DIY Gifts

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial

(This post is part of my Frosty Festivities 2014 Blog Event – see the beginning HERE!)

Here’s a cute couple of ornaments for you – a penguin and a robin…

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Aren’t they adorable?! I’ve made the penguin to gift to my Dad for Christmas, the robin is for our own Christmas decoration collection!

Want to make some too? Here’s how it’s done…

Step 1: Gather your materials. You’ll need some air-dry clay, kebab sticks, wire cutters. You’ll also want some gesso, paint, paintbrushes, blu-tack/plasticine, mod-podge and sandpaper (not pictured). I printed some images of penguins and robins to refer to as well:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Pull off four evenly sized lumps of air-dry clay:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Roll them into smooth balls:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Use your fingers to shape one ball into a robin shape. Start by elongating it to make it more egg-shaped, then pinch out a beak:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Keep pinching and shaping, including making a little tail, until you are happy with the robin shape:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Repeat with another ball to make a penguin shape, with no tail, a flatter beak, and a taller body than the robin:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 7: Shape the other two balls into fat oblongs, to make bases for the birds, and cut some lengths of kebab sticks to be the legs. Push them together, with short legs for the penguin and tall legs for the robin, and make sure they balance okay:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 8: Wet your fingertips and smooth over the cracks in the clay, until they pretty much disappear:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 9: Once you’ve smoothed it all over leave the birds to dry for a few days – I left them standing up for 2 days, and then laid them down for the last day, so the base would dry underneath:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 10: Apply a couple of coats of gesso all over the birds and bases:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 11: Paint two layers of brown paint on the robin and base, and two layers of black paint on the penguin. I used Martha Stewart Satin Craft Paints for my birds:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 12: Take the legs out to paint. You might have got some lumps of paint on them:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 13: If so you can use sandpaper to smooth them out:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 14: Stand the legs in a lump of plasticine or blu-tack, then paint the penguin legs orange, and the robin legs yellow:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 15: While they are drying, paint white eyes and bellies onto the bird. Then paint the penguin an orange beak, and the robin a yellow beak:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 16: Add blue waves to the penguin’s base, and green grass to the robin’s base:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 17: When all that is dry, use a pointy end of kebab stick to poke mod-podge into the holes on the birds and bases, so you can stick the legs back into place:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 18: Paint pupils on the eyes (small ones for the penguin, large ones for the robin), give the robin a red belly, and paint some lighter colours on the bodies for wings:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then your clay birds are ready to gift or display! You could also give them a coat of varnish if you are worried the paint might chip off, the Martha Stewart paint I used is quite sturdy so I didn’t bother:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

These make me smile!

Be Inspired:

Use a robin or a penguin on your next project

Use some clay (air dry or fimo/sculpey) to make an embellishment

Make two of something, one for a gift, and one for yourself

Would you keep these birds for yourself, or do you know someone who would love them?!

See you again in 60 minutes!

Jennifer x