Crafted bees are decorative additions to plant pokes, jewellery pieces and dimensional projects. Sculpey clay is a soft polymer product that you can use to hand-make bees with. Create a replica of a bumblebee or honeybee for your craft and floral projects. A clay bee that looks realistic or has a whimsical appeal with a smiling face can be made using hand sculpting with a simple toothpick. Condition the clay by rolling it back and forth in your hands to warm it up for about 10 minutes or until it is soft and pliable before using it for your project.
Roll a small piece of conditioned yellow Sculpey clay into a 1-inch ball. This is the body of the bee. Roll a smaller piece of black clay into a head shape and set it aside on the work surface for later use.
Roll a small piece of black clay on your work surface with a rolling pin for clay until it is 1/4 inch thick, 1 inch long and 1/2-inch wide. Cut two 1/8 to 1/4-inch-by-1-inch long wide strips from the black clay with a slicing blade. Roll out a piece of white clay until it is 1/4 inch thick and 1 to 2 inches wide and 3 to 4 inches long. Set it aside on the work surface to use later.
Look at a photo or drawing of a bee and use it as a guide while wrapping the black clay strips around the yellow ball.
Place the yellow and black ball on to the work surface and slowly roll it back and forth to press the strips into the bee's body. Continue to roll the rounded shape between your fingers until it becomes an oval shape similar to the body of a honeybee.
Cut a round toothpick in half. Insert one half of the toothpick into either end of the bee's body. Press the head of the bee onto the end of the toothpick and slowly push it in place against the end of the clay body.
Cut two 1/2 inch long heart or triangle shapes of 1/4 inch thickness from the white clay for the bee's wings.
Cut two 1/2-inch pieces of craft wire with wire cutters. Slightly curve one end of each wire piece to make a small "J" shape. Insert the straight end of each wire into the top sides of the head of the bee for antennae.
Place the bee's wings on a parchment covered glass or metal baking tray or pan. Fold a piece of parchment paper accordion style. Set the bee on the folded paper to prevent it from lying flat during the baking process and causing unsightly shiny spots on the clay. Bake in a preheated 250 to 275 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes per 1/4 inch of clay thickness. It will be fine for you to remove the pan from the oven long enough to quickly remove the parchment with the wings after 20 minutes. Return the pan to the oven to allow the thicker bee to bake about 30 minutes longer on the folded paper. You can also bake clay pieces in a toaster oven.
Remove the bee from the oven and let it cool for at least one hour. Secure the wings to the body with adhesive.
Paint fine veining on the wings with acrylic paint and a 00 paint brush after the adhesive dries for a more realistic look.
Do not bake Sculpey clay at a temperature higher than directed on the package. It will burn and create potentially dangerous fumes.
Tips and warnings
- Paint fine veining on the wings with acrylic paint and a 00 paint brush after the adhesive dries for a more realistic look.
- Do not bake Sculpey clay at a temperature higher than directed on the package. It will burn and create potentially dangerous fumes.