How to Sculpt Birds With Polymer Clay

Written by lorrie fenn
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How to Sculpt Birds With Polymer Clay
A polymer clay bird can add a colourful addition to any home or office. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Sculpting birds in polymer clay will allow you to express your creative talents while learning a new technique. Polymer clay is similar to ceramic clay in texture, but it requires baking to harden. Your polymer clay bird can be used as decoration or a gift for a cherished friend. You can use your polymer clay birds to hang in a window or sit on a table as a decorative accent.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bird photos
  • Toothpicks
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Parchment paper
  • Toaster oven

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  1. 1

    Collect and gather photos of birds from your local library or online sources. Pick a bird photo or illustration to use as inspiration when creating your polymer clay bird.

  2. 2

    Break off a piece of polymer clay slightly larger than you would like your bird to be.

  3. 3

    Roll the clay between your hands to make it more pliable.

  4. 4

    Begin forming an oval shape with your piece of clay using a circular motion. This will be the body of your bird. Set aside on parchment paper.

  5. 5

    Break off a smaller chunk of polymer clay about one-fourth the size of your oval to make the head of your bird.

  6. 6

    Roll the smaller piece of polymer clay between your hands to form a round ball.

  7. 7

    Begin pinching the clay of your bird's head to form a beak in the middle of your ball.

  8. 8

    Insert a toothpick into the top left portion of the bird's body to act as a stabiliser for the bird's head.

  9. 9

    Place the bird's head on top of the remaining portion of polymer clay.

  10. 10

    Begin forming a tail at the opposite end of the bird using a pinching and shaping motion.

  11. 11

    Smooth the clay between the head and body of your bird to forge the two pieces together. You will want to create a seamless connection.

  12. 12

    Make two indentions in the bird's head to create eye sockets using the end of your paintbrush.

  13. 13

    Use your toothpick to draw wings on either side of the bird. Use lines and swirls to decorate your bird and give the look of feathers. Experiment with dots to create textures on your bird.

  14. 14

    Follow the instructions on your polymer clay package to bake and cool your bird in an oven that is not intended for cooking food.

  15. 15

    Use acrylic paints to add distinctive colours and markings to your bird.

Tips and warnings

  • Add wire feet to your bird before baking to make it stand.
  • Add a small eye-hook to the top of your bird before baking to hang.
  • Use tools for clay sculpting purposes only.

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