How to Make Clay Dragons

Updated February 21, 2017

A belief in dragons is present in a variety of cultures, from Lithuania to Cambodia to Scotland. Making clay dragons is a suitable activity to follow up certain folktales and fantasy stories or just as an activity to indulge the imagination of children. Such a task allows children to creatively determine whether they make fierce, frightening dragons that can shoot fire, or petite, friendly dragons. It's also a useful activity if you're developing your sculpting skills because creating a fantastical creature demands more from you artistically.

Take a wad of green polymer clay, approximately as large as your fist. Roll it into a large egg shape.

Shape and pull the pointier end of the egg shape into a long, snakelike neck. Grab a thumb-sized wad of clay and sculpt that into the head of the dragon. Press it onto the end of the neck. Use your knife to open the dragon's mouth.

Grab a small thumb-sized piece of white polymer clay and flatten it against your flat workspace. Cut tiny triangles out of the clay with your utility knife and stick each triangle firmly in the dragon's mouth to create teeth.

Carve 16 to 20 tiny hook shapes out of the white clay. Set them aside.

Turn the body of the dragon over and pull four short legs out of the bottom of the dragon and form feet at the ends of the legs. Attach four or five of your tiny hook shapes in a row to the edge of each foot.

Wrap a piece of mesh fabric around your dragon and press it lightly into the clay. Remove the mesh fabric. This will create the scales of the dragon.

Grab a piece of clay the size of a baby's fist. Flatten it out onto your work surface. Using your utility knife, cut out an umbrella shape from the clay. Use your utility knife to draw curved lines for spokes onto the umbrella shape.

Cut the umbrella in half with a vertical line down the middle. These will be your dragon wings.

Attach each wing to the back of the dragon by pressing them down firmly into the clay. Cut six small triangles with the remaining clay. These will be the dragon's spikes. Press each spike along the middle of the dragon's back.

Place your dragon on the baking tray. Bake it for 20 minutes at least 132 degrees Celsius or according to the instructions on your polymer clay. Allow the dragon sculpture to cool.

Dip your paintbrush in metallic green paint and cover your dragon with an even coat of paint. Dip your paintbrush in red paint and paint your dragon's eyes red. Use a fine detailed brush to paint the teeth and claws white, if you want them to be whiter, or you can drizzle drops or red paint on the teeth and claws to make the dragon look more ferocious. Allow the dragon to dry overnight.

Things You'll Need

  • Green polymer clay
  • White polymer clay
  • Utility knife
  • Mesh fabric
  • Baking tray
  • Oven
  • Paintbrush
  • Detailed paint brush
  • Acrylic paints
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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."