the hat. Allow the clay to dry overnight.

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